Recently we had a post which evolved through edits suggested in comments over time:

After these edits the post improved considerably but alas the 5 downvotes on it stayed. It is now one of the most downvoted posts we have here.

I believe this is not justified in this case.

What can we do to make sure that any downvote we made will be undone after the reason for this downvote was resolved?

Side note for this special case:

We should not use our votes on a question or answer if we did not like the comments below that post or had issues with the user who posted.

Bad comments will be removed after flagging or after an edit included the information given but the post will stay. It is highly confusing to see a downvoted post where the reasons for the votes were resolved.

  • 2
    If SE provides notifications when posts that you downvoted were edited, people could quickly access those.
    – Em1
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 15:37
  • Downvotes are associated with your account. I can search for my downvotes. So, if downvotes are stored in the database, you can also write an algorithm that alerts when posts were edited.
    – Em1
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 19:13
  • While this is a valid concern in general, the answer used as an example here still does not address the question. The problem there are the three upvotes that it has now received.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 13:22
  • @CarstenSchultz: actually the answer in the example given does does not say anything much different to the accepted and upvoted answer, at least how I read it. That's also why I brought this issue up.
    – Takkat
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 16:44
  • @Takkat: I read the question as asking why the masculine form is used even though the statement refers to men and women alike.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 17:45
  • @CarstenSchultz: I read in the answer that masculine form refers to "Mann" or "Mensch", which is true. When using feminine form it refers to "Frau", which is true. In addition it states it is a nominalized adjective, which was not asked but is true as well, and it nicely explains the different genders it can take. So I really don't see why it should be at -5 at the time I asked this meta post.
    – Takkat
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 20:14
  • @Takkat: None of that explains why the masculine form is used.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 23:05

3 Answers 3


At present there is no notification of edits made to post we voted upon. Therefore it is our own responsibility to follow posts for edits that may have been made.

  • In the best case we had commented on a post giving hints to missing contents, and the user notifies us with another comment saying something along the line of "@Takkat thank you for your comment. I edited my post to include this". But this will obviously not help in cases we just added another downvote, or after comments got deleted during clean-up.

  • Some users will not reply to comments but simply go on with editing their posts. Therefore I regularly go through my activity > comments tab on my user page to check for changes made to posts I commented. This helps me a lot to adapt my voting, and to delete my comments after they became obsolete because an issue was resolved.

  • We can also temporarily mark questions we had voted upon as "favorite" to get notice of changes and to quickly get access to them through the favorites tab on our user page.

Downvotes from the Community♦ (coming from a flag) cannot be undone. This is why we decline such a flag even if it was helpful but the issue was resolved or will be resolved.

  • The only reasons that Community adds a downvote are: Spam and Offensive. In general issues around these flags seldom get "resolved" in a way that invalidates the downvotes. Declining such flags on a general basis does not help to keep the site clean and friendly.
    – Vogel612
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:18
  • It is the low-quality flag/downvote on salvageable posts we are talking here. Spam and Offensive flags are extremely rare on GL.
    – Takkat
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:29
  • low-quality flags do not auto-downvote. Most of the downvotes for lq-flagged posts come from the review queue.
    – Vogel612
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:35
  • @Vogel612: it does: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/230610/…
    – Takkat
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:58

The premise of this question is incorrect... A voter has no responsibility whatsoever to change his votes. This is true to downvotes as well as upvotes.

Whether you believe it's justified or not is irrelevant, only the Voter's opinion matters.

It might be interesting to notify downvoters of changes in answers they voted upon, that would allow a reconsideration of their decision, but that feature was on parent meta

What we can do against "strongly" downvoted answers is: Do it right from the start!

An answer that is downvoted for any reason should be assumed to be rightly downvoted. There may be exceptions (serial voting, short-circuit-reactions) but nevertheless, making this a "general problem" is not the correct approach for this.

  • This is not "making it a general problem" it is a general problem of German Language. Unrevised downvotes will heavily alienate users affected. In addition as soon as a post looks o.k. it will considerably confuse people who came here to see that this post ended up at -5 for no obvious reasons. All this will damage our site's reputation in the long run.
    – Takkat
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 15:49
  • @Takkat We rarely see -5 on GLU. This very post we're talking about still has some serious errors. That does not justify 5 downvotes, but also not 3 upvotes that I guess were basically raised to compensate. Anyhow, that user also raised much annoyance and displeasure, and I'm sure most downvotes were indeed directed towards the user, not the answer. This is not appropriate either, but that's how people act.
    – Em1
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 12:58
  • @Em1 the annoyance very much was on both sides: meta.german.stackexchange.com/questions/442/… - we should never vote for a post when in fact we meant to vote a user. Users go - posts stay. I know of the widespread misunderstanding of the SE model where any post is CC i.e. it becomes our post, and of resulting votes. That's why I had to bring it up again. Any post should be treated on its own, independent of who posted it.
    – Takkat
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:08

Nobodys role here is to justify, whether 5 downvotes is ok, too much or too less. You have one upvote and one downvote and that's it. Other people vote for themselves. Get over it.

  • 2
    I'm afraid you're wrong. This is a Q&A site. And we want to have good and correct answers. Voting has one very fundamental purpose: designate which answers are good and which are bad. If you're of the opinion that an answer is wrong/bad, and you downvote, it should be in everyone interest to communicate the issue. If OP is interested in improving their post and when they amended the post, you should remove the downvote, because the issues has been resolved.
    – Em1
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:05
  • I' didn't say that anybody shouldn't correct his vote after a correction of the post. I say it is nobodies business to make another person revert his vote. Most of the time, negative votings stop pretty fast so it is easy to overvote a previous badly voted post by new readers, so it will sattle with maybe 6 instead of otherwise 8 plus votes. No need to be afraid of something. Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 3:10

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