On any Stack Exchange site you can't vote for your own question.

So, Why does it give you the option, and then reject your vote? Would it not be better just not to have the option?

This way they are not receiving negative commands?

An alternative would be to have the rating but not show the arrows...

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    We can migrate this to the main Stack Exchange meta site where you're more likely to get an actual answer from the people who designed this site. Are you happy for us to do that?
    – JonW
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 20:11
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    i do think this is a relevant UX question, plenty of questions are 'what are the UX reasons for site_x design' why should SE be any different?
    – Toni Leigh
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 20:27
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    Although I agree we will get more results there @JonW; I think for its purpose and future reference it is better here? Is it is possible to somehow direct someone who might know the answer on SE meta over here? :)
    – tim.baker
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 20:40
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    If anyone is interested, I've added this question to my list of good example questions that would benefit from cross-site features. Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:20
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    @hichris123 How can a post which was posted before the suggested duplicate - be a duplicate. Isn't it the other way around? Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 7:13

2 Answers 2


I believe there are two aspects to it.

  • So that you can see the number of upvotes\downvotes you have got on your question\answer : If they had to somehow disable it, they would have to find a way of communicating that it was disabled for you while showing the number of upvotes\downvotes which is an additional design change and users will need to figure out what the new look means .

enter image description here

  • Ensuring consistent design : By keeping the design consistent, users can relate to the overall structure and layout easier.To quote this article


When I say elements, I mean the footer, sidebar, or navigation. Users will get used to the location of these elements, so they should be kept in the same place. Remember, your website should be logical to the users and that can be accomplished when you have a consistent placement of your elements.

Taking all of this into consideration,it would be an easier and more effective design to just allow users to accidentally discover that self-voting functionality is forbidden.


The general principle here is, as Mervin stated, feature discovery (or accidental discovery).

In this specific case, it's an edge case that we really didn't design for explicitly. The more general case is for people that don't have enough rep to vote and allowing them to play around with the interface and discover the capabilities of the site and the features they have to look forward to.

We have a long way to go as far as consistency on this stuff, but as a general approach, we prefer to expose common functionality even if you can't use it. In some places, we will let you know why, in others, it's a way to gather statistics on how much people would use a feature before they can actually use it. And, in other cases we will try to convert an attempted up vote to sign up or some other engagement if you are an anonymous user.

We prefer to hide uncommon functionality that can't be used to keep the interface on the simple side.

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