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So yesterday I came across a question. Something seemed suspicious (a badly worded question and an incorrect answer accepted), so I did some snooping. It appears that every question from the OP has been answered by the same user within minutes of posting, and subsequently upvoted and accepted.

I suspect the questioner and answerer may be one and the same (looking to increase their reputation for whatever reason), and I am pretty certain this is behavior the MSE community does not want. My questions are:

Assuming I am correct, is this against some "rule" of the MSE community (and if so, where can I find it)? Is there any way of determining this? And if there is no way for a plebeian like me, how could I go about getting the proper moderator intervention?

I say proper moderator intervention because I flagged the answer as poor quality, but it was then pointed out that this is not intended for incorrect answers.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure this is tagged appropriately, so feel free to re-tag as you see fit. $\endgroup$ – Aweygan Apr 7 '18 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ In this kind of situation, flag the question or answer, selecting "in need of moderator intervention," and within the text box, describe briefly the issue. And you're free to add that "It appears that every question from the OP has been answered by the same user within minutes of posting." They can then explore the OP's questions/answers received. The moderators have ways to determine/verify if anything is amiss (against the rules/needing to be dealt with). $\endgroup$ – Namaste Apr 7 '18 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ I'd be interested in knowing the accounts of "other" askers that this answerer has created, as well. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Apr 7 '18 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, in January, it looks like 1995 asked and answered 5 questions/answers, accepting their own answer each and every time. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Apr 7 '18 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ I removed the mention of the particular instance, which is dealt with by now. In this was the question can serve better as general advice. $\endgroup$ – quid Apr 7 '18 at 15:35
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy I observed that, and I suppose they weren't happy with the lack of reputation gain. What puzzles me is why. Why seek the reputation gain, knowing that it's not from feedback from the actual community? $\endgroup$ – Aweygan Apr 7 '18 at 15:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Aweygan they may see it as a sort of game rather than a pursuit of knowledge.This type of behavior will surely harm those with a genuine intent to learn , who come here seeking help . I'm glad you brought this up. I will also try to flag any such posts. $\endgroup$ – The Integrator Apr 7 '18 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ See also What is serial voting and how does it affect me? on meta $\endgroup$ – rabota Apr 12 '18 at 11:40
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Yes this is bad. Yes this is against the rules. You should flag for moderator intervention (I did). Thanks for bringing this up.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the confirmation. If/when I notice this or similar behavior in the future, I'll be sure to do this. $\endgroup$ – Aweygan Apr 7 '18 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Aweygan : Why not go back to a case where you've already seen it and flag it there? $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Apr 7 '18 at 21:33
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHardy because it had already been dealt with...? $\endgroup$ – Simply Beautiful Art Apr 8 '18 at 13:05
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Assuming that you are correct about what happened, and it's not just a coincidence or some such ...

(a) This seems really pointless. So a person boosts his reputation score by cheating. Why? What did he gain? Unless there's something going on that I don't know about, there are no cash prizes for high reputation scores. Do guys with high stack exchange scores get all the girls?

(b) Seems like this would just clutter up the site with lots of useless questions and answers. I suppose if he posted interesting, useful questions, and then posted his own answers to them, who cares if it's all a trick? It's still interesting questions added to the knowledge base. But if they're worthless questions, then it's creating clutter.

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    $\begingroup$ The situation has been dealt with why did you answer? $\endgroup$ – user223391 Apr 21 '18 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry, I was unaware of the rule that said that once a moderator "dealt with" a situation, that peasants like me were no longer entitled to express opinions. $\endgroup$ – Jay Apr 23 '18 at 15:12

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