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Isn’t the “vote too old to be changed” a little too eager?

I've just encountered this on StackOverflow (svn revision: 4911):

  • accidentally clicked upvote without meaning it; reverted (un-clicked)
  • read the answer, decided that it was worth an upvote
  • was prevented by an "Vote too old to be changed" message

This feels nonsensical to me.

P.S.: I know this has been raised once or twice here on meta, but not with any satisfying answer so far, or regarding to slightly other circumstances.

  • The answer is status-bydesign
    – random
    Commented Oct 11, 2009 at 9:05
  • 2
    Sorry, but then it is nonsense-bydesign. This makes no sense whatsoever. When changing from down to up, I'm happy with the behavior. But when changing from zero to up, not so much.
    – Tomalak
    Commented Oct 11, 2009 at 9:11
  • you're not thinking through the ways you could game the system when this is allowed. We don't have that luxury. Commented Oct 11, 2009 at 9:13
  • Probably not. Maybe I'm too short-sighted for this, but how would you be able to game the system if it allowed a +1, 0, +1 pattern?
    – Tomalak
    Commented Oct 11, 2009 at 9:17
  • 2
    Okay, I've read some more in the linked questions/answers. It seems to be a means against tactical downvoting. Undoing a tactical vote is one thing (to go from +/-1 to 0). It should be disallowed, once the vote has a certain age. But what I want to do is to go from 0 to +/-1. I don't get it - how can this be misused?
    – Tomalak
    Commented Oct 11, 2009 at 9:44

2 Answers 2


You tried to cast three votes (vote, undo vote, vote again) in the space of (n) seconds. There are independent limits on time and number of votes.

Why? This is due to a few users gaming the vote undo mechanism for unsavory things. Sorry, as usual, a few bad apples ruin it for everyone, this is why we have to lock our front doors, etc etc etc blah blah blah.

You may be interested in the greasemonkey "double-click to vote" script.

Greasemonkey script to require double clicks to vote

(I can honestly say that I have never accidentally voted on anything, and I spend a LOT of time on the trilogy sites. Not as much as, say, Jon Skeet, but quite a bit..)

  • I guess it was due to my notebook's touchy trackpoint during scrolling, a classical accident. In any case, the behavior is counter-intuitive (to say the least - it is more like "wrong", IMHO). Thanks for the script, not much of a solution, but I'll check it out.
    – Tomalak
    Commented Oct 11, 2009 at 9:15

How long was it between your first click vote through to reading and then to casting it again?

If it's a bit of time, a minute or two is a long time now on SOFU, it's still counting from the first click. By which, your option to vote is now gone, too old.

  • 10 seconds maybe. Probably less.
    – Tomalak
    Commented Oct 11, 2009 at 9:09

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