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I just received this notification:

Code in your answer to Append an element with fade in effect [jQuery] was edited.

However, there have been no edits to the answer, so I believe the generation of the notification is a bug.

Possibly relatedly, I noticed that in my the reputation tab of my profile, I got an undownvote event on that answer, something that should be impossible as the vote would have locked itself in. An edit would have unlocked it, but again, there have been no edits to the answer.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

A user might have edited your answer, undone the downvote, then manually reverted the changes they made to discard the edit.

If you edit a post again within the 5 minute grace period, changing everything back to the original state it was in before the edit will discard the revision in the history (like it never happened). It's a sneaky way to bypass the vote locking system, only available to users with full editing privileges.

Check out this bug report on the issue, which is currently marked as being planned for fixing.

Also note that notifications generally don't get deleted from the inbox.

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I have no way of being sure that this was what happened, but it sounds plausible, so I'm accepting your answer. –  icktoofay May 13 '13 at 3:53
@icktoofay, I've actually used this trick before. I didn't realize this was a bug -- I actually learned about it from someone recommending it in a meta post somewhere, so I thought it was just a well-known work-around. When a post hasn't changed but my understanding of it has, it's useful to be able to retract a vote if I realized my original vote was in error. It's rare when this happens, but I use this trick when that arises. Of course, it's also possible to abuse this to undo strategic downvotes, but as I don't downvote strategically to begin with, that's never something I would do. –  Ben Lee May 13 '13 at 3:58
@BenLee: I don't consider the trick a bug — I considered the notification still existing after the edit was removed a bug. While I realize that notifications don't usually get removed, it seems rather confusing to see a notification that has no obvious cause. –  icktoofay May 13 '13 at 4:07
@icktoofay, yeah, if the trick is allowed, the notification is definitely a bug. But based off the link animuson posted, Shog9 actually does consider the trick itself to be a bug (which is what I didn't realize). And looking at his answer there, he actually has pretty good reasons for considering it a bug. I won't cry many tears when this gets fixed -- I've only ever used it maybe 3 times, and a stray bad vote here and there isn't the end of the world. –  Ben Lee May 13 '13 at 4:15
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