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Question scores (number of upvotes and downvotes on a question) are displayed in the question feed and on the question webpage itself.

I've come to ask myself how showing this score benefits quality questions, it seems to me as if this should instead more or less influence the opinion of voters reading the post, by triggering immediate judgement based on the number of votes the question has. Am I mistaken on this ? Wouldn't hiding up and downvotes favor objective reasoning from voters?

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    $\begingroup$ If you're asking a question and don't know the answer, how do you distinguish the right/good answers from the wrong/bad (OK - not-so-good) ones? $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Dec 19 '17 at 18:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir24601 I think this question is about the question scores, not the answer scores (which you can't see until you click through from the main page anyway). $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Dec 19 '17 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Oops, so it is... Ah well, it's still good for distinguishing the good questions from the not-so-good :P $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Dec 19 '17 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir24601 Responding to your initial comment: by reading the questions and deciding for yourself. This happens anyway. I am often surprised at which questions are upvoted & those that are not. Seems more like popularity contest at times, but often enough the appraisals are good. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 20 '17 at 4:16
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting point. If the scores for up & downvotes wasn't there, a source of potential bias would be missing. Perhaps WB SE should trial this to see what the results would be. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 20 '17 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android While an interesting idea I would hazard a guess that this is a network wide function...changes would be tough. $\endgroup$ – James Dec 21 '17 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ @James I didn't expect it would be easy. SE is currently trialing an improved review notification. I raised the possibility of doing a similar trial on up & down votes. If nothing else, such a trial could test for any bias in posting votes. I won't hold my breath about its happening soon. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 22 '17 at 1:52
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Upvotes are an indicator of quality, not a guarantee

I'm working from the assumption that typical WB users don't have a ton of time to spend here (but the following holds for heavy users in a slightly different way). A user wants to read good questions and good answers. If upvotes were removed from the entire site UI, then a very handy indicator of question and answer quality would vanish.

Most questions are not very good, as is true with most things. The average answer has just under 8 upvotes. The average question has only 5 upvotes. If I have to choose between two questions of equal age where one has 10 upvotes and the other has 2 upvotes, I'm more likely to chose the 10 upvotes. I know that 10 other people somewhere thought that the question was good enough to confer a little love. I may come back to the 2 upvotes question.

Said another way, upvotes are a proxy for quality/popularity. Without upvotes, individual users must hunt through thousands of questions to find a few that interest them. They must read through each question and answer. Ain't no one got time for that. Certainly, relying on upvotes alone doesn't work so well; no kidding, you've discarded a great deal of valuable information to get down to that single number.

Sure, there's some "well everyone else upvoted, so it must be good" that happens. I'm sure I've done it as well as everyone else on Meta. I choose to believe that the influence of this is pretty small. If a question is legitimately good, I'll upvote it. If it's truly awful, I'll down vote it. In the middle? Meh. I'll leave it alone.

I don't think there's anything to worry about with visible upvotes. Not having visible updates introduces a ton more problems.

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    $\begingroup$ It seems to me that hiding post scores would remove one of the major aspects that sets Stack Exchange (and other Q&A sites) apart from discussion forums. $\endgroup$ – user Dec 19 '17 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ Also, Data-palooza would be significantly less interesting if there were no post scores. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Dec 19 '17 at 21:11

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