This isn't Allow changing votes on answers if the question is edited

Sometimes I vote on an answer because at the time it is correct (upvote), or they do not explain very well and it looks wrong (downvote).

As time passes a new answer is posted, and in context you see you up/down vote was incorrect. Maybe the new answer shows you shouldn't have downvoted a badly explained answer or that as times change the previously correct answer is now incorrect. The old poster is no where to be seen, and isn't going to edit their answer any time soon.

If we can't have total freedom over recasting our votes, this would be a good tool to keep the site up to date.

FYI this would help solve this question: Locked-in votes are unhelpful for old answers with new solutions.

  • 2
    One thing: I post a nonsense answer, reverse my vote, delete my nonsense answer. That's a case that needs to be prevented somehow, I think. For fresh accounts an answer ban might kick in when they do this repeatedly, but for accounts with more activity and upvoted answers it probably takes a very, very long time and very, very many attempts before the existing system restrictions become useful in blocking this... So only do this when the new answer isn't yours?
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jun 11, 2021 at 12:29
  • @Tinkeringbell that makes sense, although you can still recast a vote when you edit a post yourself, although that should be harder to abuse? Jun 11, 2021 at 12:31
  • Yeah... to be honest I'm not sure how big the chance of abuse is with this one vs. editing, or how often edits are (ab)used to change votes. It just seems nicer if that hole is closed :D
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jun 11, 2021 at 12:34
  • 5
    "Maybe the new answer shows you shouldn't have downvoted a badly explained answer" - why? A badly explained answer should be downvoted regardless of other answers... "as times change the previously correct answer is now incorrect" - there is a new feature in the workings at SO for flagging outdated answers which seems more correct than reverting votes
    – Tomerikoo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 12:46
  • @Tinkeringbell That's definitely a thing to consider, so I'm not saying your concern is invalid in any way, but TBH I think in most cases if someone really wants to revote on a question they can probably find a tag to add or remove that would be relevant enough that it'd be seen as a legitimate action, and since there's no small-scale way to know ownership of votes, then they could get away with it pretty easily. Posting an answer and deleting it to get a revote seems like more work with less chance of going unnoticed :P Jun 11, 2021 at 12:47
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    @hyper-neutrino Fair, though I don't see how voting on questions relates to this request... this is about (re)voting on answers. Those don't have tags you could edit. I'm not sure if posting nonsense is more "work" than coming up and making an legitimate seeming edit, but you're right that it's not likely to go unnoticed.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jun 11, 2021 at 12:53
  • 1
    If this is the case you were too fast with voting to start with. You should practice some patients, rather then having a new feature. If the answer you voted for has since become obsolete due to a change in the program that it was aimed at, an edit to indicate that is perfectly legitimate and at the same time you could undo your vote. However that an answer used to be right, but now no longer is is no reason to downvote. It should just include the version(s) in which it was working, or at what version it stopped working.
    – Luuklag
    Jun 11, 2021 at 13:08
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    Are you sure there are no duplicates here, such as this: meta.stackexchange.com/q/75477/282094 or meta.stackexchange.com/a/19942/282094 - especially: meta.stackexchange.com/a/7472/282094
    – Rob
    Jun 11, 2021 at 13:27
  • 1
    @Rob I'm sure. They're all related but not my exact question. Have a read of them again, none of them mention a new answer being posted on the same question Jun 11, 2021 at 13:48
  • @Pureferret, Using this search, found these duplicates: meta.stackexchange.com/q/123473/282094 or meta.stackexchange.com/a/8449/282094 comments to this answer: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/278675/… or meta.stackexchange.com/a/30867/282094 or even meta.stackexchange.com/a/226325/282094 --- There's really so many that we want you to choose, or edit your question to exclude all dupes.
    – Rob
    Jun 11, 2021 at 14:49
  • 1
    @Rob those are either not feature requests, or they are but asking for something different. One is strongly related, so I will add it in. Jun 11, 2021 at 15:13
  • Regarding your edit with the link to old answers with new solutions - again, this shouldn't be a reason to revert an upvote. Just because there are better solutions doesn't make another less good or bad. The voting system will make sure that the most actual and best answer will rise to the top. If you upvote something because it was once helpful to you, why would you want to revert that?
    – Tomerikoo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 15:23
  • @Tomerikoo because it causes issues later on that you couldn't foresee? Jun 11, 2021 at 15:31
  • 1
    Then the ideal would be, as shog mentioned in the answer, to edit the answer with a relevant warning and then if you feel like you can revert the vote. This has somewhat of a double-benefit. You get to revert your vote and you also notify other people of the potential hidden problems
    – Tomerikoo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


Answers should be voted-on according to their content. Other answers around shouldn't affect the way you vote on an answer. From the explanation of voting in the help center:

Voting up a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful, while voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information.

We can examine both cases:

  • If you downvoted an answer we can assume that it either contains wrong information, poorly researched or fails to communicate information. The existence of other answers doesn't change any of those facts.

  • If you upvoted an answer we can assume that it is either interesting, well-researched or useful. Again, the existence of other answers shouldn't affect those facts.

As mentioned in the comments, if after reading other answers you feel that your vote on another answer was wrong, it might mean that you were a bit too fast to vote to begin with. Take your time, assess the answer properly, and vote based on its content and quality.

  • 3
    The arrival of a new answer may carry knowledge that wasn't previously known, which may in turn render an existing answer outdated or wrong. Imagine a new answer opens with "Jon Doe's answer is wrong. Here's why" and you'd now like to change your vote on the previous one... Jun 11, 2021 at 13:37
  • 2
    @iBugsaysReinstateMonica which means the old answer is outdated, so add a disclaimer to it, that it was right at a certain point in time but now no longer is. There might still be people around working with older versions of the software, to whom it still might be a valuable answer. Just that it now is no longer right doesn't mean the answer is worthless now.
    – Luuklag
    Jun 11, 2021 at 13:46
  • 1
    @iBugsaysReinstateMonica And what if another answer later comes along which opens with "Jane Doe's answer saying that Jon Doe is wrong - is wrong"? My point is, that new answers shouldn't affect your vote. If you upvoted it means that it helped you in any way and you found it useful. That shouldn't change even if someone else claims the answer is wrong. The beauty of the voting system is that if indeed it is wrong - that will be reflected with other (down)votes
    – Tomerikoo
    Jun 11, 2021 at 13:51

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