-2
$\begingroup$

We have serial upvoting and serial downvoting which are against the rules, but don't have serial unaccepting. Why?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It shouldn't be okay. It's a form of vandalism (as is editing out all your posts). $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Then why don't have a rule against such things? $\endgroup$ – user26857 Jun 3 '14 at 10:50
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think that because it didn't happen often enough to merit such rule? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ This has happened once on SO, I'm not aware of any other incident of this kind on the SE network. The main reason why there are no hard rules on this is that it is incredibly rare. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 3 '14 at 11:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In your profile I only see one unaccept. It might mean that the other answers were deleted. Do you have links to that? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 11:06
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Then this is not serial. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 11:11
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If I were to downvote your answer today, then another answer next week, and a third answer the week after that. Is this a form of serial downvoting? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf The word "serial" just means "regularly" or "repeatedly", not "in a short space of time"... $\endgroup$ – user1729 Jun 3 '14 at 11:27
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @user1729: (1) In the context of this site, serial voting consists of repeated voting within a very short timespan, so it stands to reason that serial unaccepting would adhere to similar time limits; and (2) The point is that at least on occasion people are bound to cross roads more than once, and perhaps one person would react the same way (e.g. by deciding that an answer which was good is now insufficient; or by downvoting; or by upvoting), these happen normally on a community of this scale, and it by no means illegal to upvote a lot of answers of someone who consistently writes good ones. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 11:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (I'm by no means saying that this doesn't have to be looked into, I'm just saying that "serial" has a particular meaning on this site, and something that happens sparsely over time is not serial.) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see how it's off topic. Yes, it's not about your reputation loss due to unaccepts. It's about the term "serial" and its use on the site (if I recall correctly, you have used that term, and you have suggested that we "redefine" it). It doesn't seem like a case of serial unaccepting, but rather a particular user with questionable reputation history. This is not for discussion on meta, it's something that you should alert the moderators/community managers via flagging or emails. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 14:39
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Minor observation: each unaccept removes 2 reputation points from the unaccepting user, the amount of a downvote. It's just like serial self-downvoting. :) $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jun 3 '14 at 20:47
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I guess a big reason why unaccepting (serial or not) is hardly ever viewed as being malicious is that you cannot do it anonymously. Mind you, I think it would be polite to always leave a comment explaining the reason for unacceptance. If the reason is personal (as may or may not be the case here), then it is NOT A NICE THING TO DO. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Jun 4 '14 at 9:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MadScientist: Just happened yesterday: math.stackexchange.com/users/289789/thegreatduck?tab=reputation. I don't think this is the first time either. $\endgroup$ – user21820 Jan 17 '17 at 6:09
6
$\begingroup$

The reason there is neither a mechanism nor an explicit rule against it should mainly be that it is rather rare.

One should not infer from this that it is fine to do it. Not everything is regulated in detail on an SE site but there are some general guidelines that always apply. Especially, Be nice. and Be honest. To unaccept something for no good reason is neither nice nor honest.

More specifically, actions focused on, especially against, one specific user are hardly ever okay. Generally speaking, all actions should be motivated by the content and situation at hand, not the user that created the content (1).

To unaccept answers provided by one particular user, only because this user wrote them, is thus not okay. As a special case of the fact that actions directed against one user are not okay.

Also, ill-moticated bulk unaccepting should not be okay and could when done in sufficient quantity count as vandalism.

That being said, for all I know there is no mechanism (not even a manual one) to reverse this, so there is not that much to be done. If you do not want to ignore it, you could signal the event to the moderators, via flagging one such post with "other," and explaining the situation.

They might then contact the user to explain the situation, and perhaps keep an eye on them. If it is severe they might treat it as vandalism and/or abusive behavior.

(1) I do not want to get into a debate whether in corner-cases with long time users this can be different. Please note the "generally speaking."

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I find your footnote the supporting evidence to my long lasting claim that it's impossible to talk with mathematicians in general terms. :-) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 3 '14 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ It seems I missed a comment here. In any case, I had no familiarity with the particular situation. IIRC explicit mention of the situation in commments (meanwhile gone) came after my answer. $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 3 '14 at 16:45

You must log in to answer this question.

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