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A rule has been changed, and an answer that was correct became wrong. The recommended course of action is to downvote and wait.

However, downvoting is not possible if you upvoted earlier, because your vote is locked1.

I know it is discouraged to change an answer just to make your vote change possible.
But in this case adding an extra space somewhere would help correct a limitation of the technical implementation of SE. Without this no one can change their votes.


1) unless the errata comes out less than 5 minutes after your upvote

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "I know it is discouraged to change an answer just to make your vote change possible." Didn't you just answer the question then? What are you asking here? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 22 at 14:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose, discouraged to correct your mistake or misclick, hopefully not discouraged to facilitate overcoming an artificial limitation of the program, helping others \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 22 at 14:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not a duplicate (in my opinion). The other question is about using an edit as an exploit to be able to change a vote that you shouldn't have made. This question is about using an edit as a means to change a vote that you should have made at the time but that, upon later review, is no longer accurate due to properties out of your control. \$\endgroup\$ – Bloodcinder Mar 22 at 17:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Editing an answer to change a mistaken vote \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Mar 25 at 3:31
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There's no issue that needs to be solved here

You seem to be saying (explicitly and implicitly) that there is an issue here that needs to be fixed. But I fail to see what it is and what negative effects it is causing. Before you start talking about solutions, you really need to establish that there is a problem that needs to be solved.

What issue does locked-in votes cause? From my perspective, it doesn't really cause any. The answer got those votes legitimately and voters gave them to the answer knowing that they would be locked in. Edits unlock voting in part so that a significant change in the answer itself (either making it more up-vote worthy or down-vote worthy) can allow you to change your vote accordingly. If something external to the question changes, then usually a significant update can be made to (presumably) improve it and that will unlock the votes. If no such change can be made, then the votes should stay the way they are.

If you see an issue, then I suggest you start a conversation about the problem on Meta first before proposing system-breaking solutions.

Editing is for improving the post

Edit privileges are for improving the post. Full stop. If your edit is not improving the post, then you shouldn't be making it. Edits are not for playing god over when people should and should not be able to change votes.

As I said above, there is no issue here, and, even if there were, the correct solution to a problem with the system is to work towards fixing the issue - not to misuse an unrelated part of the system to create your own solution.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ When the facts change, I change my opinion. I would like my votes to reflect that. \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 23 at 18:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @András You are welcome to want that, but what you aren't considering is the possibility that you wanting something is not a compelling enough reason for breaking the rules. You somehow leap immediately from "I would like" to "this is necessary" still without showing what actual problems or issues are present and why breaking the rules helps. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 23 at 19:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Characters could die because a DM thinks he found the right answer. What could be more serious than that on RPG.SE :) \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 23 at 19:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ On a more philosophical note, I do not see much difference between the system forcing me to upvote the wrong answer and preventing me from revoking an upvote from an answer that became wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 23 at 20:04
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No, it’s not okay

That would be abusing your edit privileges to help change votes to what you think they should be. That’s not what your edit privileges are for.


You need to stop obsessing about this

You have asked several questions over the years about whether you can bend the rules of the site to make it reflect your personal idea of what is correct:

The common theme is that you think an answer is wrong and you’re asking how to make the votes go the way you want them to, or outright asking permission to bypass the site’s normal mechanics to enforce your opinion directly. They’re all basically the same question, but with a different proposed method of subverting the rules. Together these questions are 56% of your meta questions to date.

The answer is still no. An answer being wrong is not an emergency that justifies suspending the rules. Knock it off, and stop being this guy:

“Duty Calls” comic by Randal Munroe.

