I have been very active over on Stack Overflow this past 6 months, I've built up a nice amount of rep, now I've began down voting "wrong" answers. I think this is a pretty normal thing, admitting that before when I had lower rep I would avoid downvoting as I lost rep.

This thing happened today where I had previously upvoted an answer only to find the correct solution after which I posted. I could then not undo my vote on his answer, the question could do with an edit anyway so I edited and undid my vote.

I admit this is probably a little petty on my part and I'm ready for a slap on the wrists if this merits one, but, I have changed the way I think about this vote system and I'm starting to believe that wrong answers should be down voted and I'm convinced this doesn't happen as often as it should because people like I was didn't want to lose reputation.

So the problem is this user saw my edit and saw he lost a vote and decided to down vote my answer (the correct answer).

My question is, could there be a new system logic to prevent this?

I have already avoided commenting after down voting previously because I feared being spam down voted by an upset user (which is important, to explain the down vote).

I think possibly following a down vote the targeted user is unable to down vote on the downvotes content for a fixed time, maybe this would prevent this attitude of "revenge" so to speak.

Please let me know your thoughts.

  • 1
    How do you know it was "this user" (I assume the answerer) who downvoted it?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 17:20
  • 1
    "I think possibly following a down vote the targeted user is unable to down vote on the downvotes content for a fixed time" - That sound like it's gonna have more problems than one. For one, it would let me preemptively downvote everyone who I think/fear will (revenge) downvote me.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 17:20
  • If you're a victim of serial downvoting, there is a system in place to mitigate those issues.
    – Makoto
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 17:22
  • I know it was him because he downvoted and commented "Why did you edit my answer? Ah, I see, you cheapskate - "You last voted on this answer XXX hours ago Your vote is now locked in unless this answer is edited" Pathetic." - we then have a discussion. he was pretty sure it was me because I edit his answer in order to unlock my vote.
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 17:40
  • I'm wondering if the mods would look down on me for "manipulating the system" - I edited his answer with for only reason to unlock my vote. My edit was however valid although minor.
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 17:41
  • 1
    If something has its advantages then it also have its disadvantages, I would like to suggest you that we are here for giving answer and get support and answer to our problems, If someone is going into some kind of fight or something its definitely a waste of time, Just keep yourself away form these distraction as we can Get Lot lot more upvotes for our good answer then downvote from a random stupid person who should be learning instead of fights.
    – Sanuj
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 18:12

3 Answers 3


Answers that are actually wrong do deserve a downvote, ones that were helpful in their time but not as right as they could be maybe just deserve to be left alone. Especially in the case of a competing answer, it's usually best to just let the community weigh in with votes. If having the wrong answer is a problem, noting in a comment how to fix it or even editing the other answer so that it CAN be upvoted is a good way to go.

Also ALWAYS keep in mind that no matter how much you think you know who voted, YOU DON'T. I've seen cases where a downvote and a comment from a user saying why they downvoted only to find out that user didn't end up voting at all and the vote and comment were from different people. You can't know. Don't worry about it. If your answer has something that needs fixing, fix it and move on.

  • Okay, I upvoted, added my own answer, edited his answer, undid upvote. He downvotes mine and comments "why did you edit me? Oh wait yes 'your vote is locked' so you edit to unlock your vote - pathetic, I downvote you for that" - There's then a discussion, sorts itself out (I admit it was petty to edit in order to unlock and unvote) but I didn't deserve his downvote. I will suck it up, but I think I was caught in an unfair down vote and I'm sure this happens a lot.
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 17:38
  • @Daniel: In that event I would suggest that when it does happen, it serves as a valuable warning to the other party involved that that's a silly stunt to pull. I suggest that any attempt to guard against that behavior would do more harm than good by protecting people that do silly things in the first place but not the ones having silly things done to them.
    – Caleb
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 17:48

My question is, could there be a new system logic to prevent this?

Nope. First of all you don't know who downvoted you. You can guess, you might even be right, but without an outright admission, you can't be sure.

What's more, what anyone does with their votes (up or down) is at their own discretion. This should not be interfered with. All in all any "wrong" votes will most likely be outweighed by the appropriate votes anyway.

I see no such need for the feature you propose.


People can downvote for any reason they want, really.

I've seen questions downvoted just because the asker was rude in the comments. Is that fair? I don't know. It seemed to be at the time; when people explained that they downvoted the question because the asker was rude, those comments got upvoted.

Everyone has their own justification for downvoting questions and answers.

There are algorithms to detect serial upvoting / downvoting -- because then it's personal -- but one-here, one-there downvotes because you looked at them cross-eyed will happen. Fortunately, they don't hurt too much.

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