Vote Reversal Time Limit Concerns
“Vote too old to be changed”… but I haven't voted!
Do the following on StackOverflow (or any of the spinoff sites):
1) Upvote an answer
2) Click the downvote button
3) Click the downvote button again to remove your downvote.
4) Refresh the page
5) Try to vote (You've had 0 effect on their score at this point)
When you attempt step five, you will receive the message:
"You last voted on this answer x mins ago Your vote is now locked in unless this answer is edited."
However, you haven't really voted on the answer -- i.e. your actions have had no effect on the person's score.
The following sequence is not a contrived example. The steps correspond to the following thought process:
1) "Oooh good answer, that makes sense now. +1"
2) "Hmmm ... wait a second, that's not right, because of foo. I'm going to remove the upvote now." -- however, here I decided to click the downvote button because intuitively you would think that since the downvote button removes one point, you can use it to remove the point you just added. What it does instead is remove two points. Once you discover this, then you go on to step 3
3) "Oh, that's weird. Instead of just removing the point I just added (and letting me click one more time if I actually want to downvote), it subtracted 2 points. I wonder how I undo this ... Oh, I probably just click on the arrow again to undo it. Yes, that works."
... (close browser, go and have a sandwich, come back later) ...
4) "Oh wait, I was actually wrong. That answer does make sense and foo isn't really a problem. I'd like to upvote them now."
5) "Shoot, I can't upvote them because it thinks I already voted recently, even though I haven't."
So basically, there are two problems with the voting system:
When you go through this sequence, and decide later that you want to upvote them, you can't, because the system incorrectly thinks you've voted.
The voting arrows act in a manner that is non-intuitive and inconsistent. The arrows add/remove 1 point sometimes and add/remove 2 points at other times, depending on the context. The arrows should alway +/- exactly one point.
(EDIT: This oddly seems to only be happening on the page that I tried it on, which is one of my own questions. So maybe this only affects threads that you've started yourself)