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Answers with low scores are faded out. This is good. However, it would be nice to have the ability to temporarily un-fade such answers should we want to have an easier time reading them (for example, maybe there's a status-declined answer with a score in the -50's that you're having trouble reading). Rollover seems like a reasonable way to do this, or maybe clicking the answer's text.

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You could click edit –  Nick T Apr 18 '12 at 3:03
That's not exactly convenient, and it does nothing for comments attached to the answer. –  Toomai Apr 18 '12 at 3:08
Do you only want this on Meta, where it is likely that someone would actually be reading a heavily-downvoted answer? Because I can't really see how it would be useful elsewhere... –  Cody Gray Apr 18 '12 at 3:11
I can userscript it for you if you want... –  Manishearth Apr 18 '12 at 3:16
I very much want to read the comments on a massively downvoted answer, many of which explain what is wrong with it. –  Kate Gregory Jan 14 '14 at 18:33

2 Answers 2


$('.downvoted-answer').on("click",function(){$(this).find('.post-text, .post-signature, .votecell, .comments').css('color','#000');this.clicked=true;});
$('.downvoted-answer').on("mouseover",function(){$(this).find('.post-text, .post-signature, .votecell, .comments').css('color','#000')});
$('.downvoted-answer').on("mouseout",function(){if(!this.clicked){$(this).find('.post-text, .post-signature, .votecell, .comments').css('color','#888')}});

This fades in/out on mouseover/out, and makes it permanent if you click it.

Userscript in two ticks.

Here it is; bundled in a nice userscript

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You should totally drop that and use jQuery...oh wait! –  Time Traveling Bobby Apr 18 '12 at 10:44

Here's my version of Manishearth's user script fix:

$('#answers').on('mouseover', '.downvoted-answer',
    function () { $(this).addClass('downvoted-answer-hover').removeClass('downvoted-answer') }
).on('mouseout',  '.downvoted-answer-hover:not(.clicked)',
    function () { $(this).addClass('downvoted-answer').removeClass('downvoted-answer-hover') }
).on('click', '.downvoted-answer-hover .post-text',
    function () { $(this).closest('.downvoted-answer-hover').toggleClass('clicked') }

It's a bit klugey, but it has the advantage of not assuming anything about how downvoted answers are styled on each site (since that turns out not to be as consistent as one might hope).

I've included the code above in a collection of small user script fixes that I'm calling the Stack Overflow Unofficial Patch. Please feel welcome to give it a try!

Ps. Actually, it would almost be possible to fix this purely in CSS by adding appropriate .downvoted-answer:hover rules to override the fading. The tricky part here would be figuring out exactly what to override in those rules, since, as noted above, the styling of both normal and downvoted answers varied between sites. Also, the "click to un-fade" functionality would still require JavaScript.

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