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Reviewing MathOverflow a recent change that I just now observed is that the reputation of the users who ask and answer questions is not clearly observed within the main page, nor within the question proper - although the vote counts of the questions and the answers are still displayed.

The reputations are available; however, additional clicks may be required to get in to users' pages. See also this MathOverflow meta question.

To me this may be an attractive approach to reduce the likelihood that questions become a 'popularity contest', or to reduce the likelihood that the questions and answers are upvoted based on an appeal to authority (or downvoted due to a lack of any noticeable reputation), and that questions and answers can be judged on their merits more than on the reputation of those who have asked/answered.

Is this an option that we could consider for QCSE, and if so are there pros and cons that need to be ironed out?

Below is what I see now. Note that there is no rep displayed for the askers, the answerers, or the modifiers (although the vote count on the questions is still displayed).

Screen capture of MO

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the interesting question. I'm still seeing the rep like normal, can you show two screenshots to compare? $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2022 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ This morning when I checked on a smartphone, with Firefox, the reputation was displayed, but on Chrome in my desktop I see what you mean: i.stack.imgur.com/Kq96i.png $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2022 at 0:08
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    $\begingroup$ as an fyi, this is not something site mods can change (I understand Mathoverflow is a bit of an exception in this regard), so we'd need some feedback from CMs to even assess feasability (though the discussion of whether people would want this feature is worth having regardless) $\endgroup$
    – glS Mod
    Jan 15, 2022 at 15:25

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Assuming that they would allow us to do this, I would be in favor of keeping things the way they currently are (the status-quo).

I don't see much of an advantage of hiding this information. Maybe newer users with a reputation of 1 (or something relatively low compared to the average user) could benefit from other users not knowing that they're a newbie, but this is unlikely. If a username or profile picture is not recognized, and people care about who the person is when voting on, or interacting with a question, then they might just click on the user's profile and find out their reputation that way anyway. For those users, I suspect they would be more annoyed at having to click more, than the amount that other users would benefit from hiding this information.

This is just my opinion and I'm open to hearing other people's ideas about why this would be useful in the QCSE community.

The one advantage I see is that this would be less humiliating for suspended users, who have their reputation reduced to 1 while they are suspended, which draws attention to the fact that they were suspended, whether the reasons behind the suspension were fair or unfair. However, I think this should be fixed by simply not reducing their visible reputation to 1 (they can just effectively have their privileges removed as if they only have a reputation of 1). If SE doesn't fix this for suspended users, then for that one reason alone, I would say that I'd be in favor of doing what we now have on MathOverflow, and otherwise I'd be happy to stay with the status-quo.

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