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I've noticed a pattern of a particular SO user that whenever he has to edit a question, that question usually gets a downvote. Now, of course I can't confirm that he's the one doing the downvoting, but, I've seen it enough times that it really seems to be the case.

It seems to me this practice is damaging to the question itself, because even if it's a decent question (just badly formed, or has tags in the title), it may get overlooked with a -1. Also, in a lot of cases one downvote attracts additional downvotes like digital chum in the water.

So, is it good etiquette to downvote in this manner?

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"...like digital chum in the water" –  cdeszaq Mar 27 '12 at 20:13
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Just waiting for someone to come by and edit your question. Then downvote you. –  ɹǝʞɐʇıɥʍ ʍǝɹpuɐ Mar 27 '12 at 20:15
    
I thought long and hard about doing this, because of retaliatory downvotes both on meta and SO. –  Robaticus Mar 27 '12 at 20:24
    
There are no "retaliatory downvotes" on Meta. No one even cares about reputation on Meta. What you're probably experiencing is the documented difference between downvotes on Meta and the main site. And if you've witnessed "retaliatory downvoting" on SO, you should flag the offending post for moderator attention. That's explicitly not allowed, and along with sockpuppeting, is the only exception to the rule that one can downvote for whatever reason they wish. –  Cody Gray Mar 28 '12 at 3:58

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Seems like a passive aggressive thing to do. "Ohhhh, I had to take time out of my day to fix your question: -1"

In my opinion downvoting a question because you had to edit it is bad practice.

But, it may very well be the case that this user is just a nice person who edits terrible questions. It might be that these terrible questions are still not that great even after this user makes an effort to improve them, leading to a -1 from someone else.

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Actually, that's the exact opposite of what you should do.

Votes should be cast based on the quality of a post, not the behavior of its author, so you should be upvoting posts that you've edited. After all, if you're editing a post, you're fixing all the mistakes, right?

I feel like I wrote an answer like this one just a few days ago, but I can't find it now. Point is, there may be a dupe out there.

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Agreed, obviously one should downvote before editing and reverse one's vote afterward. It's just common sense! –  Matthew Read Mar 27 '12 at 20:49
    
Sometimes, a question is so hopelessly bad that I will edit it and still don't think it's a good question. I will downvote those. –  Cody Gray Mar 28 '12 at 3:58
    
@TheEstablishment yeah, me too, but those are rare exceptions. –  Pops Mar 28 '12 at 14:15

I think it depends on the type of edit. If you had to revamp the entire post, perhaps a downvote is warranted since the asker didn't put forth much effort.

On the other hand, I'd say the more important action is editing the question. Instead of downvoting, telling the user what you edited and how they could do a better job next time is what I would recommend.

Also, it could be a coincidence--you don't know for sure that the same user is editing and downvoting.

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