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I read Encouraging people to explain downvotes, its answers, some of the comments and later searching for it: I didn't find anyone mentioning the Follow feature that's available since March (updated in June) 2020.

(This question seems currently best possible answer to Option to be notified when a post I downvoted is edited but this way I couldn't issue a feature request. It is a bit of an answer (or comment?) to the question I quoted in the beginning.)

In my experience, it's absolutely helpful for keeping track of questions and answers, especially of those I down-voted. I think it perfectly matches with the ability to re-vote after changes (commented downvotes not only support changes for the better but ease evaluation).

Wouldn't it be useful to automatically follow a post by downvoting it?


Edit [clarification]: I am in no way suggesting that downvoters be condemned to follow the post forever. It's just about automating the extra click on follow.

Note that Unfollow is always just one click away.


Edit: I see that following is not an option to some people and therefore replaced the tag [feature-request] with [discussion]

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    You have cast 210 down votes on your main site. I've cast 12,327 down votes on mine. I expect my inbox to become a Stack Overflow. – rene Jan 24 at 10:32
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    I normally downvote over 100 posts a day and this would be massively annoying. Here's the last post I downvoted that's been edited and do you think I'd really want to be notified of the edit: stackoverflow.com/posts/65869295/revisions – PeterJ Jan 24 at 10:53
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    @Wolf I'm following zero posts. I followed one once by accident and after that experience I was convinced to never click the follow link again. – rene Jan 24 at 11:03
  • I see that this feature request is not acceptable to users who have good reasons to not follow any posts or those who have a lot of traffic in their inbox. There is no [status-retracted] tag so I hopefully did the right ting by replacing [feature-request] with [discussion] – Wolf Jan 24 at 11:17
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    I'm not sure what difference you expect retagging to make. If it sounds like a feature request everyone will vote accordingly no matter how you tag it. – Robert Longson Jan 24 at 11:26
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I'd take this as an extension of the consensus that the SE network doesn't force you to explain downvotes. Today, if you encounter a poor question, you can downvote it and move on. To align with this behavior, following a post you voted on shouldn't be implicit - if you want to follow it, it's just one click away.

Having said that, I'm sure that the SE engineers have a way of pulling statistics of the percentage of voters who also follow the questions they vote on. If this is indeed the majority of them, it makes sense to make this the default behavior. In any event, if such a feature is added, individual users would probably need a way to opt out or in of it, regardless of the default.

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    it makes sense to make this the default behavior -- would an additional settings switch be an alternative to my proposal? – Wolf Jan 24 at 10:19
  • @Wolf I think that would be a neat option to have, and that way every user can customize the behavior they want – Mureinik Jan 24 at 10:38
  • Please, no, no, no, no. I don't use the follow feature at all, but I vote on a lot of posts. – Cody Gray Jan 24 at 10:55
  • @CodyGray If such a feature would be introduced as an opt-in, you wouldn't get annoyed by it. – Wolf Jan 24 at 11:05
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    This answer doesn't suggest making it opt-in. See the last paragraph. – Cody Gray Jan 24 at 11:11
  • @CodyGray I did read this as personal behaviour maybe I wasn't careful enough. In my experience, new features that change behavior should in general be introduced as opt-in. – Wolf Jan 24 at 11:21
  • @Mureinik I think the last paragraph makes your answer go to far. The first part I can (obviously must) accept, the second part seems at least unclear. Would you please clarify? – Wolf Jan 24 at 11:24
  • @Wolf I meant that we don't need to guess if most people do this or not - the engineering team must have a way to produce the actual usage data for the site. In any event, I think that making this configurable (regardless of the default) is the right way to go - I've added that clarification to my answer. – Mureinik Jan 24 at 11:35

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