Realistically, I don't know how people do it. They will come onto MVM&R and ask a question without registering. @DucatiKiller was asking me what I thought about this question about bleeding a hydraulic clutch. He also pointed out the user hadn't registered, plus they have asked two separate questions which show up as two separate accounts. This lead me to wondering:

What is the use of upvoting such questions?

When you upvote the question, the user doesn't get any benefit from it. I guess, if they ever did create an account, the questions could be merged into it ... but it still leaves me wondering if it does any good. They don't take the two minutes it would take to create the account, which means to me they really aren't going to stick around or most probably won't even come back. How do they accept an answer which they've asked a question to? It all leaves me befuddled.

1 Answer 1


We vote on content, not on users. Increasing asker's reputation (and thus expanding their privileges) is a secondary purpose of votes. Their primary purpose is sorting the content.

The votes provide machine-readable metadata which can be used for filtering and some automatic actions on the posts (e.g., an unanswered, uncommented question that is never upvoted will be deleted after a year, because it's considered to be of no use). Even users who do not employ any sophisticated filtering are influenced by votes:

  • clicking Unanswered shows unanswered questions ordered by votes
  • questions get promoted in the sidebar of other sites based in part on their score
  • they get tweeted and added to "hot" tab of the front page based in part on their score

How do they accept an answer which they've asked a question to?

They don't, if they do not regain access to the account with which they asked the question. Users with split accounts should be directed to contact form which allows them to request account merge.

  • I appreciate your point of view regarding content and it does make sense for the most part. If this is how SE intended for voting to work, it doesn't always met out the same ... I'm basing that statement on what Jon Ericson states in this Meta post about voting. Voting quite definitely is about the person posting as well as the content of the post. This holds true for new users more so than seasoned pros. Feb 9, 2016 at 12:28
  • Thanks for you post.
    – Ppoggio
    Feb 27, 2016 at 14:15

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