7
$\begingroup$

I was recently accosted in our main chat room about my mysterious non-content-changing edits. They were comprised of a single white-space character, or a new-line character which would not be visible as per HTML display conventions.

It had been assumed that some unscrupulous reason had been my motive, and I was told to stop.

At some reputation threshold one may edit posts at whim (within reason).

Now, let's get on the issue of voting. When one votes, after 10 minutes or so, the vote is locked unless the post is edited.

So, now assume that one has decided that their vote was miscast - here are some possible reasons:

  1. A better post (post B) has come since I voted (on post A) and it makes my vote on post A totally ridiculous and undeserved.
  2. The context of the question or answer has been made clearer in the meantime (usually via comments).
  3. On further consideration my vote was wrong - I have voted hastily.

I saw a post on main meta.se where a high-repped user told someone with "voter's remorse" to "just go ahead and edit the post and then recast your vote".

The question I have is actually: Let's make it possible for users (perhaps given some rep conditions - advisably the same as 'edit anything' privilege) to not have a timer on votes? (i.e. votes can be changes/retracted at any time). Otherwise, can I please be left alone regarding my admittedly ridiculous need to give 0 net-sum edits to posts? - I don't really want to be constantly justifying myself when using a normal privilege when doing no harm.

If neither of these is possible, it would nice to have an explanation, within the context of broader SE, as to why it must be. I think something along the lines of "tactical downvoting" will be the reason, but I just want to make sure.

I think this is important because currently, making these empty-edits is causing some issues for the SE system, for example (courtesy of @Emrakul):

  1. Adding noise to the revision history
  2. Bumping old posts to the top of the page
  3. Making progress toward badges you haven't earned
$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't understand your point 1; what does this mean? (PS: I'm back! :-D ) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 13 '14 at 16:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome back :D did you mean "possible reason 1"? if so, how about now? $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 13 '14 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ It sounded like that was what you meant, but I can't understand how a new post appearing could make a vote on an old post ridiculous and undeserved?? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 13 '14 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ well if post B is far superior in clarity and/or completeness (in a way that maybe I didn't even see as possible). if maybe it far more vividly captures my opinions or desired in meta (where being at the top maybe matter a fair bit) $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 13 '14 at 16:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ OK, but if post A was good enough to be upvoted, surely it's not less good just because something better has come along? Worst case is you end up upvoting both. I often upvote several answers to the same question even if one is clearly much better than the others. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 13 '14 at 16:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ keep in mind that I have a limited number of votes per day as well - gotta make em count sometimes... also in meta your retort is invalid because if something's at the top it may become policy and I can't weight my votes.. I have 3 weights, -1 0 +1... if two things have +1 that may not reflect my desires. also how you vote is your own prerogative, and how I want to vote is mine $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 13 '14 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ OK, I think I understand now. No need to get defensive! :-) :-D $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 13 '14 at 16:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ sorry, I hate defending my questions :p $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 13 '14 at 17:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've had that problem. It would probably help if you explained in the edit summary what you're doing and why. $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 13 '14 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ @AE Maybe, but rather than finding more workarounds why not just remove the timer for some people? $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 13 '14 at 21:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah totally, that's why I up voted this already. ;) $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 13 '14 at 21:56
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The main reason I'd want to change a vote hasn't been mentioned: my opinion of a puzzle is changed by the solution having been posted and accepted. A good-looking puzzle might have a disappointing solution, or a puzzle that looked like nonsense might be brilliant in retrospect. $\endgroup$ – xnor Dec 13 '14 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ @xnor For me, that's something like a variation on 1 and close to 2. Indeed, that's a very sound reason to change it. The argument about just waiting to vote does fall over a bit here - because one can be voting sincerely at all times but still encounter this case $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 13 '14 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ This appears like it applies globally to the whole SE network, and is not limited to the restriction of Puzzling.SE (It should be migrated to the mother meta!) $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 14 '14 at 19:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And the award for "Most Illegitimate Vote to Close Ever" goes to... $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 15 '14 at 14:48
12
$\begingroup$

I thought a lot about this and I came up with a few ideas I thought I'd bring forth; your reasons are:

  1. A better post (post B) has come since I voted (on post A) and it makes my vote on post A totally ridiculous and undeserved.
  2. The context of the question or answer has been made clearer in the meantime (usually via comments).
  3. On further consideration my vote was wrong - I have voted hastily.

