560

As mentioned on uservoice:

For something that can be done so easily by accident, there should be the ability to undo mistakes.

I know that I have clicked several times on a comment up-vote without actually wanting to.

I would suggest being able to cancel the up-vote (maybe only for a couple of minutes or even less than a minute, no problem, as long as I can undo a miss-click).

12
  • Does an upvote more or less really matter on a comment? I upvoted Mosty although I don't agree... :) Nov 4, 2011 at 18:52
  • 50
    @TomWijsman It kind of matters when you're arguing a case and accidentally upvote the guy who's wrong :/
    – Dunhamzzz
    Nov 7, 2011 at 13:12
  • 1
    @Dunhamzzz: Comments aren't meant for discussion though, but rather as a reflection of the post. Nov 7, 2011 at 17:22
  • 15
    30-60 seconds timer would be nice. Just to be able to revert misclicks on really dumb comments (like the one i upvoted few minutes ago).
    – c69
    Dec 24, 2011 at 19:34
  • 9
    I totally just upvoted a guy's comment right after I finished completely disagreeing with him in my comment. It's kind of an important missing feature that I can't undo that mis-click.
    – Ben Lee
    Jan 17, 2012 at 19:20
  • 3
    I don't see why this would be so hard to implement, delay sending of a comment vote via AJAX for 2-5 seconds so that the user has time to quickly click again to remove the vote. If they're too slow, it sticks, which isn't a big deal, as we're already dealing with it.
    – zzzzBov
    Feb 3, 2012 at 20:19
  • 2
    I would love to see this implemented. I just went to get a perma-link to a comment, and clicked the arrow since thats what I'm used to doing in chat to get a perma-link to a chat message. It would be great if I have a small window of time to undo the upvote before it becomes permanent
    – Rachel
    Mar 16, 2012 at 15:13
  • 3
    I'm just going to let this bounty expire as a sign of protest if no official answer is given for why this is declined :) Mar 20, 2012 at 22:18
  • 2
    I just did this on a comment about 5 minutes ago and would love to have had the opportunity to clear the upvote since the comment I upvoted was clearly wrong. Apr 11, 2012 at 23:56
  • 7
    I up-voted a fresh comment that was subsequently edited by the user into something with the opposite meaning. My initial vote was not an accident but now through no fault of mine, it's no longer applicable to this comment. Since the actual content of the comment was changed, there should be no restriction on removing my vote, time limit or other.
    – Sparky
    Feb 9, 2013 at 16:23
  • 1
    What will happen if I throw my computer at speed of light? would it turn off? Feb 23, 2017 at 9:08
  • 4
    Eight years later, I still want to know the motivation for locking comment upvotes, when votes on answers are not locked. Dec 11, 2017 at 2:54

7 Answers 7

123

I just added this, but there are some ground rules:

  1. You can un-upvote a comment within the first 60 seconds, provided you did not navigate away.
  2. Once you un-upvote a comment you can not upvote it again.

We do not want flip flopping, nor do we want people to un-upvote stuff from the past. The only use case is undoing a mis-click.

Here's what it looks like when you start to unupvote a comment:

Then if you try to upvote the same comment again:

