37
$\begingroup$

This announcement is a little late (see the discussion here), but in response to discussions over many years, we (the moderators and board) have implemented a change to the site where by default, reputations and badges will not be displayed on questions or the front page. You can still view a user's reputation by going to their user page. If you don't like this change, you go back to showing reputation by clicking the "show rep" link in the achievements menu (screenshot below).

This feature is still somewhat experimental (one of the delays in putting up an announcement were some unexpected technical problems), so we're happy to hear users' feedback about it.

You might wonder, why make this change now? The main reasoning is that many users (or maybe more importantly potential users) find various aspects of the reputation system off-putting. Since we had heard this a number of times, and it was easy to make this change de-emphasizing the importance of reputation, while leaving the site experience unchanged for those who prefer it as it was, we thought it was a worthwhile experiment; as I said above, we'd be happy to get feedback about it.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
14
  • 21
    $\begingroup$ +1 from me for making this announcement. (The fact that there is some official announcement from the mods is definitely a positive thing - regardless of whether the users view this change as useful or not.) $\endgroup$ Jan 16 at 11:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just to report a possible bug: It doesn't show me the show-rep option on the user page, as on the screenshot. It only shows up after I click on privileges first. $\endgroup$
    – domotorp
    Jan 19 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ @domotorp: I can't seem to reproduce this. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jan 20 at 17:08
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @domotorp the "show rep" is only applicable on the main site, not meta. When you click "privileges" you are brought to the main site, so the "show rep" becomes visible. $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Jan 20 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ You are right ! $\endgroup$
    – domotorp
    Jan 20 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ The reputation seems to show again, even if I have not opted in, immediately after editing. $\endgroup$
    – LSpice
    Jan 22 at 2:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LSpice: in fact, for me, the reputation under a user's name flashes for a second (and then is removed) whenever I load any question. $\endgroup$ Jan 23 at 17:23
  • 2
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ StackExchange has rolled out a new layout update to the main pages. It seems that the script no longer works on them. It still works on question pages and searches. $\endgroup$
    – Wojowu
    Jan 25 at 0:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Wojowu We are working on it. The main issue at the moment is that if we implement a fix now, they might break it again, so we're waiting until the main page is stabilized. $\endgroup$
    – Ben Webster Mod
    Jan 26 at 2:36
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Oh, I’m sure it will remain completely stable now. After all, it is styled with class="todo-no-class-here". $\endgroup$ Jan 26 at 16:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This posting says "we (the moderators and board) have implemented...". What is "the board"? $\endgroup$ Feb 9 at 18:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHardy I mean the board of the MO LLC; see the longer explanation here: meta.mathoverflow.net/a/970/66. That is almost the same as the set of moderators, but not quite. $\endgroup$
    – Ben Webster Mod
    Feb 10 at 20:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Apparently, the top bar was slightly redesigned today. As a consequence, my own reputation and badges in the top bar are now hidden, too (they show up for a split second, and then disappear while the search bar is widened, so the behaviour is actually rather annoying). $\endgroup$ Mar 30 at 9:52

1 Answer 1

14
$\begingroup$

Maybe it might be useful to collect examples of some situations where it is actually useful to see the users reputation. (In the other words, some cases in which MO users might want to switch the displaying of reputation and badges back on.) This post is a community wiki - so that anybody can contribute. Do not hesitate to edit this answer, if you have something to add.

Some situations when seeing the reputation (or badges) might possibly useful

  • Userscripts. Some users might be using this information in various userscripts. (This was mentioned in an answer to the previous post.)
  • Spotting possible spammers. Spammers are typically new users with reputation 1. Users with reputation 1 stand out among other posts, which makes noticing possible spam questions/answers in the list of recently active questions a bit easier. (A discussion on how MO manages to cope with spam might deserve a separate question. To include at least some stats, here are SEDE queries showing how fast spam posts were removed on the main site and on meta. Some stats can be seen also on metasmoke Dashboard - those are only the posts that were caught by SmokeDetector.)
  • Noticing new users. Reputation 1 gives somewhat similar information about the user as the new contributor indicator - however, the difference is that the reputation can be seen in the list of recent questions (while this indicator is not). Newbies often post questions which can have some problems. They might be off-topic questions, in such cases the question needs to be closed and maybe some advice to the OP in the comment might be useful. Even if the question is on-topic, it's possible that the new user might need some help - to mention some common situations as examples, the user might be unfamiliar with Markdown and MathJax, with the tags used on MO or with the guidelines related to cross-posting. (There were several discussions here on meta about new users. Looking at them, it is clear that at least some users tend to post some comments which could be helpful for such users.)
$\endgroup$
6
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Yes, when I see a question on the front page posted by a 101 rep or a 1 rep user that seems even close to borderline, I would normally check it. Other than this I am in a position where I can ignore people's rep. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Jan 16 at 11:36
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ With respect to new users, the banner thing indicating a new user is still there. This should also be the case for 1 and 101 rep users, if they are indeed new. As for spammers, I have no known that reputation was a feature. Normally the username or content of their posts is what makes people flag them. For the userscripts, well, just opt back in. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jan 16 at 11:54
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I was talking about the list of questions - there's no banner about new users. (That banner is only displayed when you have opened the page with a single question, not on the page showing the most recent questions.) The same goes for a spammers - especially if they posted it as an answer, like here or here. you have to go to the answer to see what's going on. $\endgroup$ Jan 16 at 12:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Martin: Would you have recognised that these answers are spam only because the user had 1 point? Without looking at the answer? Would it be less spam if my account was the one who had posted it? (I see your point on the questions list, but maybe it means that we should be a bit more welcoming to new users as a whole and look at their questions?) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jan 16 at 12:10
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila It seems that I did not manage to make clear what I am trying to say. Perhaps we could continue in chat - to prevent this comment thread from getting longer and longer while going in circles. $\endgroup$ Jan 16 at 12:12
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ I should add that without some way of knowing a priori if a question on something I'm not interested in is from a new user, I'm not going to click through to read it. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Jan 16 at 21:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .