Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I agree about down-voting due to gaming, but I don't see the reason on up-voting. Can any one game the system with up-voting?

share|improve this question
In what way? Being able to up/downvote is part of the very essence of what Stack Exchange is all about. It's not 'gaming the system' it's 'using the system'. – JonW Apr 19 '13 at 15:24
I don't follow -- what does vote locking have to do with "gaming", and what exactly do you mean by gaming? – LittleBobbyTables Apr 19 '13 at 15:24
Besides, why should votes not be locked? As long as the question or answer hasn't changed, why change your vote? If the answer becomes invalid (due to a feature being deprecated or whatever), leave a comment to that effect. – LittleBobbyTables Apr 19 '13 at 15:25
@JonW & blah, the reason votes are locked is because people were gaming the system by downvoting all competing answers so that theirs would be at the top of the page, getting upvotes just for being read first, and then revoking the other downvotes after a little bit to get the 1 rep per downvote back. – Servy Apr 19 '13 at 15:30
@BlahBlahGrabblesnackers The answer doesn't need to change if your knowledge of that answer changes. You could read it, think it was correct, then realize a mistake in it later on and be unable to revoke the upvote. – Servy Apr 19 '13 at 15:31
related:… – Hugo Dozois Apr 19 '13 at 15:31
@Servy - interesting about downvoting competing answers for more visibility, I didn't know that was a thing. – LittleBobbyTables Apr 19 '13 at 15:34
@BlahBlahGrabblesnackers Well, it was several years back, and this feature was added primarily as a countermeasure to that tactic. It doesn't seem to happen (much) anymore. – Servy Apr 19 '13 at 15:36
I've been caught by that very thing before. I specifically remember at least one case where I misread the answer, upvoted, and then reread the question later and realized the answer was wrong. I know I could have done an edit to unlock my vote, but I didn't want the paper trail. It is a very minor issue though, so I don't know how easy it would be to implement and if it would be worth it – psubsee2003 Apr 19 '13 at 15:42
I also ran into this recently. A question I had asked quickly obtained an answer. It seemed good so I upvoted and accepted it. However it was subtly wrong, a fact I realized it only later as an other answer came and really solved the problem. I un-accepted this wrong answer and accepted the correct one, but I couln't retract my upvote. So now this answer has an undeserved upvote. – Calimo Jun 17 '13 at 12:58

The main reason for upvotes being locked is (probably) that it was the easiest way to implement it server-side.

However, the reason that I can think of is that User A (Billy) might have an answer to one of those SQL 2013 questions that scored Billy 40K rep. If, when SQL 2014 server comes along, and every user, Aaron to Zzap, removes their upvotes, Billy will come here to Meta and ask something like "what in the world just happened to all of my privileges? And my reputation?

Now imagine the problem multiplied by every other new SO user who gets their newly gained 50 rep taken away just because the question they answered isn't current anymore. Imagine how many duplicates there would be - the mods would resign after about 3 months of this 'feature' being implemented.

share|improve this answer
If the user has been around for long enough to have their answers become invalidated they're not really "new users" anymore. Most of them will either 1) not be active, and therefore not be around to complain or 2) have earned quite a lot of rep in the meantime from being active, and losing a bit here or there won't be a big deal. – Servy Apr 19 '13 at 16:47
I think you're exaggerating the impact a bit too far. First, the percentage of people that go through their upvotes and remove them will be relatively small. Second, the number that complain would be smaller: look at the question quality filter. We can deal with it. – Emrakul Apr 19 '13 at 16:47
"The easiest way to implement it" sounds a bit weak: up/down voting is the core of SO and would certainly deserve better than this quick and dirty hack. – Calimo Jun 17 '13 at 13:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .