Listed as a privilege is the ability to view vote counts broken down into the number of up and down votes.

What do people use this for? And why do you need a significant amount of reputation before you can see this info?

3 Answers 3


After a quick search on meta.stackoverflow I came across this answer: Show Total Votes (or Up/Down Votes)

Basically it's an expensive DB query, so limiting the number of people who can do it helps speed up the site!

Also, the main reason for it is to see whether a question is of little interest (+0/-0) or hotly debated/controversial (+10/-10)


It's amazing, I really miss that ability when I go to a new group where I don't have it. I'm always interested to see how many negative votes there are, in particular for a meta topic. For instance, there is the moderator nomination question. Dori currently has 13 votes, but actually have +15 -2, which makes me wonder who the two people are. Tony Meyers has +5 -4, also giving an interesting meaning.

It's not a super useful thing, but it is quite interesting, and can help to see how some things are going, so...


As a low-rep user on Personal Finance and Money, I am amazed at how much I miss some of the privileges I have on three other sites, including this one. I can see how I should earn the privilege to VTC, because to VTC intelligently needs familiarity with the subject matter and mores of the particular site.

But not being able to view upvotes and downvotes irks me, as does not being able to make edits without having them approved. The first needs no expertise on the particular site, and @PearsonArtPhoto gave my reasons for wanting the privilege very well. It is particularly annoying not to see the up/down distribution on my own Qs or As, which could help me write better Qs and As on that site.

On the second (edits), although knowledge of the site is helpful, I am still miffed because I feel that I have earned the privilege to edit anything by my record on English Language and Usage, a pretty demanding site on anything to do with English!

I think some privileges should be based on overall rep on SE, not on site-specific rep, but I know that is hopeless.

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