I'm curious. Can users with high 'reputation' unanswer a chosen answer? The reason I ask is because an answer I gave here was selected by the person that asked it as the best answer, yet about 15 minutes ago I lost the points for that answer, and it was unselected. Yet when I checked the person's profile, they have not been active for over 30 minutes.

I ask in light of the fact of decidedly dubious comments such as the one here, which asserts my answer is not an answer to the question (rather ridiculously)here

Random downvotes for perfectly fine responses.here

and the fact that someone has just transferred another question I answered to the beginners language section, resulting in me losing the points for answering it.

One or two of these events in isolation, I could chalk up to non events, but the volume and pace of them, I am starting to think someone is abusing their authority.

Just curious.

  • No. Only the OP can unaccept. Moderators don't even have that capability. Jul 29, 2016 at 16:58
  • Well I guess my paranoia has got the better of me. Thanks for clearing that up.
    – Gary
    Jul 29, 2016 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


To answer you first question, no. Only the OP may select or unselect the checkmark for an answer.

For the next part, a user posted a comment and you disagreed with it. It's fine to flag that as not constructive. I've deleted the comment, although you might consider that he was trying to offer some helpful advice.

And lastly, it's one downvote. I think the system downvotes answers on questions that are closed as off-topic, although some users do it too, to discourage people from answering off-topic questions. Don't take it to heart. If you notice that many of your posts are downvoted in quick succession, that is a sure indicator of problem behavior. In that case, flag one of your downvoted posts using a custom moderator flag and ask us to investigate possible serial downvoting.

  • Great thanks for the clarification @Kit Z. Fox much appreciated.
    – Gary
    Jul 29, 2016 at 17:06
  • 1
    To add to this: your decrease in rep will almost certainly have been calculated by a background job after the unaccept, so a gap is perfectly reasonable; serial downvoting by a single user is generally caught by the system and reversed overnight (again, a scheduled job), so if you find something which merits investigation, it's best to wait a day or so to see if it gets reversed automatically. If not, please do flag.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jul 30, 2016 at 13:23

As Kit Z. Fox says, it must have been the OP who unaccepted your answer.

As for the dubious comments on your answer to 'Synonyms for "beginning" of a research era' that it does not answer the question, I wrote one of them. Until you realize that you misunderstood the question, of course my comment is going to seem dubious. I'm sorry about that, but it can't be helped. The OP asked for a good replacement for "beginning" in the sample sentence. Your rewritten sentence leaves the word "beginning" in place and adds the word "perennial" elsewhere in the sentence. I cannot speak for the other user (P. Obertelli) who left a similar comment but I am willing to assume it was for the same reason.

As for the four random downvotes (and no upvotes) on your answer to 'https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/340087/what-does-parse-mean', I am one of the downvoters, and I left a constructive comment explaining my vote. Again I cannot speak for the others, but I can say that I have written parsers, and I know for a fact that one of the other reviewers of your answer has also. So one (possibly two) of the downvotes was based on professional experience. In short, one person's random downvote for a perfectly fine response is another person's well-informed downvote for a wrong answer.

You must log in to answer this question.

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