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What is the justification for locking votes?

What are the pros and cons of locking in votes (that is, up-voting and down-voting an answer)... On StackOverflow a user answered my programming question correctly but at first I had misread his answer and gave it a down-vote... after re-reading it almost immediately I realized what he meant and it was actually quite brilliant. I went to accept the answer (this worked) and then up-vote the answer (or at least undo my down-vote) but it said "You last voted on this answer 1 minute ago... your vote is now locked until the user edits their answer"... To me this doesn't seem very wise, and I can't think of any benefits of this.

What are the pros and cons of PERMANENTLY locking in votes?

  • 3
    Tactical Downvoting Jan 17, 2013 at 5:39
  • 1
    ^Perhaps somebody who has NOT answered the question (or maybe even just the asker of the question) should be able to reverse their votes no matter what. Jan 17, 2013 at 5:56
  • Consider this scenario, suppose I like what one user is doing and I follow his answers upvoting them. Then one day months later I don't like him and retract those upvotes, all of them. It doesn't hurt me, my rep is unaffected. His rep suddenly drops by a lot due to this. Is that fair? This would be similar to the "rage-quitting" phenomenon. Jan 17, 2013 at 6:01
  • Could you not do this anyways? Could I not go to your profile and find every answer you've ever given and down vote it? (I really don't know, this is a legitimate question) Jan 17, 2013 at 6:06
  • Though you could do that, it would only last for a few hours. The software running the site has code which detects suspicious voting activity - serial downvoting is reversed automatically.
    – user206222
    Jan 17, 2013 at 6:46
  • Very fascinating! Thankyou for the serial down voting reference... Would this not then apply to Jeff's example too... therefor allowing us to unlock reverse voting? Jan 17, 2013 at 6:57


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