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About two months ago I was a victim of serial downvotes and as a result I was banned from asking questions on Math SE. I am still banned at the time of this post. It first showed me a warning that my questions were not well received, so I decided to take a break from asking questions. After that, someone decided to downvote almost all of my questions in a short period. That was the last nail in the coffin and I was subsequently banned. However, I think this is unfair since it really isn't my fault - fine, some of my questions were not well received, but the person who did this was responsible ultimately. I tried to flag a couple of my questions to tell the moderators what happened, but I got no response. What should I do? Any advice on this would be appreciated.

Regards,

MathGeek

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    $\begingroup$ You have 9 questions, 6 of which have downvotes on them. 3 of those downvotes were cast on July 7, two of which are around the same time, another three hours later. 1 of the downvotes on questions was on July 5, and 16 mins before that one of your answers was downvoted, too. The other downvotes are earlier than 2 months ago. $\endgroup$
    – Elliot Yu
    Jul 12 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ It does seem a bit targeted, especially since these questions don't seem to have any activities that would bump them to the front page on those days. But even assuming all these votes are cast by the same person, I'm not sure this quite constitutes serial voting according to the rules of the site. $\endgroup$
    – Elliot Yu
    Jul 12 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ @ElliotYu Can you see who downvoted my questions? You have a lot of reputation, so I was just wondering. $\endgroup$
    – MathGeek
    Jul 12 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ Nope. I think moderators might be able to? My impression is they can see aggregates of voting numbers between users, but not who voted for what posts, but take my impression with a grain of salt. As for regular users, when you have 1k+ rep, you can see the number of upvotes and downvotes on questions, and in the question history you can see the total number of upvotes and downvotes by day. The specific time of the downvotes I got from your reputation history. $\endgroup$
    – Elliot Yu
    Jul 12 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ @ElliotYu I see. How do I contact moderators? They have been ignoring my flags so I cannot think of another way. $\endgroup$
    – MathGeek
    Jul 12 at 13:43
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    $\begingroup$ It does surprise me though, that serial downvotes that were reversed can still cause lasting effects like post-bans. (I assume the ones from two months ago were reversed, because your rep history doesn't show other clusters of downvotes.) $\endgroup$
    – Elliot Yu
    Jul 12 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Honestly I think flags might be the best way when you have a specific issue like this? Though they do frequent the meta site, so I'm sure this post will catch their attention. $\endgroup$
    – Elliot Yu
    Jul 12 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ @MathGeek Another way you can try to get the mods' attention is to visit the Math Mods Office chat room. Xander can often be found there. I just checked, and he has the chat page open, but he's greyed out due to inactivity. If you tag him, I think he'll respond. But, I can't guarantee that this will be better than flagging. $\endgroup$ Jul 12 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Elliot, concerning your stats on OP's question history, it's worth remembering that neither you nor I can see whether OP asked any questions that have been deleted. I'm not trying to imply that there were any, just that you and I have no way of knowing. $\endgroup$ Jul 12 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ @MathGeek I don't know, but don't worry about it. Down-voting means something different here than on the main site: either it's a symbol of disagreement with what you've said here, or it means that somebody thought this was not worth discussing. It has no bearing on your reputation; it's just an abstract representation of public opinion. The fact that you have only one vote after this time says more that people have neutral feelings towards this discussion, by and large. $\endgroup$ Jul 14 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ @MathGeek I'm honestly not certain. I think it shouldn't be the case that an automatic question ban (which, from what I've gathered, even diamond mods are powerless to reverse, beyond voting to open and upvote old questions, like everyone else) can be awarded on meta sites, but I don't know if there is an exception on the software level for this. This could be a good question on its own. But, if you're feeling anxious about this, have a +1. $\endgroup$ Jul 14 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ As a former diamond moderator I may weigh in. I looked at your rep history. I see two downvotes on July 7 with a 2 minute interval. That is somewhat suspicious, but does not really approach "serial downvoting". At least not according to conventions that were in place during my tenure. There are two other downvotes on July 5 with sixteen minutes separating them. $\endgroup$ Jul 15 at 10:33
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    $\begingroup$ (cont'd) More typically serial voting is about dozens if not hundreds of votes from one user to another, over several days, more than ten a day, or some weighted combination of the two. The daily scripts automatically invalidate most of such clusters of votes. There is a grey area, where (diamond) moderators can take a look and ask for a member of staff to investigate. The moderators cannot see any information about votes on individual posts. They do see some aggregate stats. The reason is that thiz privilege is one line of defence against voting regularities. $\endgroup$ Jul 15 at 10:38
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    $\begingroup$ (cont'd) Anyway, I don't see anything I would call serial downvoting in your recent history. If those few downvotes put you into a ban that is "just too bad". I don't mean to sound discouraging. The plight of users caught in such a situation has been discussed a few times in the past. Advice is given in those old threads. Hope you can make use of it. $\endgroup$ Jul 15 at 10:40
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    $\begingroup$ The previous pair of downvotes with a short interval in between was in March. Nothing much in between. I'm afraid this does not really look like serial downvoting at all. $\endgroup$ Jul 16 at 5:06

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