When voting for a question or an answer, do you guys consider the first version of the question to judge whether it's good or bad?

I mean, even if the question/answer was very bad in its version 1, but it has been edited so it provides an actual value, would you downvote it because it was bad in the first place? I guess it would not be justified to downvote it if it is good now.

I would understand if the downvote was leftover from the first version of the post, but someone coming later after the edit, then the voter should not consider the previous versions, in my opinion.

What do you think about that?

  • I presume this is to do with the comment and DV here? "Kudos for correcting a poor answer, but you can't just throw garbage up and then repeatedly edit it. Substantially changing the content of an answer is frowned upon.". Jun 5, 2012 at 16:31
  • And how come you're so certain the downvote was for the initial revision? I usually vote on the contribution that is, not the contribution that was. So perhaps there's still an issue?
    – Bart
    Jun 5, 2012 at 16:39
  • @Bart - The downvoter commented to that effect. See quote above. Jun 5, 2012 at 16:40
  • Some people may just be stricter than others, you're reading too much into this. There are still traces of bad advice in your answer, and everyone is free to evaluate it according to their own standards.
    – yannis
    Jun 5, 2012 at 16:42
  • Ah, I missed that. But it seems the downvote is more for the repeated editing and changing of your answer than the initial revision itself. Whether that is appropriate or not doesn't really matter anyway. Users are free to do with their vote what they want. No justification is needed.
    – Bart
    Jun 5, 2012 at 16:42
  • I’d say, the only case where the first (or any) revision of a post is actually relevant for an up- or downvote is if said revision is spam or rude or abusive. Such revisions need to be deleted completely and as long as some post with such a revision exists, it still needs to be downvoted. Feb 2, 2017 at 2:19

2 Answers 2


Quoting the tooltips (emphasis mine):


This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear


This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

Vote based on the actual content of the question, not what it used to contain. The purpose of editing is to improve content, so after the edit, the question (presumably) is better content.

  • 1
    With the minor addition that you're not forced to check back. If a question is crap, you can downvote and leave. You're not obliged to remove that downvote later on.
    – slhck
    Jun 5, 2012 at 19:56

Votes should really be attached to a particular revision. For example, a question could start out completely objective, followed by subjective question. The post initially gets down-votes solely for the reason of the subjective portion. The subjective portion is later removed from the post.

So no longer do the down-votes reflect the current revised question whatsoever, and that just doesn't make any sense to me. In fact it would just encourage one to simply remove the question entirely, substantially re-word it (removing offensive subjective material), then re-post.

  • 2
    Is this a feature request? If so I couldn't disagree more.
    – p.s.w.g
    Dec 3, 2013 at 19:33
  • 3
    Um...no. If that's the case, then all it would take to wipe out the consensus of a poor question/answer is a very, very minor edit.
    – Makoto
    Dec 3, 2013 at 19:34
  • 1
    "In fact it would just encourage one to simply remove the question entirely, and simply re-post it." <- getting caught doing this repeatedly will usually lead to offending questions being deleted and a question ban.
    – JDB
    Dec 3, 2013 at 19:44
  • @Makoto True, it could be abused by people doing minor edits. However I believe it is a good idea, even if implementing a good solution is next to impossible! Dec 3, 2013 at 19:46
  • @JDB Good point, what I meant to say was remove, substantially re-word, then re-post. I edit my answer. Dec 3, 2013 at 19:49
  • 2
    @user3015682 - A question with an upvoted answer cannot be deleted, and a re-worded repost will more often than not just get deleted and/or closed as a duplicate of the first. For a question with no upvoted answers, I see no problem with deleting and reposting a better version (though most OP's who know how to write a good question, or care about votes, will write an acceptable post on the first attempt).
    – JDB
    Dec 3, 2013 at 20:00

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