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Serial voting simply because of disagreement of opinions is toxic in the main site. While deduction of a few points does not (maybe it does) matter a lot for the victim, in the long run, however, it significantly misleads future readers of the site:

  • it mistakenly signals that a post is problematic while it is really not.
  • for some advanced questions that are not viewed by many users (and thus not many votes), it attempted to make a broken window.

Here is an example of a user who posted a question on meta recently and was attacked by serial voting: enter image description here

Two old well-written relatively advanced questions that have very few views (148 and 86 respectively) today were downvoted within an hour:

This situation is highly impossible to be random. However, such a number of "smart" votes cannot be detected by the system serial voting detector since technically it has yet to be "serial".

Can we have a smarter detector?

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    $\begingroup$ The mentioned user was also downvoted right on the day when he posted his question on meta. $\endgroup$ – T. S May 1 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't care about the reputation. It doesn't feed me. I just don't like that some people hate it when you disagree with them, and they take it personally. $\endgroup$ – Batominovski May 1 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar: within the following 24 hours?, nop, it would be unlikely to consider only 2 downvotes (isolated) as an abuse. But that example doesn't apply here. See the difference between the downvotes were seconds, 16 seconds. $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix May 1 at 21:26
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    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar: Let's be realistic, how in the world someone would downvote such questions? one first and 16 seconds later the other. You say, it would take you 1 minute to read and understand both, well, :) that's wow. But even you, it would take you like 30 sec for each, not 16 sec. $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix May 1 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ I could definitely down-vote the first question. I don't think that question is meaningful/interesting without further context. Just like people used $x_i$ and $x^i$ for coordinates. @Magic_Isa (And I never only talk about downvotes. What if someone upvote those two posts within 1 min? Is that serial?) $\endgroup$ – Arctic Char May 1 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ By now three users have upvote each question, most likely just because of this meta post. The unnecessary linking creates more issues as regards the "honest" score than what it points to as problem ever did. $\endgroup$ – quid May 1 at 22:03
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    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar: Two posts by the same user, 6 months and 16 months old, being down voted within seconds of each other? I don't know how much a deal it is worth making, or what the best way to deal with it is, but someone is targeting that user. Plus, the $\text{Hom}_{\mathbb{K}}(\mathcal{V},\mathcal{W})$ question is very well written - heck, having been called to my attention I just gave it an upvote -- there's no reason to down vote it. $\endgroup$ – JonathanZ supports MonicaC May 1 at 23:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Magic_Isa tangentially, there seems to be an inaccuracy in your reasoning. The time between the votes corresponds to the time for one question not two. Read Q1. Vote1. Read Q2. Vote2. $\endgroup$ – quid May 2 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ I will supply another instance that I can remember. On August 25, 2018, I posted a comment under a question suggesting the OP of that question how the question might be solved. A user replied to my comment telling me that I should make my comment an answer, rather than a comment. I responded telling that user that I didn't have an answer, I just had an idea how to solve the problem, but didn't know if it would work. I received two downvotes on two of my questions immediately on that day after this disagreement. The disagreement wasn't even intense. $\endgroup$ – Batominovski May 2 at 10:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Zacky Everybody can say that a post they downvoted was mediocre (and since this is a subjective opinion, I have no criticism of this claim). However, but if one looks for another user's posts to downvote because of an argument (even if the posts were indeed mediocre), that is not a sportmanship behavior. This should not be tolerated. My argument with one user has resulted in me being the user's downvoting target more than twice (thrice if you counted my META incident as two because the downvoting happened on two different days). $\endgroup$ – Batominovski May 2 at 10:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Zacky Downvotes usually don't bother me. Not everybody is going to like my answers or questions, and that's what I accept. The point of my complaints about these incidences are not really about downvotes, but about the revengeful behavior. And the quote "I can't downvote any complainer's post [...]" sounds unethical. Just because you complain about something, do you deserve a downvote for something else irrelevant? (This is a rhetorical question, no need to answer.) $\endgroup$ – Batominovski May 2 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ @amwhy: Your comment seems to be quite irrelevant to the main concerns of the question here. On the contrary, I do not think the occurrence is very rare. $\endgroup$ – T. S May 5 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ @T.S Apparently, a certain user still considers me as a target for downvoting, despite my request to cease the interaction. I am certain that this sinister downvoting will continue non-stop. I have flagged for moderator intervention, but I am not sure whether this will help much. $\endgroup$ – Batominovski May 6 at 6:06
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    $\begingroup$ @T.S "On the contrary, I do not think the occurrence is very rare." indeed. Actually I think there's a pattern, according to what Batominovski said in their other post and to what I observed. If this user doesn't agree (to say the least) with what you say/do, then goes quickly to one of your math post and downvotes. If this happens twice, then goes to downvote serially. Other times on other reps. are 28sec, 35sec and 17sec. of downvotes $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix May 6 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ lol I think I not made my point.. anyway the thing is that it would be sooo nice if this user only serially downvotes when they don't agree with you on something. but that's not the case, the user first say lots of unkind comments to you (to say the least), and then the downvotes come. so you see. Of course that, it's not that bad, once you know them (u know u can't expect nice things from them) but when it comes for the first time.. ugh, good luck to that new users. $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix May 6 at 20:16
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Such things are supervised to the extent possible (it is not always possible though) and actions are taken (in the form of warnings or suspensions). However, even when we identify the source and take action the votes are not always reversed mostly for practical reasons.

It is annoying and even a form of abuse, but the practical implications are fortunately limited except when it happens at a larger scale. At the scale we are talking about the issue you raise are mostly a theoretical concern.

That said, it is not very clear what the specific purpose of your post is. For example, if you check the profile of a user that was accused in this context, you will see a similar pattern numerous times. If they, or anyone, posted here about every couple of votes, meta would be full of such reports.

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    $\begingroup$ "meta would be full of such reports" - I understand that this is a recurrent situation. Then, would it not be possible to find an automatic solution? Something like not allowing a user to downvote two answers/questions of a certain user within a specific time slot (say 1 minute). This would not eliminate the problem, but it would at least help discourage this sort of behavior. $\endgroup$ – user755533 May 1 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ I don't want to come of as dismissive. But quite frankly I don't think that would be any relevant improvement, especially not with a minute. If this should have an effect at all it'd need to be much longer, and then it will start to interfere with normal use. Note that actual bursts of votes are caught automatically. One vote or two votes, practically it's irrelevant. The problem is the intent, the message that is sent. The votes per se are often irrelevant. The bias argument is mostly irrelevant, compare my comment on OP. $\endgroup$ – quid May 1 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ This was just an idea and I agree with you. I was thinking maybe if the user is not allowed to downvote consecutively quickly, his mind will wander and maybe forget his grudge. Also maybe a pop up message to the user when such a pattern is detected, something to make him rethink (and possibly shame him :D) his intent might be an idea. $\endgroup$ – user755533 May 1 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ Actually a warning like you propose could make sense. Also for upvoting, which also should not be done serially. Though much fewer users complain about that. $\endgroup$ – quid May 1 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ Of course :D, as in real life. For example, if you manage a Internet network, nobody thanks you when it works. But should it not work for 10 minutes one day, all hell breaks loose. I guess it's the same for moderators here :) and people don't trully understand and appreciate your effort. $\endgroup$ – user755533 May 1 at 23:03

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