To make down votes more useful and relevant.
Down votes should be used as a tool to determine the quality of the question or answer. However, there is currently no mechanism to compel a user to revisit questions or answers that have been updated or modified to see if the down vote is still warranted. This causes two issues:
The down vote turns into a reflection of the community's collective opinion of the person that provided the question or answer, and not a reflection of the quality of the question or answer itself. This is a consequence of many in the community down voting a bad question or answer for the same reason over and over again. Even though there may be few (sometimes minor) problems with the content, it may solicit many down votes, with the negative consequence linearly applied to the reputation of the individual that provided the content. Even if that individual improves the content, it does not remove the down votes unless the users that cast them reevaluate.
The down vote no longer reflects the quality of the question or answer as it stands. This is a form of misinformation that could cause users to skip over an answer or question, even if it has been updated to be of high quality and greater relevance.
These issues ultimately degrade the ability of Stack Overflow to allow high quality content to stand on its own merits and shine.
- Allow users that cast many up and down votes to quickly identify those questions or answers they have voted on that have had an update that garnered heavy feedback in the opposing direction from other users.
I propose a mechanism to age out up votes and down votes.
- An up vote or down vote is still cast in the normal way as it is today.
- When a question or answer is updated, if the number of new up votes cast after the update constitute at least 50% of all the votes cast, the down votes cast before the update are aged out.
- When a question or answer is updated, if the number of new down votes cast after the update constitute at least 50% of all the votes cast, the up votes cast before the update are aged out.
- Aged out up votes and down votes are collected in separate counters associated with the question or answer.
- Aged out votes do not affect current scoring. A hover-over box on the down votes or up votes score would display the number that had aged out.
- Aged out up votes and down votes have their own lists under the user profile votes tab. An aged out vote remains on in its respective list until the vote is undone or reaffirmed.
- Updated posts are more likely to get their up or down votes reevaluated in a more timely manner.
- High quality content has a better chance to stand on its own merits.
Down votes should NOT be aged out. -- A: This proposal originally suggested that an aged out vote would cause its contribution to the post's score to be discounted, but that aspect has been removed. Aged out just means it is a vote that should be reevaluated due to heavy movement of the score in the opposite direction of how the user had voted.
Show recent voted on posts that have changed. -- Adam Davis suggests a user profile tab that shows the posts that the user has voted on (up or down) that have had any recent changes made. This proposal includes such a feature, but uses a heuristic to determine which posts would appear on such a list.
Allow users to view a score that weighs votes after the a modification more heavily than votes before a modification. -- This would be a kind of opt-in feature that a user could enable to see a score that reflects more recent voting trends. This proposal originally wanted to make this part of the scoring system, but it would heavily complicate the voting system.