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The answer to tactical downvoting problem?

As Dan Dyer mentioned in his comment on tactical downvoting, there is a conflict of interest when you have posted your own answer and are allowed to downvote other answers.

Despite the vote editing window being drastically reduced, the fundamental problem remains: I can downvote the other answers permanently and still benefit - my answer gets upvoted ONCE and wham, I have just made up the rep loss for my 10 other downvotes. The vote editing window fixes part of the problem, but there is a more complete fix that has the extra benefit of not preventing legitimate vote changes: to disallow downvotes on competing answers when you have posted one yourself.

The temptation to wrongfully downvote competing answers is huge. The rep loss is tiny in comparison. It has to be in order for people to continue to legitimately downvote.


  • If I have previously voted and then post my own answers, delete my downvotes. Continue to allow me to remove the upvotes - I think this is fully legitimate.
  • If I delete my answer it's probably best to continue to deny downvotes (perhaps even including the question), but I don't have a strong opinion either way.
share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Shog9, George Stocker, Troggy, GEOCHET, random Nov 6 '09 at 0:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

See also:… – Shog9 Nov 5 '09 at 23:48
And finally, see:… – Shog9 Nov 5 '09 at 23:49
Good links. I honestly used the search extensively before posting. Either I'm too used to coming with keywords specifically for google, or the search is not very good. – romkyns Nov 5 '09 at 23:52
The search is terrible unless things are tagged well. But even using Google, it took me a couple of minutes to find these. – Shog9 Nov 5 '09 at 23:55
Maybe this badge would urge people to upvote instead (wink, wink):… – gnostradamus Nov 6 '09 at 3:32
Don't edit out auto inserted text. Users explicitly chose several posts as possible duplicates. – Shadow Wizard Mar 3 '13 at 10:57
@ShaWizDowArd I didn't even know it was automatic. This has got to be the worst duplicate linking system ever! Especially because unlinking non-duplicates is reverted - the third one is barely relevant at all! – romkyns Mar 3 '13 at 18:38
@romkyns this was recently changed so the text is auto added, but not injected to the body of the question anymore so can't be edited out. Proper way to handle such things is reopening then closing again, but I don't think it's required here. – Shadow Wizard Mar 3 '13 at 21:11
up vote 13 down vote accepted

There is a very, very valid reason for this:

If you are posting a correct answer, and have the expertise to know the others are wrong, then you should downvote the other answers, and answer the question correctly.

No one should be made to decide, "Do I downvote the wrong answers so others see they are wrong but not be able to post the right answer, or do I write the correct answer and hope someone backs me up?"

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Now that I'm a bit more experienced with SO, I'm pretty sure that a single vote from a single potential expert is a drop in the ocean. Fixing the conflict of interest is far more important. – romkyns Aug 10 '10 at 9:26

Trust the community not to downvote unfairly.

share|improve this answer
And I wanna! But SO now has some strange work-arounds like not letting you change your votes. If we are trusting the community, then let's remove this restriction! If we aren't, let's implement something that actually works to eliminate the described abuse! – romkyns Nov 5 '09 at 23:46

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