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  • 26
    You've also got to do it after the 5 second rate limiter otherwise it's locked in as well.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Apr 12, 2012 at 8:41
  • 16
    @ChrisF I'll fix that for the next build.
    – balpha Staff
    Apr 12, 2012 at 8:52
  • 13
    Wondering if those remaining upvotes on waffles' first comment were intentional ;-)
    – Arjan
    Apr 12, 2012 at 16:01
  • 28
    "You already upvoted this comment in the past and undid the vote, you can not upvote it again" Um, I'm a schmuck for writing this, but: 1) run-on sentence; clauses should be separated with a semicolon or full-stop 2) missing terminating full-stop present in other pop-up messages 3) "can not" should arguably by "cannot". Apr 12, 2012 at 17:14
  • 84
    I don't understand why we need restrictions like this. I'm not going to make a game of upvoting a comment, undoing it, perhaps to consider it more, and then upvoting it again.
    – Someone
    Apr 22, 2012 at 20:05
  • 30
    If you concede that a user can accidentally click the upvote button and as a result needs to be able to undo it, doesn't it follow that the user may accidentally un-upvote and needs a way to upvote the comment again. This happened to me today and now I am unable to upvote the comment again. Feb 6, 2013 at 21:02
  • 64
    I up-voted a fresh comment that was subsequently edited by the user into something with the opposite meaning. My initial vote was not an accident but now through no fault of mine, it's no longer the same comment I up-voted! Since the actual content of the comment was changed, there should be no restrictions on removing my vote, time limit or other.
    – Sparky
    Feb 9, 2013 at 16:34
  • 25
    Please increase the timeout to ∞ seconds.
    – endolith
    Mar 5, 2013 at 18:27
  • 43
    What about the case where someone accidentally clicks on a comment's upvote, then un-upvotes it right away and then later, after actually reading it and giving it some thought, actually wants to upvote it. The second restriction will prevent that from happening. I concede that this probably doesn't happen often, but when it does, it could be pretty frustrating. I also agree with Sparky's comment: If a comment is edited, then un-upvotes should be possible. Conversely, if you un-upvoted a comment, and it is edited again, you should be allowed to upvote the edited comment.
    – RobH
    Jun 6, 2013 at 16:36
  • 22
    What happens if the content of the comment was significantly edited after the 60 second limit, but before the 5 minute limit for editing? Then it looks like you're agreeing with something that is rather different to what you upvoted for. Jun 10, 2013 at 10:19
  • 43
    I dislike the implementation. I would like to be able to flip/flop especially if there is new information that warrants it.
    – mplungjan
    Jun 24, 2013 at 13:08
  • 11
    I also found that if you up-vote accidentally, then click the arrow again to un-upvote, but decide to (or accidentally!) hit cancel instead of hit ok, you can't try to un-upvote again. Hitting cancel should be a no-op instead of counting as your choice.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 8, 2013 at 15:49
  • 53
    "nor do we want people to un-upvote stuff from the past" Why?? Why are people forbidden from correcting their votes when they later realize they voted wrong? There's no logical reason for locking things in like this.
    – endolith
    Aug 23, 2013 at 21:37
  • 32
    "You've already undone your vote on this comment; you cannot upvote it again." I find this feature to be ridiculous. I clicked upvote, but my mouse is temperamental so it accidentally registered a click not once but thrice in rapid succession. This upvoted, unupvoted and confirmed the unupvote box. Now I can't upvote the comment, ever. There is no reason to limit the functionality of upvoting. Just terrible, terrible UI in my opinion. Apr 16, 2014 at 21:20
  • 18
    what happens if user only knows this is not a good/correct comment after further research? e.g.: See the top voted comment here
    – Bolu
    Jul 25, 2014 at 15:17
227

I think this is important for long-term quality of the content. Comments are content; votes on comments are content as well.

Canceling votes removes noise from the signal channel.

