In the end the voting system has two main purposes:
- help future users find the questions/answers that are most likely to be helpful
- reward users that post good questions/answers
But editing is also a core part of the way Stack Overflow works. And it is not unsual for a good answer to be edited and transformed into a not so good or plain wrong answer. It is for example frequent that a poster will first answer a question with a short description, then edit it a few times to elaborate until the answer is complete.
It is therefore not uncommon that an originally correct answer becomes incorrect after those edits.
People who have upvoted the answer based on the original content would probably remove their upvote, leave a comment or even downvote if they were notified of the change and checked the final answer.
My question: would it not improve the quality of the voting system if up/downvoters were able to monitor edits made to the posts they have voted on?
It could for example be a page similar to the favorites page, giving users the choice to either use or ignore the information.
This would also help catching invalid edits made to old posts that receive less scrutiny than newer ones.
- This is also applicable to questions.
- I found a related popular-feature-request/unpopular-status-declined, for downvotes only. There might be others.
- One possible counter-argument would be about the noise it will generate - but I would not mind that noise: I already spend time reviewing suggested edits and I would be all the more interested in edits to posts that I have voted on in the past.
- We could even push it further and notify up/downvoters when new answers are posted that compete with answers that they have voted on - that would increase the likelihood that votes are fair and are the result of a well informed decision.