Related to (but narrower than) this question:

Often times when a post is downvoted, it is because it is unclear, ambiguous, poorly written, or in general close-worthy. These are posts that are not likely to ever be favorited (in their current state). There are also posts that have a decent chance to be edited to improve any of the aforementioned negative facets.

I propose that we be allowed, when downvoting a question, to recieve a notification after it has been approved (under the specifications named below). This would be a better alternative to "favoriting" a poor question which may or may not actually be improved.

Draft proposed feature:

  • When I downvote a question, I am asked (no more obtrusively than the suggested share link on an upvote) if I would like to be notified if/when the post is improved.
  • I will receive at most one notification regarding post improvement (or no notifications if no improvement is made).
  • I will receive a notification between 24-48 hours after I downvote and agree to a notifcation. I will only receive this notification if the post has been edited at least once since I downvoted.
  • If the post is not edited within 48 hours after my vote, I will not be notified.
  • Regardless of the open/closed status of the question when I voted, if the post has been closed and edited (or edited and closed), a reopen vote will trigger the notification.

Basically I can opt in (at the time of voting) to be notified if a question I downvote is "improved" according to certain metrics (what I've proposed here or an otherwise suitable measure). This allows me to remove my downvote or change it to an upvote when (/if) a question is improved. I don't need to worry about whether anyone responds to any comments I may (or may not!) leave when downvoting. It allows me decide which questions I think will actually improve, but doesn't require me to manually recheck or to favorite a poor question.


3 Answers 3


To receive notifications for specific questions (including ones that you downvoted), please use the follow post feature.


I have added this feature to my SOX (Stack Overflow Extras) userscript in version 1.0.3, currently in the DEV branch. You can easily install it from the linked Stack Apps post, where you can also enable a bunch of other optional features :)

It adds a small eye icon to all posts:

enter image description here

Clicking it will add the post to a watch list, and every time you browse an SE site, it looks for edits. If there is an edit, it will notify you:

enter image description here

You can choose to mark it as read, or if you don't click it, it will stay there for you to come back to it later.

I like the idea of only being notified within 48 hours, and I will be adding that to this script in the next few days.

You don't actually have to use this in conjunction with downvotes -- use it as an alternative 'favourite' feature for notifications on any edits (but not that I will be adding the 48 hour feature, stopping notifications after 2 days)


This somehow reminds me of my Notify close voters when a closed question gets edited request.

In either case, since an edit bumps a question, negative votes should simply be cancelled by other users' positive votes - which is one reason why it's good etiquette to not down-vote something that already has a score below -2 (unless the post is severely flawed beyond recovery): That way it has a chance to regain a positive voting score by just a few users.

That doesn't mean I disagree with your proposal, though. I actually like it, since there are cases where you "have" to down-vote an answer due to flaws (that you don't know how to solve) but spot potential for an excellent answer if someone manages to sort the issue out - and in that case you'd like to know about the possible fix. But unless you are the only one to spot this, there may already be a comment stating thos, and adding a "-1 for the same reason, please @tell me when you fix it" is meta-noise and the editor will probably not @notify everyone (or anyone) manually anyway.

So yes, this should be implemented in some way.

  • 3
    good etiquette to not down-vote something that already has a score below -2 - Well, it is good etiquette, but I'd not be surprised to see many people downvote it further (crowd voting or bully voting).
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 9:51
  • 3
    @nhahtdh Kick them while they are down Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 9:58
  • @nhahtdh I agree, crowd voting and bully voting is discouraging.
    – Carl
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 5:50

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