I've seen an article saying that high-reputation users can cast a downvote delete.

I tried to search for it but I couldn't find anymore.

Am I confusing?

  • "Can downvotes be deleted from high rep members?" implies to me the notion that downvotes could be deleted from high rep members like flees can be removed from dogs.
    – Louis
    Mar 27, 2014 at 18:57
  • @Louis: sorry.. english is not my native language. What do you mean by "like flees can be removed from dogs."
    – Revious
    Mar 27, 2014 at 19:16
  • Are you sure you meant "from high rep members" and not "by high rep members"? The first sentence of your question makes high-reputation users the people doing the action of "deleting" whereas in your title the high-reputation users are the beneficiaries of an action performed by someone else.
    – Louis
    Mar 27, 2014 at 19:21

3 Answers 3


A downvote can be reversed under these conditions (generally speaking):

  • The ~3 minute grace period after voting
  • If the question/answer had been edited after the grace period expired
  • If both the grace period expires and the question hasn't been answered, then the downvote is not reversible.

Deleting is an entirely different matter altogether - that takes 10K reputation to delete questions, and 20K rep to delete answers.

  • What is the grace period? You mean that after some time you can't change your mind and upvote a previously downvoted Q/A?
    – Revious
    Mar 27, 2014 at 18:56
  • 2
    @Revious that's right, unless the post has been edited. You'd be amazed how much of this information has been compiled for you in the help center.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Mar 27, 2014 at 18:57
  • 1
    That's right. There are limits on changing votes. Unless the question/answer is considered Community Wiki, in which you may change your vote at any time with no [ill] consequence to either yourself or the person being voted on.
    – Makoto
    Mar 27, 2014 at 18:58

You are both confused and confusing.

There is no such thing as a "downvote delete".

There are downvotes, close votes and delete votes. You gain access to each as you gain privileges (in other words - reputation).

Close (and open) votes come with the cast close and reopen votes.

Delete (and undelete) votes come with the Moderator Tools privilege.


Yes, you are confusing. As in, your question is not clear — but also as in, you are confused.

It's impossible to tell for sure whether you misread the article or whether the article was mistaken, but I'd bet on the former.

Nobody can delete votes, except Stack Exchange employees. They only do that in case of fraud or targeted voting (e.g. if user A has voted 100 times for user B and never for anyone else, then the votes, up or down, are likely to be reversed).

High-reputation members can delete answers if their score is negative — this comes with the trusted user privilege. This is not “cast[ing] a downvote delete” meaning deleting a downvote, but casting a vote to delete a downvoted answer. Grammar matters.

It's also possible that you read that when a high-reputation user sees an answer with score 0, they can downvote it, then vote to delete it. It's the same privilege — since the answer needs to have a negative score, the first user to see it may need to cast a downvote before they can delete (if they have that privilege). In other words, they can downvote and delete. Again, grammar matters.

The only votes that any user can delete are their own — if you click the arrow again, this cancels the vote. This applies at any reputation level, including even moderators. It applies equally to upvotes and downvotes; moreover, after cancelling the vote, you can vote in the other direction (pressing the opposite arrow will do this directly). You can cancel your vote only if the post has been edited in the meantime, or if your vote is less than 5 minutes old.

  • To add to the confusion, user profile page markes certain votes as "deleted", when it really means that the vote took effect. Like this Mar 27, 2014 at 21:41

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