Most downvoters quickly express their opinion, navigate away, and never come back. That's an issue because even though a poor answer or question has been edited for the better, downvotes are rarely reverted. If the view traffic wasn't dropping as the question ages, the community would probably counterbalance the votes, but that isn't the case.

Perhaps users should get notified if an answer/question they downvoted gets edited?

Obviously, we would have to avoid getting too many notifications when multiple edits occur.

Here's a few ideas:

  • Send notifications if the question/answer gets modified, but only within a limited timeframe
  • Implement an "ignore future notifications for that answer/question" feature
  • Implement a "notify me if that question/answer gets edited" feature, which would allow users to track a question/answer's state (checked by default?) rather than forcing notifications.

I think that having some mechanism in place to encourage people to review their downvotes would make that measure more accurate in general.

  • 4
    As for the notification idea: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2322/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1751/…
    – Bart
    Feb 6, 2014 at 15:18
  • A very reasonable request, as it creates a cycle of positive behavior: as the askers see downvotes turning to upvotes, they may very well be spurred to further improve. And the downvoter gets a chance to chime in, "ok u need to fix this thing" , etc. Personally I'd enjoy this request Feb 6, 2014 at 15:27
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    @Bart, Thanks for the references, however I believe that I'm exposing a few new points/ideas.
    – plalx
    Feb 6, 2014 at 15:32
  • And for the record this issue has been brought up quite a lot of times, Bart just linked to the canonical questions on the subject. Many slight variations have been proposed, such as a setting to disable the notifications, etc. None of them have gone anywhere.
    – Servy
    Feb 6, 2014 at 15:33
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    @Servy Well, that's politics, perhaps if we keep the pressure they will finally do something about it instead of ignoring the issue.
    – plalx
    Feb 6, 2014 at 15:36
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    If the view traffic wasn't dropping as the question ages, the community would probably counterbalance the votes, but that isin't the case. ... I think this is a good reason to revisit the decision. When this idea was originally proposed, there were fewer questions and lower volume, so it seems that the community could balance the voting out. But now that stuff gets forgotten quickly, bad questions turned into good questions don't recover nearly as well. Feb 6, 2014 at 15:36
  • Downvote for Duplicate, Downvote for off topic, Downvote for poor question articulation, ... How about "Downvote for poor answers", Downvote for "Downvoting without explanation" and "for Downvoting without even understanding the essense of a question" and "answers without proper explanations"... lol
    – bonCodigo
    Feb 6, 2014 at 15:37
  • @plalx Repeatedly re-posting duplicate feature requests has a long history of just being annoying, rather than causing change.
    – Servy
    Feb 6, 2014 at 15:42
  • "I believe that I'm exposing a few new points/ideas" ... then please clarify that while taking these posts into account. I'm hesitating to close it as a duplicate now because when reading this again I'm not sure what the difference is.
    – Bart
    Feb 6, 2014 at 15:43
  • An example of the problem this would solve is this users experience in which they had significantly improved their questions but were still banned because no one had noticed. After bringing it to meta's attention they got a stream of well deserved upvotes Feb 6, 2014 at 15:48
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    @Bart, Well I haven't seen any other propositions where the user would follow a question/answer rather have notifications forced on him. Such feature would be quite similar to the "Please consider leaving a message..." feature and just as unobtrusive. I'm also exposing a counter-argument to the "the community will balance the votes" argument.
    – plalx
    Feb 6, 2014 at 15:49
  • I have to echo psub - there is a hidden disincentive to editing becauase of that lag in views Feb 6, 2014 at 15:51
  • @Shog9 Please see my comment to Bart above for what makes this question unique.
    – plalx
    Feb 6, 2014 at 16:04
  • 1
    Edit the question to reference past discussions and propose a new solution, @plalx. Comments don't make a proposal unique.
    – Shog9
    Feb 6, 2014 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


So this request actually clarifies alot of what Jon had left out here - Allow an edit to notify downvoters: "I think I've fixed the issue now - please check" . So that really gives a strong argument to this idea.

The downvoter opts in as you said, if he/she feels there is promise to the question, then click "Notify me if question changes" - obviously the proof is in the pudding.

But it's like any other comment, we get so many notifications(i.e so this doesn't dramatically change that issue).. and in some sense editing with new content is a message. At least it's implicitly a message, that "hey I fixed my question, well I hope the downvoter sees what i did. & maybe helps me out"

I like that there's a timeframe too. That's quite reasonable, to max it at.. say one hour(is that ok?).

There will need to be smart way to ensure that the edit was significant, versus fixing a typo. An adjustable threshold perhaps(But I can hear the programmers cringing though, so keep it simple at first :D ) ?

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