Just let the site’s long-term mechanisms do their job without impatient short-term interference. These mechanisms work, and we don’t need shortcuts. Just like the answer was in 2016.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think letting others vote how they want is forcing my will on them. \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 22 at 19:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @András It doesn’t matter what ends you’re justifying, attempting to change existing votes is not what you have the privilege for. You even call it a workaround—you’re not allowed to work around the system. It explicitly says that trivial edits are discouraged. That doesn’t change just because you think an answer is wrong. You’re explicitly saying you want to use trivial editing to attempt to manipulate votes. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 22 at 20:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1. The fifth attempt to find rule loopholes on this topic frankly makes us very wary. Stop it, use the tools that have been brought up every time (comment, bounty, answer yourself, and so on). "Well but what if I community wiki it..." No. "Well but what if I..." No. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Mar 23 at 16:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ while I agree completely with the answer "No", I found this answer don't need to call out the asker's past history. At worst, I find this does not conform to "Be Nice" policy. The question itself is a good database when others think that workaround the system is permissible: it's not. \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Mar 26 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ if a user has a worrying behavior, shouldn't mod be discussing it in private, if I'm not mistaken? \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Mar 26 at 4:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree 100% this violates the Be Nice policy. But it's not just bringing up his posting history going back 5 years. It's the entire tone. It's entirely accusatory simply because he's asked similar questions over a five year period. The comic in particular is one that is meant to mock people who want online information to be correct, and entirely unprofessional to include in any sort of moderator sanction. \$\endgroup\$ – trlkly Mar 26 at 22:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ If this embodies a general set of questions that need to be dealt with at once, then the correct way to handle it is to make a new Meta question that asks the generic question, and then set the others all as duplicates. Then, if he asks a similar question, you say it's already been asked and make it a duplicate again, making it easy to search for that question. Meat isn't a place for personal conversations or moderation but for establishing community consensus. The question exists separate from the person asking. \$\endgroup\$ – trlkly Mar 26 at 22:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @trlkly Have you read the other metas? You could see what their tone has been to better understand the nature of this response to them in aggregate. If someone else comes to meta to ask, persistently, angrily and aggressively, why they can’t nuke answers they disagree with, this meta will be relevant to them too and that can be marked a duplicate. Besides, the alternative would have been the heavier hammer of a moderator private message, which gets attached to the account’s moderation history. That’s worse. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 27 at 3:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey! That xkcd is literally my avatar! I like being that guy :) But the wrongness I care about is bad programming advice (answer content) on Stack Overflow; I do resist the temptation to bump posts with an edit only so I can change a pre-mature vote. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes May 6 at 21:14
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I am very much annoyed at the very idea of doing this, not because the editing, but because it's breaching a more fundamental rule.

The answer is to the question. The question is from a time when the rules were different. Adding a comment that the rules have changed is a good idea. Editing in the note may be good or bad. Downvoting the answer because the rules changed out from under it is not appropriate at all.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It can be very misleading, if the outdated answer has the most votes \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 24 at 19:52
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What I typically do in this scenario is post a comment to that effect.

Doing so draws the answerer's attention, usually bumps the question to the top of the pile (and can then draw upvotes to my comment, thus keeping it on top), and lets future readers see there's a potential issue with the answer.

In general, SE isn't a great choice for people whom just want to skim answers. If they just read the header and none of the subsequent body or comments, then they probably only have half an answer and that's on them. No way to control how everyone's going to consume the media.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Comments don't "bump" a question in the post ordering on the front page of RPG.SE. (Though nearly every other action does: answering, editing, adding a bounty, closing/reopening the question...) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 1 at 21:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast if that's the case then I think providing a new answer with the comment is probably the best route. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Apr 2 at 12:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ You should update your answer to say that, then :) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 2 at 19:18
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This is a necessary workaround

Answers can change from correct to wrong. The natural response of a voter would be to change his vote, but the current rules are unable to deal with this situation.

This is not the fault of the voter, but the system. A minor edit that does not change the answer visibly corrects this shortcoming.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So the rules are fine because they say they are fine? Than how can we check if they are fine? \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 22 at 20:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ A request to change the rules or a discussion about how the rules aren't working could be potentially productive, but that is not what you are asking. You are asking if you can use an unrelated feature to bypass the rules. If you want to propose a change to the way the voting system works, you should make that on Meta. If something is broken we should fix it properly, not "fix" it by misusing other functions of the site. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 22 at 20:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ And you haven’t yet demonstrated in the past five years an understanding of what these rules that are in your way are for. As roleplayers we all know how important it is to understand rules before changing or breaking them, and that’s just when it affects a few people around the table. Repeatedly hoping to change or ignore rules that a whole community relies on, without understanding the essential jobs they’re doing first, is even less a good idea. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 22 at 21:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I understand the rules (you are right, I did not earlier). I also understand that just like in an RPG, the rules can't cover every situation, and sometimes it is necessary to circumvent them \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 23 at 6:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Comparing working around a minor formatting glitch inherited from an ancient Markdown spec (which has a fix waiting to be implemented) to circumventing the basic rules about what editing and voting rights are for is like comparing a house rule to fix a minor error in a table in the v3.5 PHB (until the official errata is released) to working around the core mechanic of the D20 system. We’re absolutely not circumventing several basic site rules just because one person can’t abide other people being wrong. That is counter to vast swathes of principles supporting the existence of the network. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 23 at 17:44

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