I recently encountered an answer that I'd up-voted years ago. But since then, I'd learnt something that allowed me to now see a fundamental problem with it. (The post had been edited in the meantime.) So I changed my vote (by un-up-voting and then down-voting).

When I inspect the timeline vote summaries, the new vote is listed, but the un-vote is not, and neither is the original vote.

What is the rationale for not showing un-votes in the timeline vote summaries?

Possibly related: New timeline view only shows *last* accept vote, no un-accepts

  • 6
    I guess my question would be, what would be the rationale for showing a vote that no longer exists or going to the level of detail to include it? To me, it seems like unnecessary noise. I would rather just know when the existing votes happened. I don't know an "official" explanation but I also don't understand why it matters.
    – Catija
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 3:34
  • 1
    @Catija It allows someone to track what the score of a post was at any given point, even though the votes backing the score may have been removed. One example where this comes in handy is when investigating cases where a question was deleted by the Roomba - for instance, on a question with a score of 0 where an upvote was removed making the score -1, the timeline will make it incorrectly seem like the score was -1 the whole time and somehow it wasn't deleted until much later. Keeping the removed vote in the timeline will make it clear that the score was 0 for a long time and then dropped to -1 Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 6:39
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    @Catija If someone has un-voted for something, I'd say that is particularly significant. I don't understand why rewriting what is supposed to be a "timeline" to keep it clean/simple makes any sense. Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 12:35
  • What the score was in the past is irrelevant to what it is now. Maybe archiving the score at the moment before each edit is worthwhile, since that is a quality indicator reflecting the content as of the most recent moment it existed, but that doesn't need every single vote change to be included.
    – Nij
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 12:50
  • 1
    I don't know that it's particularly significant at all. When a user is deleted (or deletes their own profile) most of the time, the votes are removed. I would guess that accounts for the bulk of "retracted" votes on posts. Additionally, since this is only presented daily, many (most?) of the retracted votes wouldn't show up anyway. I don't think it's particularly common for someone to change their vote on a separate day if only because doing so requires an edit. @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog has a point but I have doubts about how common it actually is.
    – Catija
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 14:43
  • @Catija I don't think un-votes that occur on the same day are significant, but un-votes on different days usually are. Except, I didn't realise deleted user's votes counted as un-votes: that sounds like an answer. Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 17:23
  • @Catija It does happen from time to time. For instance, there was a previous case where a question with a score of 2 was curiously deleted by the Roomba - it had downvotes that were later reversed due to voting fraud. See also this other case where a user's questions were automatically deleted due to serial votes - this was deemed common enough a problem to implement a solution, to only consider downvotes more than two days old when running the Roomba scripts. Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 21:43
  • Past feature request asking that be added. (Not a dupe since that's an FR while this is a support question.) Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 13:04


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