Voting is one of the most important things on the network. An answer's score lets you know if the community trusts it; if you're likely to be getting correct information or not. And since our goal isn't just to help the OP, but to build a repository of information that helps the Make The Internet A Better Place, it's important that this voting be accurate. If downvotes linger on improved content, we're not marking it properly for future readers.

In an effort to combat this, I'd like to propose a variation on Jon Skeet's request to be notified when a post you've downvoted has been edited. I feel that the main reason for opposition was that people didn't want to be bothered by notifications every time there was an edit. So instead, I'd like to propose that we add a tab to your profile which displays edits to questions you've downvoted (as a subset of either the Votes tab).

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No one would be bothered with notifications if they weren't interested in this info, and those who do want to be able to go back and see if they should reverse their votes will have any easy way to do so. Currently the only way to keep track is to keep a bunch of tabs open with posts you want to revisit. This isn't really practical, and eventually you're going to stop checking... This way you don't even have to think about it until it does happen, and you get a passive notification on your profile that you can look at whenever you like (or not at all!).

The ultimate goal here is to remove downvotes on posts that no longer warrant them. This helps us improve our system of distinguishing good vs bad content, which makes SE a better place.

Another thought I had is that this list could be filtered to only display edits made by the post owner. This would decrease the number of posts displayed (making it less overwhelming if you vote a lot) and also increase your chance of viewing an actionable post (making it more useful). I say it increases your chance of finding a post you want to change your vote on because, in general, we don't make edits to other people's answers which substantially change the meaning of the answer. So if an edit is made by the post owner, it's more likely to be an edit which would warrant changing your vote.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts. I look forward to hearing what the community has to think! This idea was sparked by comments on this meta question, where it came up that maybe a variation on this (highly voted!) feature request should be brought up for further discussion.

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    This request makes sense (unlike notifications for every downvote, which would be insanely spammy). But why a separate tab? What's wrong with adding an indication that a post has been edited in the existing vote tab? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 8 '14 at 0:53
  • @Gilles I don't know that simply an indicator would be sufficient; then I have to scroll through every post I've voted on to check and see if it has the "edited" mark (and since they're ordered by "time voted" and the edits would be after that, would you have to keep checking back on every page of your votes to find edits?) However I think you're right that the votes tab could be a good place to put something like this. Ex. if we could add a tab to the votes tab which showed edited posts. I'll update the mockup, because this is more logical. – WendiKidd May 8 '14 at 0:56
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    People incorporate comments from the post owner into the post every now and again, so "filtered to only display edits made by the post owner" would exclude a few significantly improving edits. – Bernhard Barker May 8 '14 at 1:14
  • @Dukeling Ah, fair point! Thanks for mentioning it, I hadn't considered that. – WendiKidd May 8 '14 at 1:14
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  • Great minds think alike: meta.stackoverflow.com/a/294602/1947286 – apaul May 19 '15 at 0:35

This is a good idea, but I think it can be improved ... ;-)

The Favourite system is in place to.... actually, why is it in place? There's a blog about it: https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/10/youre-my-favorite/

Click to favorite. Click again to un-favorite. Once favorited, these questions will show up in the “Favorites” tab on your user profile page.


I wasn’t totally convinced that marking something “favorite” was conceptually all that different from voting it up, but repeated and persistent requests on UserVoice eventually convinced me.

Why am I bringing up favourites? Because it has one feature which I like: you get a tab in your profile listing your favourite questions, and when one of those questions has activity, the tab has a highlight indicating that something changed.

That activity notification is the best feature of the Favourite system...

... but, favouriting bad questions just to track them seems wrong.

What is missing is three things:

  1. track Answers as well as questions.
  2. changes that provide a 'push' notification (not just an icon on your profile). An alert needs to happen on the stack exchange toolbar.
  3. they do not count toward any badges, or 'positive' reinforcement (and they are private to a person - noone needs to know what is being tracked).

On each question, and answer, next to the share, edit, and flag buttons, should be a track (or follow or watch, or .....), and, if you are already tracking it, it should be untrack, etc.

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With the above, you use it to track questions that you want to be updated on. Consider situations like:

  • person asks a question, but it is missing some important part, like a stack trace, or log.... you add a comment:

    Please include the stack trace from such-and-such in your question

    then you track the question, and get a notification when the question is edited. You can untrack it then.

  • you see an answer, and you think, hey, there's something wrong there, so you suggest an edit....

    then you track the answer, and get notified when your edit is approved.

  • you post an answer, and it is getting down-votes

    then you track the answer, and get notified when it is deleted....


This is an opt-in system. That is important. You only track what you want to be notified for.

Management: A new tab on your profile lets you see the things you are tracking, and allows you to remove the trackers easily.

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    I like an explicit "track" option because it would allow me to be notified of edits to answers on my questions. Currently that is a silent operation (if I miss the update on the front page) unless someone also leaves a comment. So I may receive an answer, decline to upvote (or accept) it for whatever reason, and later it gets improved via edit and nothing lets me know to go take another look. Yeah I could use favorites, but that's not what they're for. – Monica Cellio May 8 '14 at 3:05

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