I am using a disposeable account to post this because I am taking a lot of risk by dragging this out into the public before it's meant to be publicised.

Stack exchange recently posted in the moderator team (SO teams) that they are going to increase the vote value on questions from the current 5 points to 10 points.

the reasoning behind this is to benefit women because they believe the change would impact women and help them on the site.

1/5th of users will be impacted by this, and it'll result in 200 million additional reputation being spread into the network, which is an about 17% increase of the current 1.1 billion reputation in circulation.

They have been warned by moderators that the way they are planning to present the change will be controversial and received negatively, because they are going to emphasise the gender aspect when pushing this change.

Moderators have tried fighting this change at least in the short run, but they are still going to emphasise the gender aspect and push it in spite of the community being at the brink of falling appart.

Here is the post from the moderator team. it also includes a few sede qieries created by the asker - :

On November 13, we are changing the reputation earned from getting a question upvote to 10points (it’s currently 5 points).

We’ll be recalculating reputation for every Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange user based on this change. Every question upvote earned in the past will be retroactively given a value of 10 reputation points.

We currently expect that the recalculation will be done over a day or two. Users will receive an email and we’ll also have a blog post, social media mentions, and banners announcing the change.

Why are we doing this?

Ok, now that the essential details are out of the way, let me talk through why this is happening and the impact on your communities.

When Stack Overflow launched, upvotes on questions gave the user 10 points. In March 2010, we changed that value to 5 points. We shared our rationale in this blog post, Optimizing For Pearls, Not Sand:

Fundamentally, answers can be filtered in ways that questions cannot. While there is a tension between having "enough" questions and a bunch of amazing, highly skilled answerers twiddling their thumbs waiting around for something to do, in the long run we’d much rather err on the side of having interesting and on-topic questions for these folks to sink their teeth into.

We set out to change behavior. But my analysis suggests this change had no effect on asking behavior.

That makes sense because most askers are new users who haven't (yet?) come to value reputation. They are here for answers, not reputation points. In fact, the lower payout has probably meant people who do care about reputation are less likely to invest in asking; you need twice as many votes to earn the same reputation. Yet we ask for as much or more effort from askers than answerers.

We know that people who contribute by asking have a harder time earning privileges than people who focus on answering. Independent research suggests this disproportionately affects women:

We also see that women contribute differently to building the community’s knowledge base: they are asking more questions. Stack Overflow’s current system strongly incentivize answering by rewarding upvotes on answers twice as much upvotes on questions.

Fundamentally, interesting and answerable questions (i.e., the sort of questions that get upvoted) play an equally important role on the site because they host answers. To go back to the "answers as pearls" analogy, questions aren't the sand—questions are oysters.

How you can help

This change is going to be visible. Your communities are going to notice and have questions. We want you to have answers before we roll out the change. But for that to happen we need to anticipate the questions. Below I've listed some questions that people within the company expect to be asked. But we don't know your community and we don't know what's important to them. After reading the questions and answers below, please post an answer if we've missed anything or if anything is unclear.

Anticipated questions

The following questions are answered from the perspective of Stack Overflow based on simulations performed by our data team. Due to the daily reputation cap, timing of Community Wiki status and deleted posts, it's not easy to extract these numbers via database queries, but I will provide SEDE queries that approximate the numbers so you can share them with your community

How many users will earn reputation?

On Stack Overflow, about 2.4 million users (that's about 1/5th of all users) will earn more reputation. Compared to users who have at least one extant post, that's 53%.


How much reputation will they earn?

About 200 million reputation points. Total reputation in the system is about 1.1 billion points so this change is about a 17% increase. For comparison, about 11 million of these points are due to the "free" points we give out when users create an account.


What's the average account age of users impacted?

Median and average are about the same here, ~1,800 days. This is ~5 years, which is about 1/2the time the site has been live. This isn't surprising, this rule affects all users for all time and thus it affects the "average" user.

What's the typical total rep (before and after) of users impacted?

The median of the change in reputation, per user, is: 15

  • Median reputation of affected users today: 21
  • Median reputation of affected users after the change: 38

This makes some sense if you realize:

  1. 21 is +1 for joining and then some mix of +5 for Q upvotes and + 10 for A upvotes
  2. 38 is +1 for joining and then some mix of +10 for Q or A upvotes
  3. Questions are more common than answers, so #1 is probably 4 Q upvotes in most cases and thus the change will add (4 * 10 - 4 * 5) = 20 in the common case.
  4. The uncommon cases (rep cap, answer upvotes, etc.) will pull the change down from the +20 in the common case.


How will this impact privileges?

Stack Overflow reputation grants access to new abilities at certain levels. Any reputation change implies some impact on the privilege system as well.

Of the affected users...

  • ~59,000 will gain 'Participate in meta' (+2.6%)
  • ~570,000 will gain 'Create wiki posts' (+33.2%)
  • ~570,000 will gain 'Remove new user restrictions' (+33.2%)
  • ~340,000 will gain 'Vote up' (+23.9%)~340,000 will gain 'Flag posts' (+23.9%)
  • ~450,000 will gain 'Talk in chat' (+36.7%)~240,000 will gain 'Comment everywhere' (+30%)
  • ~170,000 will gain 'Set bounties' (+27%)
  • ~150,000 will gain 'Create chat rooms' (+25.9%)
  • ~150,000 will gain 'Edit community wiki' (+25.9%)~130,000 will gain 'Vote down' (+25.8%)
  • ~92,000 will gain 'Reduce ads' (+24.4%)
  • ~59,000 will gain 'View close votes' (+16.4%)
  • ~53,000 will gain 'Access review queues' (+22.7%)
  • ~31,000 will gain 'Create gallery chat rooms' (+22.3%)
  • ~31,000 will gain 'Established user' (+22.3%)
  • ~22,000 will gain 'Create tags' (+22.2%)~17,000 will gain 'Edit questions and answers' (+22.3%)
  • ~14,000 will gain 'Create tag synonyms' (+22.7%)
  • ~12,000 will gain 'Cast close and reopen votes' (+22.9%)
  • ~7,000 will gain 'Approve tag wiki edits' (+22.2%)
  • ~3,200 will gain 'Access to moderator tools' (+22.1%)
  • ~1,900 will gain 'Protect questions' (+21%)
  • ~1,200 will gain 'Trusted user' (+19%)
  • ~920 will gain 'Access to site analytics' (+19%)

Additionally, ~92,000 people will gain the ability (which is not, technically, a privilege) to earn the association bonus when joining a non-Stack Overflow site.

In total (ignoring the association bonus ability) about 1.8 million users will earn at least one new privilege, this is ~54% of all users who have earned reputation.


Please continue to provide feedback, if you have any. I'm incorporating the answers into our communications plan and I hope to share some responses either today or tomorrow.

Thank you!

Posted here (https://stackoverflow.com/c/moderators/questions/1912) by Jon Ericson (https://stackoverflow.com/c/moderators/users/18/) (public account at https://meta.stackexchange.com/users/1438/jon-ericson)

Let us make the fight public before they once again push unannounced changes without discussing with it's communtiy

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