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I was wondering if anyone else thought it might be a good idea to add an 'edited' section in the votes tab, containing only the questions/answers which have been edited since the user cast their vote?

I tend to go through my downvotes and un-downvote/upvote if an improvement has been made, but currently the only way I can do this is to go through all the questions/answers in the downvotes tab one by one, which is a very time-consuming process (especially as a lot of the time an edit hasn't been made - but of course I have no way of knowing this beforehand).

It may also be useful for checking upvotes you've made - sometimes you can upvote an answer, come back 10 minutes later and an edit has dramatically changed the answer to the point where it's wrong and you wish to un-upvote.

Of course, in this case you can simply un-upvote (if the edit was made after the grace period that is) but again, this involves the user coming back to check every time, which is time-consuming if you upvote often.

I think a tab (it could maybe have two sub-sections - one for upvotes and one for downvotes) showing all questions/answers edited after you voted on them could be useful.

What do you guys think?

  • That's the essence of the "favorites" tab, to keep track of edits made on chosen questions. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard May 12 '13 at 14:19
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    @ShaWizDowArd I tend to only favourite really interesting questions though, it would be easy for me to forget favouriting a question everytime I upvoted/downvoted it – lifetimes May 12 '13 at 14:21
  • Well, your request appears to have the same idea as this one so maybe it's better to try and revive that old and declined request. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard May 12 '13 at 14:22
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    @ShaWizDowArd It seems AakashM's answer is nearest to what I mean, although it hasn't been voted highly so I'm guessing people don't agree. I don't think actually receiving notifications would be a good idea as it would just be a constant stream of notifications being sent which would be an annoyance, a simple tab showing everything edited since voting would be better. – lifetimes May 12 '13 at 14:40
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    I'm not really against it; Guess we'll just wait and see. :) – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard May 12 '13 at 14:41
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+100

Here is a prototype userscript that should do the job. There was a bug in the first version here! Make sure to install something past 1.0.13. (When using the buggy version, I thought very few edits were being made. The fixed version is far more reassuring; I found hundreds that had been changed, and perhaps a few dozen worth un-downvoting.)

The current version is 1.4.03, which checks both up- and down-votes (depending on which tab is selected, so you can look for just downvotes if you want). Once I got it to work on site metas, I tried MSO… "696 Edits Since Votes Cast". Fun!

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We don't need an "edited" tab. This would be difficult to implement. Furthermore, in order to be useful, each edited list would need to be customized for each user, which again would be difficult to develop and maintain in a manner that keeps the system light and fast.

Instead, we just need to find better techniques for managing our voting.

I generally hold off on my downvotes in the first 10 minutes after an answer is posted. There have been many occasions where I've written an answer, posted it, reviewed it, and then edited it again to fix a mistake, flaw, or logical error that I missed while composing the post.

Thus, during the first 10 minutes of the post, it's likely that it's in a state of flux, especially considering there's a 5 minute window on edits before further edits increment the revision history.

The situations you describe don't happen on posts that are older, as there's no longer any activity or life to breathe into those threads.

Of course, I don't generally lead with downvotes either. I lead with comments. If someone posts something that may be incorrect but can be fixed, then I simply point out the problem. Anyone who is really here to help would likely edit and fix the problem, making the post upvote-worthy and also creating yet another example to show why Stack Overflow is awesome.

If the content is dangerously incorrect, something that must be pointed out right away, then I'll lead with a downvote followed by a comment. Or if the person refuses to fix the problem, then I'll add a downvote. However, I don't use my downvotes for trivial matters until I'm sure the problem is not likely to be fixed.

Lastly, it's worth pointing out that many times when I've left a comment, I'll get a ping 20 to 30 minutes later thanking me and explaining that the problem is fixed. This prompts me to review the post and change my vote, if warranted.

Now, I realize many people are concerned about backlash from someone whose post they've downvoted. In my experience, it's not the downvote that sets people off; instead, it's how we word our feedback:

While this type of unconstructive comment is more punitive:

-1 for using eval in your code and making it less secure.

This type of comment is more constructive and motivating:

Hi Bob, I noticed you used eval in your solution. eval is very dangerous because it's subject to man-in-the-middle attacks. You should instead use an anonymous function, which would prevent that from being a problem and also make your answer awesome!

I stopped getting serially downvoted by angry, pitchfork-wielding users once I stopped leaving comments in the first format, and I leave the door open for people to ask me to review their changes if they want, which gives me an opportunity to change my vote on content that has changed.

In short, we don't need an "edited" tab, we just need to find better ways to manage our votes.

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    True, I also tend to comment before making a downvote (in the positive way you mentioned) but, if after 5 minutes, it hasn't been edited, then I leave one. If I'm honest I only tend to downvote something if it's completely wrong, a link only answer, or a question I've voted to close anyway. The problem is more with questions that receive multiple downvotes - usually it's just one person comments 'where's the code?', we all upvote that comment instead of adding further comments, but if a change is made we won't be notified about it. – lifetimes May 12 '13 at 16:48
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    Also, in regard to upvotes, I don't tend to leave any comments at all so there's no way of being notified about changes. – lifetimes May 12 '13 at 17:17
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    @zen, and I do admit writing good comments can be hard and take a lot of patience sometimes, but if you can get good at that, a good side-benefit of writing good comments is that you can of course get notified. This is not really related to the issue, but I tend to supplement the "where is the code" comments with something that explains why showing the code is important. Some new users aren't lazy, they just don't know how to post good technical questions because no one ever taught them. It's a skill like anything else, one they don't teach in Computer Science classes. Hope this helps! :) – jmort253 May 13 '13 at 3:34
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    Like I said, I agree with that point but what about my up votes part of the question? What about all the times users edit and dont notify the commenters (happens to me a lot) - also most people simply dont comment everytime they down vote a question/answer, and I feel thats hugely unlikely to change, so your solution wouldn't be applicable for a huge chunk of stackoverflow users – lifetimes May 13 '13 at 6:44
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    ...and in addition to folks who don't comment about their down-votes because of previous experience with pitch-forks, also consider down-votes on posts where someone else has already explained what is wrong. You can't get a notification for that unless you add a "me too" comment, and we certainly don't want to encourage that. I posted a similar request today that is not all that intrusive, and doesn't require anyone to change their behavior. – Aaron Bertrand May 13 '13 at 16:00
  • Very good point about comments. I try to be very helpful with comments; I'm only curt/sharp/snappish if the person is both (1) wildly incorrect and (2) convinced of his/her correctness and that everyone who disagrees is an idiot. I agree that add helpful comments if you downvote is the best solution to this problem. – Wildcard Dec 30 '15 at 4:36

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