I had received the "warmth" of an angry user which decided to downvote no less than eight of my questions within the span of a minute.

I know who the user is and I can prove their identity beyond reasonable doubt.

Surely the software will catch the serial voting by tomorrow and reverse it, but I was wondering if it is worth contacting the moderators when you know who was the user.

In my previous question about serial-voting it was said that the software does not mention anything to the moderators automatically, so there is really no consequences to the user (apart from the 8 points of reputation which will be restored by tomorrow or so) -- and I think that if we can do something about that then something should be done.

(Also as a side note, can the serial detection be activated manually?)

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    $\begingroup$ Moderators can't trigger the serial voting script manually, I suspect SE devs can, but they won't. And you don't need to prove the identify of the user serial-downvoting, the moderators can easily see that (if the script is triggered). $\endgroup$ – user9733 Dec 3 '12 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ Oh. Excellent. You should perhaps post this as an answer? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 3 '12 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ Your main question is whether you should flag it and what the consequences should be, this is for this site's mods to answer. $\endgroup$ – user9733 Dec 3 '12 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I suppose you're right then. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 3 '12 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ @MadScientist: In your experience as a moderator, will eight downvotes in 45 seconds trigger the script? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 3 '12 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ Eight downvotes should be enough, if they are from the same user. $\endgroup$ – user9733 Dec 3 '12 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, they are. I have proof of that. I shall sit and wait for tomorrow, then. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 3 '12 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ Is there something in the software that bans users after a certain amount of serial down voting incidents? $\endgroup$ – The Chaz 2.0 Dec 3 '12 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ @TheChaz No, there are no automatic consequences. Abusing the vote system is a possible reason for suspension, but when this is actually the case is something the moderators have to determine. $\endgroup$ – user9733 Dec 3 '12 at 18:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Will: Who said it is about reputation? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 4 '12 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: You sound like a determined detective:-) $\endgroup$ – Metta World Peace Dec 4 '12 at 11:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Metta: Some basic deduction. Nothing more really... :-) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 4 '12 at 11:20

To quote Mad Scientist:

Moderators can't trigger the serial voting script manually, I suspect SE devs can, but they won't. And you don't need to prove the identify of the user serial-downvoting, the moderators can easily see that (if the script is triggered).

Although the votes will be restored automatically, flagging is useful so that the moderators are aware of the situation. Moderators can check to see that votes were reversed, but they are not notified of this by the system.

  • $\begingroup$ The script ran out alright! $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 5 '12 at 7:27
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    $\begingroup$ A warning was sent. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Dec 5 '12 at 10:13
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 5 '12 at 21:40


I don't see the point in getting worked up over some meaningless number on a math website. In any case, you have tens of thousands of reputation points. A few votes either way isn't going to make a noticeable difference.

Reputation is useful insofar as it allows access to the site's features, but desiring reputation just for the sake of having more reputation seems, at least to me, unhealthy.

Edit: I would like to make clear this this is just a personal opinion and in no way intended to denigrate Mr. Karagila, for whom I have great respect.

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    $\begingroup$ Note that if a user is having his/her answers serially downvoted, then this might be an indication to others that those answers are somehow problematic (incomplete, controversial, or simply incorrect). I highly doubt that anyone here is desperate for reputation points, but would rather have their contributions to math.SE fairly characterised. (To wit, I have come by completely correct solutions by Asaf that were at the time negatively scored; new users not familiar with Asaf's contributions might easily take this, incorrectly, as an indication of incorrectness.) $\endgroup$ – user642796 Dec 5 '12 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ If you had at least 8075 reputation, you got a Math Stack Exchange Top User Swag... $\endgroup$ – draks ... Dec 5 '12 at 8:21
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think it's so much about the reputation points, as wanting to proactively deal with a user who's abusing the site, before they cause any further damage. $\endgroup$ – Nate Eldredge Dec 5 '12 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't answer the question @Potato $\endgroup$ – Don Larynx Dec 29 '13 at 1:47
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    $\begingroup$ @DonLarynx It does. The question is, "What to do when you know who serial downvoted you." The answer is in the first line. $\endgroup$ – Potato Dec 29 '13 at 3:10
  • $\begingroup$ The answer isn't a question, @Potato, as you seemed to have ended with a "?". Once again, your "answer" doesn't actually respond to the question. $\endgroup$ – Don Larynx Dec 29 '13 at 3:27
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    $\begingroup$ @DonLarynx But it does. I suggest he should do nothing, and I give reasons why he should not concern himself with chasing a handful of reputation points. Ending a suggestion with a question mark is accepted practice. See, for example, CodeMed's answer. $\endgroup$ – Potato Dec 29 '13 at 4:23
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    $\begingroup$ I also do not care about “some meaningless number” while have access to necessary features. But Potato ignored the problem of ordering answers in a thread. Answers attacked for personal reasons “sink”, whereas a person who makes friends and avoids conflicts would obtain an unfair advantage having his/her poorer answers placed above answers of straight-speaking users. I endorse SE’s policy of checking downvoters at bay. IMHO some of them do not deserve participation here at all. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Nov 8 '14 at 12:59

Feel compassion for the idiot who has nothing better to do than try to take a few points away from you?

My understanding is that down-voting only takes away a measly two points each time, which is much less than the number of points awarded for an accepted answer, or even for a "+1". So, despite this person's angry efforts, this person only reduced your reputation score by a measely 16 points.


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