There's quite a few open issues here about taking back a (down)vote, but I haven't found one which would fit this situation.


1) There's the time limit to take back any vote. Makes sense, I guess; abusers and stuff.

2) You can change a vote after the answer is changed. Cool!

But there's one more scenario not taken into consideration here. Have a look:

  • user A posts an answer
  • user B downvotes and gives the reason in a comment
  • user A comes back after an hour and critiques the reason for downvote
  • a discussion arises
  • user B is convinced and want to take back the downvote

Then the problem arises: user B cannot take back the vote since the answer itself didn't change (only B's point of view), but there's a clear reason that B should be able to.

Having to have the answer edited just to take a downvote back is a discomfort for both A and B.

Therefore I'd like a third rule to be added to the first two:

3) You can change a vote after someone else posts a comment.

or at the VERY least

3) You can change a vote after the author comments.

  • Should be a bug or a feature request? it's a mismatch between functionality and rather obvious functional requirement, so sounds buggish, but... well, I'm unconvinced. tagging feature-request – Kos Jan 1 '11 at 15:44
  • I (hopefully) corrected your use of "User A" and "User B" in point 2. It looked like you got a bit confused there. – ChrisF Jan 1 '11 at 17:27
  • That's right. Thanks! – Kos Jan 1 '11 at 17:30
  • the "bug" is that vote-changing has a time window (it's a bug because it's unexpected). However, that's also a feature, and it's that feature you are requesting changes to... So, feature-request. – Shog9 Jan 1 '11 at 19:45
  • what is the status on this, there is a post i wold like to upvote , i had down voted it by mistake and had seen that again only now nearly after a year and half. – Aditya P Jan 27 '12 at 6:20
  • Also a lot of times you might change your decision to up vote or down vote after a good long while and getting exposed to various new factors , experiences and view points. – Aditya P Jan 27 '12 at 6:27
  • I notice this "feature" is still there. And I ran into exactly this scenario. I had upvoted an answer - but after discussion (with both answerer and OP) realized the answer was incorrect. Without knowing what the right answer was, there was nothing to edit. Just a naked upvote I couldn't take back... – Floris Nov 16 '13 at 4:00

I agree. A related scenario:

  • User B thinks it's a bad answer, and then downvote
  • The next day he realizes that it actually makes sense.
  • Since nothing changes except the asker's mind, nothing can be done.

Maybe a solution is to give different criteria for a downvote-to-upvote change and an upvote-to-downvote change, since abusers usually only do the latter. (?)

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    Unfortunately retracting a vote is just as open to gaming as changing the vote completely. – ChrisF Jan 1 '11 at 16:58
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    what would be a possible abuse scenario? – Louis Rhys Jan 2 '11 at 14:42
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    Good question, Louis. I sincerely cannot imagine how (and, why?) would anyone try to abuse anything by changing a donwvote into an upvote. I believe that the "anti-gaming rules" (whatever that's supposed to mean) are just kind of paranoid. – Kos Jan 6 '11 at 15:46

This has happend to me.
I just asked the author to make a trivial edit and then retracted my downvote.

No need to make complicated rules about it, it's (hopefully) fairly uncommon and, any rules to allow it are bound to be confusing and probably break more than they fix.

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    As I've mentioned, I'm aware that this workaround exists; however it shouldn't be necessary. – Kos Jan 1 '11 at 15:59
  • @Kos - expanded my answer. – Nifle Jan 1 '11 at 16:01
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    A major drawback of this workaround is that it violates the supposed secrecy of the vote – Louis Rhys Jan 10 '11 at 8:15

I think this is a valid point. Here's one possible solution: If user B downvoted because something in the answer was unclear, or he just misread the answer, isn't that a good reason for user A to edit the answer and clarify? This edit would then allow user B to reverse his/her vote. Basically, the final comment which won the downvoter over should probably be edited into the answer. This way, others who might downvote won't have to read the whole comment thread (which might get long if it's contentious...)

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    I agree with this assessment. Readers should never have to scan through comments to benefit from an answer. – Shog9 Jan 1 '11 at 19:43
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    True, but an invalid downvote because of lack of verboseness in an answer is only a specific case. I believe downvoter should always be able to realize he was wrong and change his unjustified judgement to a more fair one, without bothering the poster - see Louis's answer. – Kos Jan 6 '11 at 15:47

I also agree. I came across this today in a similar and annoying situation.

  • A user posted an answer that was incorrect
  • I down-voted it and left a comment saying why
  • They edited it within the 5 minute (I think) edit window where it doesn't SHOW that they edited it
  • Their answer was now correct and I could not take my vote back

In this case, I couldn't take back my vote even after the answer was edited which is supposed to be possible.

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