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If I create a a good question that receives 100+ upvotes, what is stopping me from then editing the question to make it completely different and a lot worse, thereby making a mockery of all the upvotes that will still remain attached to the question?

Isn't this a real problem with allowing editing of questions? Shouldn't up-voters be alerted to an edit of a question to allow them to reconsider their up-vote in light of the edit?

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2 Answers 2

The question would get bumped to the homepage, where a bunch of people would see it, and somebody would revert the change. If you kept doing it a mod would lock the post and yell at you. You can find cases where any feature can be abused -- that doesn't make the feature broken. You can use sockpuppets to upvote a post, but that doesn't mean we need to get rid of voting. There's no need to alert upvoters because completely changing the meaning of a question isn't allowed; if it happens the fix is to change the question back, not to manually have everyone retract their upvotes

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what is stopping me from then editing the question to make it completely different and a lot worse, thereby making a mockery of all the upvotes that will still remain attached to the question?

The revision history page and rollback functions. It’s no different from vandalizing (and fixing) WikiPedia entries.

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Incidentally, last night it occurred to me that you could do exactly this sort of abuse with ratings and reviews on a lot of websites because they don’t have histories. For example, if you hate an awful show that for some baffling reason happens to have a lot of dumb fans, instead of giving it a low rating and writing an honest, panning review of it which then gets a lot of thumbs-downs, give it a good rating and glowing review, wait for a bunch of thumbs-ups, then change it to what you really feel about it and suddenly it looks like a lot of people agree with how awful the show really is. –  Synetech Feb 26 at 17:42

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