I recently got downvoted on four posts within a span of three minutes.

I have read that such patterns are identified and reversed. Does my case qualify?

If the same downvotes were exercised over a prolonged period of time rather than a few minutes, would the system be able to identify it?

Is there anything to be done when faced with a chain of downvotes?

PS: I do not discount the possibility of genuine disapproval over the quality of my posts, but it seemed odd to be doing so successively on past questions most of which are resolved.

  • 13
    $\begingroup$ I don't think that the precise conditions of what counts as anomalous can or will be disclosed (for obvious reasons). However, here is a thread on meta.SO that gives some insight. FWIW: From a superficial glance I can't see a real problem with those posts that got downvoted, so I understand your puzzlement. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 12:49
  • 28
    $\begingroup$ Serial downvotes don't have to be dishonest ones. I tend to look at other posts of people who pique my interest one way or another. Although this usually leads to serial upvotes, I can imagine cases where I would think that a person has made several posts that do not contribute. I am not very comfortable with a script distinguishing between reasonable and unreasonable serial downvotes. For example, there are interesting posts that do not really answer the question but provide further insight. It is totally in the eye of the reader whether this is off-topic or an improvement. $\endgroup$
    – Phira
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 0:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Phira: so why aren't you providing constructive feedback when you see posts that you don't like? $\endgroup$
    – Rob Arthan
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 1:29
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @robarthan they are, by downvoting them. There is no obligation to comment. $\endgroup$
    – user223391
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 15:38
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ A downvote is not constructive feedback. $\endgroup$
    – Rob Arthan
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


Generally, we do not make public the process of detecting "anomalous voting patterns."

Give it some time (24 hours). The script that detects anomalous voting patterns runs periodically. If it detects a problem, the votes will be reversed. If, after a day or so, the votes remain, flag one for moderator attention and explain the problem.

Moderators cannot determine who placed individual votes, but they have access to reports that might help help determine if there is, potentially, anything unusual.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Not making the process public is security through obscurity, and not to mention strongly tempts me to attempt to reverse engineer the behavior with test accounts out of pure curiosity. $\endgroup$
    – forest
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 18:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ on the other hand, making public the process will allow serial downvoters to break it. If you would like to try, I suppose your are welcome, but I suspect you will also be identified as a potential serial downvoter exploring the field ;-) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ @EnderWiggins not really anyone who has a desktop can go into developer mode and delete anything from their view including popups. $\endgroup$
    – user645636
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 17:38

You must log in to answer this question.

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