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I just had somebody edit my answer specifically so they could change their upvote to a downvote. Is this a valid tactic? It seems incredibly disrespectful and rude.

This has seriously pissed me off. I've been answering this person's questions over the course of the past 12 hours, and further more he's completely wrong about his reasoning.

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It wasn't clear to me until I read the answers here that this wasn't a case of "someone edited my post and changed the meaning completely so he could tactically downvote me." Is it just me? I wanted to edit the question, but it's a big enough change that I thought I should ask first. –  Pops Jul 22 '10 at 17:56
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Follow up to our last story: Whiners on the Internet have found new thing to get pissy about. Just what will set them off next? We're asking our audience to answer our poll on our website. Now, on to the weather with Shog On Cloud Nine. –  XMLbog Jul 22 '10 at 17:58
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it's 'his' vote to do with as 'he' pleases. a 'no-op' edit is the only way to modify a vote. and b.t.w stimpco.com/carpix/arguingOnTheInternet.gif and my favorite lostaddress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/BigCupofSTFU.jpg - all with a smile, of course ;-) –  Sky Sanders Jul 22 '10 at 19:09
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See, no edit! :] –  Ladybug Killer Jul 22 '10 at 19:18
    
He's only 'completely wrong' in your mind, in everyone else's mind, he just has a different opinion. You're going to have a tough time on SO if you're that worried about people being 'wrong'. See xkcd.com/386 –  David HAust Jul 23 '10 at 1:52

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is an abuse of the editing system, caused by a problem with the voting system.

Editing should be used to FIX things.

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Is not a misattributed vote something that could be fixed? –  Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 17:47
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@Grace, Even if you'd consider that a problem to be fixed, editing is a solution for a different problem. We're overloading the operator in a negative way. –  devinb Jul 22 '10 at 17:51
    
@Grace, yes it probably is, though I definitely think the Team should just fix this problem so people don't feel like they have to use the kludge –  Lance Roberts Jul 22 '10 at 18:01
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blame the folks that whined about tactical down-voting. –  Shog9 Jul 22 '10 at 18:14
    
I agree you should not be able to up or downvote a question or answer you have edited. –  Chad Dec 15 '11 at 14:17

Why not?

Editing a post to be able to change your vote is the official solution to do so, and if he really thought that you should have been downvoted he should be able to.

If you are getting seriously pissed off because of downvotes, you are doing it wrongtm.

Just leave and help somebody that will be glad for it and that won't get on your nerves.

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Yes, it is.

The voting "window" thing was implemented to allay fears over "tactical down-voting" - adding and removing votes to affect the ranking of answers other than your own in order to maintain a high position in the list of answers. If you want to down-vote a post for legitimate reasons, editing it is perfectly acceptable (assuming you're comfortable with the resulting loss of anonymity).

As for being disrespectful / rude... People are often disrespectful and rude. If it bothers you too much for you to bear, then avoid future interactions with them.

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I just had somebody edit my answer specifically so they could change their upvote to a downvote. Is this a valid tactic? It seems incredibly disrespectful and rude.

Yes. He upvoted you because he initially agreed with your answer. Upon realizing that he disagreed, he wished to change it to a downvote. Assume that he never initially agreed, but instead disagreed the whole time. Either way, you receive a downvote.

This has seriously pissed me off. I've been answering this person's questions over the course of the past 12 hours, and further more he's completely wrong about his reasoning.

Excellent. One of you will be enlightened soon. If it is he, then you will receive your upvote back. If it is you, well, there's not much we can do.

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+1 for "Assume that he never initially agreed, but instead disagreed the whole time. Either way, you receive a downvote." This is a great simple explanation of why something that feels invasive shouldn't bother you any more than a 'normal' downvote would. –  Jaydles Jul 22 '10 at 19:25

[someone edited] my answer [to] change their upvote to a downvote. Is this a valid tactic?

As mentioned by other answerers, this is the only way to do it. It is valid and permissible.

It seems incredibly disrespectful and rude.

It seems that way because it implies that they have modified your answer to disagree with it. This is a red-herring, they were doing what they had to do in order to downvote an answer they felt was wrong.

It is important to sometimes remember that not only are downvotes very minor in the scheme of things but that they are meant to indicate one user's opinion about the correctness of your post. Downvotes are not about disrespect, they are about accuracy.

This has seriously pissed me off. I've been answering this person's questions over the course of the past 12 hours,

Anytime you are angered by something, the best response is just to walk away. It's -2. Your rep is quite healthy, so the -2 will not affect you. Getting angrier will not lead either party to any revelations, you'll just come to hate each other more.

and further more he's completely wrong about his reasoning.

See the last line of the previous paragraph. But, assuming that you are correct, and he is wrong, and you are willing to stay and politely try to convince him, then you should be aware that there are stubborn people who won't necessarily change their mind without something drastic going on. For instance, if you were to create code to test both methods and post it somewhere he can access. That would prove your point, and you could do it politely.

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Needs more elongation. –  random Jul 22 '10 at 17:52
    
I don't see any way to convince him. He feels because my algorithm runs slower than the other in a degenerate case, it's worse than the one that runs orders of magnitude slower in the common case. It's like he's arguing a bicycle is a faster vehicle than a sports car for driving across the country, because sometimes you only need to walk next door. –  Chris B. Jul 22 '10 at 17:54
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"I don't see any way to convince him." - so stop trying. Some men you just can't reach... –  Shog9 Jul 22 '10 at 17:56
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@Chris You could add an edit that admits the "problem", that is: "EDIT: This algorithm will definitely run slower than O(whatever) (add link to other user's answer) in [specific problem case], however, in the general case (specific what you consider to be a general case) it will run at O(whatever it runs at)" –  devinb Jul 22 '10 at 17:58
    
@Shog is that G'n'R or Cool Hand Luke that you're referencing? –  devinb Jul 22 '10 at 17:58
    
@random, I tried, but I just couldn't think of anymore words to cram in there. –  devinb Jul 22 '10 at 18:01
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@devinb: I've never watched CHL, though I assume that's what GnR was referencing... So, both! –  Shog9 Jul 22 '10 at 18:01
    
@Shog GnR used a soundbyte from the movie. Awesome. I'm going to go listen to Civil War right now. –  devinb Jul 22 '10 at 18:03

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