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  • 99
    And to make matters worse, I just then intended to Flag a comment for removal.. and my butter fingers instead upvoted it - this is not what I wanted! (I was using my iPhone at the time). This really should be changed! Or at the very least, have the flag button moved away from the upvote! May 15, 2011 at 13:52
  • 3
    The only content we should really care about is the Q&A itself, the Comments are merely meant to help improve the Q&A. As for Phil Street we have this separate feature request. Nov 4, 2011 at 18:54
  • 1
    @TomWijsman, comments don't improve the Q&A as well when the upvote counts aren't correct because of clicking accidents. Just because they aren't as important as actual Q&A doesn't make them worthless towards the Q&A quality.
    – Ben Lee
    Jan 17, 2012 at 19:22
  • 1
    @BenLee: Incorrect. Comment voting leads nowhere; look here: 37 votes for a very useless comment, followed by a useful comment with only 2 votes. The difference between 37 and 2 votes is really not by clicking accidents, hence comment vote counts do not matter... Jan 17, 2012 at 19:53
  • 1
    I don't really follow your logic. How do intentional comment votes cancel out accidental comment votes? Anyway, it's not very important, just seems like it would a simple fix with no UI problem (a second click to cancel) that would make the site that much more user-friendly. But yeah, this is really low-priority so if it can't make the cut for updates, so be it.
    – Ben Lee
    Jan 17, 2012 at 20:23
  • 4
    Also, what makes that 37-upvoted comment useless? To me it seems like they made a good point.
    – Ben Lee
    Jan 17, 2012 at 20:24
  • 1
    @BenLee: You're making up intentional / accidental yourself as I haven't mentioned that. There is really no gain from being able to cancel an upvote on a comment, given that the upvotes are bogus anyway. Also, use an @ when addressing people; or they'll read the response days to weeks later... Jan 30, 2012 at 10:59
  • 3
    @TomWijsman, I'm aware of using @-targetting as you can tell my comment just above. I must have omitted by mistake the second time. Anyway, I am not making up the accidental/intentional distinction. That's the whole point of this post (being able to cancel out accidental upvotes)! If comment votes are always "bogus anyway" then what would be the point of having comment upvotes as a feature at all?
    – Ben Lee
    Jan 30, 2012 at 11:03
  • 5
    If comment editing is allowed then it also follows that removing accidental upvotes should be allowed for the same period.
    – tim
    Mar 15, 2012 at 3:07
  • 4
    @TomWijsman If they're completely useless, why not remove them entirely? They either have a function or not...
    – Basic
    Jun 30, 2012 at 0:12
175

Whether a comment has an extra vote doesn't really matter, but if I go to click "offensive" and accidentally upvote instead, the flag button isn't available to me anymore. Again, an extra vote doesn't matter, but lacking a flag when needed does matter.

4
148

It's funny that Jeff wrote this post about bad UI and about accidentally clicking on a button, but in SO he won't change the functionality.

While not exactly contradictory, the upvote and the flag buttons are close enough together that this deserves more consideration.

1
  • 41
    yep I just hit this problem again, the browser was still finishing rendering and the Flag and Upvote comment buttons moved slightly causing me to upvote instead of flag. It's also a pain in the butt when browsing the site using a handheld such as an Android or iPhone.
    – Kev
    Jan 9, 2011 at 15:51
22

Yes. This needs to be done the same way as other voting, but it is not a huge priority in my opinion.

11

While this would be nice, I give it an incredibly low priority because up votes on comments are nearly meaningless at this point. One or two random votes for a less than stellar comment aren't going to change the meaning of a discussion a great deal.

5
  • 31
    One nice effect of comment support is that it obviates the need for "I agree" comments - my sense is that there's less clutter of these since this feature was added.
    – Argalatyr
    Jul 10, 2009 at 18:10
  • 19
    @Argalatyr: I agree.
    – balpha Staff
    Aug 3, 2009 at 15:08
  • 7
    I agree that this is low priority, but still, it'd be nice to have and in my opinion it doesn't really have any downsides (other than time spent implementing it of course!).
    – TM.
    Aug 29, 2009 at 22:59
  • 14
    It doesn't match user expectations. I can undo answer upvotes, why can't I undo comments? As for priority, it certainly won't stop earth from turning, but it is a missing functionality.
    – peterchen
    Sep 24, 2010 at 14:38
  • 6
    The problem is when you click on the vote icon, when you meant to click on the flag icon. Once you clicked on one icon, the other is not anymore accessible. I agree, it is probably a restricted case, but it still happens.
    – apaderno
    Jul 10, 2011 at 13:56
-5

Focus should be more on maintaining the quality of discussion.

Upvoting and downvoting is just to attract others attention towards something that might be usefull.

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