Let's take this on one point at a time.

  1. A better post (post B) has come since I voted (on post A) and it makes my vote on post A totally ridiculous and undeserved.

    In order for this to happen, you'd have to 1. Vote before B is posted and 2. Not realize how ridiculous A already is.

    This means you didn't think hard about the content of the answer (See Point 3) and that you didn't wait to see the content of other answers.

    It's probably a good idea to wait for other answers to see how they compare to the answer in question, before you decide if it's worth a +1.

  2. The context of the question or answer has been made clearer in the meantime (usually via comments).

    If this happens, the content should be integrated into the answer anyway, meaning it's been edited, so if that hasn't been done, instead of blank space, add the info in.

  3. On further consideration my vote was wrong - I have voted hastily.

    If you vote hastily, that's your mistake. That's a problem/habit that you should work on in general. Think about your votes before hand. If you still fall into this trap, I suggest finding a typo, or a better wording that you can fix, or somehow improve the answer also. But if for some reason you cannot, at least leave an edit summary explaining what you are doing, if they wish they can rollback the edit.


Also, another important note about your proposal...

Let's make it possible for users (perhaps given some rep conditions - advisably the same as 'edit anything' privilege) to not have a timer on votes?

By the time you would have the rep for this privilege, you should understand how voting works and how to use it properly. Furthermore, if you have this privilege and do not understand the voting system, it may result in improper usage.


In conclusion, this shouldn't be a problem anyway, so there's really no reason to do anything about it (such as a retract vote feature with no limit on time).

But of course, that's from my point-of-view!

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I prefer this so far, but I haven't voted get :D (get it?) $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 13 '14 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @d'alar'cop Haha so funny -_- Actually... It kinda is lol. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 13 '14 at 20:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @d'alar'cop - Meta stuff ... love it! :-) "I'm so meta, even this acronym." $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 13 '14 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @d'alar'cop Answer edited, new information included. I'm also debating if this should be Community Wiki. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 14 '14 at 19:27
3
$\begingroup$

In addition to warspyking's rebuttal of your reasoning, there are a couple more points to consider.

10 edits on a post will cause it to become community wiki, and if the post is a question, it makes all answers, present and future, CW as well. This prevents any further votes from changing the rep of the posters, denying them points that they earned. CW also makes it much easier to edit posts, meaning submissions from low rep users won't get reviewed the way they usually would. This was removed in April (thanks Emrakul for pointing this out).

These kind of edits waste others' time. The OP gets notified when a post gets edited. Getting unnecessary notifications is obnoxious. It's worse if you don't have the edit anything privilege - it wastes the time of at least 3 users in review. And the OP if the review users don't do it right; such edits should be rejected as too minor. That should be a clue that these kind of edits are not appropriate.

You have a limited number of votes per day. Don't waste them by changing a small number of posts back and forth; it's better for the community if you vote on more content. Upvote something else that's good, or better yet, downvote something else that's bad.

What all this - your reasons for doing this and the reasons not to - boils down to is that you should be more careful with your votes. They're yours to use in the direction you like, but don't just toss them around willy-nilly. That you do this so often is a sign that you're acting too hastily. Instead of saying we should change the system to accommodate you, just take some time to consider the content's merit before voting.

I'd also like to note that the MSE post you linked is really old and is not popular. 5 upvotes for a 5 year old post there indicates that it is not appropriate to claim it's representative of current sentiments, and neither is it appropriate to claim it was made by a high rep user (the user was not high rep when that post was made). It was made at a time when there was a lot of confusion (and a few bugs) over how changing votes worked. Why not open a question there to get the current thoughts on the matter?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think this addressed the actual question. I'm proposing the timer system be changed on votes. This really has nothing to do with edits - that was just for context $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 14 '14 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ That's not terribly clear in your question (it's almost all about the edits, and you tagged it discussion), but I'm saying that rather than ask for a system change, you should take your time and think about what you're doing instead. If you don't understand, wait to vote until you do. There are also several questions on MSE (admittedly old ones) requesting this which were subsequently rejected. $\endgroup$ – Esoteric Screen Name Dec 14 '14 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ As an aside, if I'm not mistaken, the auto-CW was removed. (just as a clarification) $\endgroup$ – Aza Dec 14 '14 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul Thanks, didn't know that was implemented. $\endgroup$ – Esoteric Screen Name Dec 14 '14 at 10:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .