As a 5+ year member of MO, I remember the old days when upvotes on questions only netted you 5 points as opposed to the current 10.

While I was generally glad to see good questions being rewarded in a manner commensurate with good answers, this change effectively doubled the ratio $$\frac{{\sf Points\ gained\ per\ question\ upvote}}{{\sf Points\ lost\ per\ question\ downvote}}$$

This has resulted in a scenario where, reputationally speaking, users are incentivized to ask any question which will receive at least one upvote for every 4 downvotes it gets, whereas previously that ratio would have to be at least one upvote for every 2 downvotes to still gain reputation.

Is this a desirable situation?

Personally I’m somewhat conflicted; while I like the trend towards focusing on positive responses more than negative ones, the ratio above being $5$ feels extreme to me, and perhaps should be reduced back closer to the old $2.5$. What is the communities opinion?

P.S. I’m not trying to say that internet points are really important, but they are generally one of the main indicators of the quality of a users community engagement and one of the main tools we have for discouraging certain behavior, alongside closing and flagging (which are more extreme, and may end up being used more often if downvotes aren’t a viable discouragement option). Any input is appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ In real-life social interaction, the ratio is rather the other way (it is said that about five positive interactions are needed to compensate for one negative one) — and my perception is that also on MO, many people tend to feel rather in that way, in spite of points. On the other hand, unfortunately some people really seem to take their gain of points for questions which receive more downvotes than upvotes as an indication that posting such questions is welcomed by the community. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Mar 27 at 22:43
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    $\begingroup$ Related: Can MO go back to +5 rep for questions? Should it? There are also some comment under this answer: Big list of feature requests and suggestions for a fantasy MO 3.0 $\endgroup$ Mar 28 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ In my view, it is crucial for the success of MO to have many good questions. If ten points per vote on questions encourages questions, then I welcome it. It is easy enough, after all, to close down the truly bad ones, but difficult or impossible to solicit new good questions that wouldn't otherwise be asked. $\endgroup$ Apr 1 at 15:40


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