51

Most cases of cereal downvoting are crunched by our automatic script that milks them away within about 24 hours. If someone is particularly persistent in breaking their voting fast in this manner, drop us a line via the "contact us" link at the bottom of any page and we can investigate further.


34

Madrit Zhaku has apparently done this twice in the past, so he's been suspended for a year. In the future, please contact the moderators directly about such issues (for example via flagging).


34

It is not allowed to make deals about mutual voting, definitely not explicitly and not even implicitly. This would be considered as a voting-ring. Even to just vote on many of a user's post because you might find the user is a friendly person brings you quickly on very thin ice. Such behavior can lead quickly to reversal of votes and even to suspensions.


34

CRUDE, as described in its description, is an incredibly helpful tool. There is nothing unhealthy about "feedback/discussion/requests of Close/Reopen/Undelete/Delete/Edit for questions and answers on Math SE". People are conflating what CRUDE actively is and what it is described to be, imho. For instance, the close queue is not appropriate to the handling ...


28

Your post leaves many important details open. Some questions follow: How are the answers? Are the answers that are being upvoted any good? If they're not good, then this is an issue indeed. If the answers are good -- could these upvotes be deserved? So: are you sure this is an incident of mutual tactical serial upvoting? Is the symbiotic relationship of ...


27

Some notes in the form of an answer. Moderators cannot invalidate votes. Any votes. Ever. (And those downvotes I received on that answer were certainly not appropriate! Why can't I invalidate them!? Why!?) We're trusted with a lot of information and tools, but SE still likes to keep certain things out of our reach. Invalidation of votes is either done ...


24

I often read through a user's profile page if they post a lot of great answers. I want to upvote all of them, because they are all good. Is this targeted voting? Yes, at least in the sense the system could well pick up the pattern and might reverse them. Likely, you will not get into trouble for this, as long as it is not excessive. Even if I ...


21

In my mind there are at least three sides to this, in general not only for this particular case. At one level the votes are appropriate. They are based on your best judgment of the post. To communicate your evaluation of a post is exactly what votes are for. At another level you focused your votes on one user. This could raise some red flags and indeed it ...


21

The site is faced with a content quality management problem$^1$. The number of questions outstrips the number of curators, so consequently the proportion of poor quality questions which live on grows ever more rapidly$^2$. Now, when a problem$^3$ and solutions exist, it is a simple matter to play the watchdog and complain about solutions you don't like. ...


19

Perhaps it's worth mentioning here that it's okay to answer your own question from a single account (so that everyone knows what's going on). From the FAQ: "It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question." In fact, there's a specific button for it on the "Ask Question" page: [x] Answer your own question – share your knowledge, Q&A-style


19

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 ...


15

For larger scale strategic upvoting, see above. However, those keen (petty?) enough about raising their scores are also aware of thresholds that actually trigger attention and action. I have chat transcripts of high rep users discussing how many per day will - in practice - stay undetected if used to mutually upvote between accounts of a user and a friend, ...


14

Agree with everything quid said. Just adding a few observations. Voting old answers is very much ok. As long as you find them during "natural" browsing of the site, like following an interesting looking link or title (in a comment or an answer to a newer post, or may be in the Related list on the right margin). But if you search for posts of a specific user,...


13

To be quite honest, the reputation system is more like an empty-rewarded motivation for users to participate in this website. The whole point in getting reputation points is that you get reputation so that when you talk on this website's questions, if you have more reputation then people are more enclined to give it a serious thought when criticizing what ...


13

I was going to write just a comment, but there are several points to be made here so I decided to promote my 2 cents to an answer. My observations regarding CRUDE, the state of MSE, and this topic: Most people are in agreement that there is a problem with the average quality of a new question (the severity of the problem is subject to dispute); Some people ...


13

First, let me stress that indeed the down-votes seem not good. It is basically never alright to down-vote in a string. (It is not even advisable to do this when each post does merit a downvote; I do not say this is the case here, neither do I say it is not the case here, it is a general point I want to make.) We will look into it. There is also a script that ...


12

If you feel that a particular answer has taught you something new and you would like to reward the user, you can set a bounty, even for 50 points. The bounty will not be reversed automatically, like serial voting, and in addition it transcends the daily reputation cap, which means that more votes will be effective. If you want to upvote a user and endow ...


11

Moderators don't have access to detailed enough vote information to do anything about such small issues, only SE employees have full access to the voting information. There is an automatic script that reverses serial voting that runs every night, just wait until it runs.


11

This is almost certainly a manual intervention by an SE employee. Those are not distinguished from the automatic serial voting script.


11

We the diamond moderators have access to some aggregate voting statistics. I had a look. The total number of downvotes from any single user to you is so low that there is nothing actionable. Some users maintain a very strict standard about the material they want to see on the site, and downvote the posts that in their opinion fall short of that. This is ...


11

Is CRUDE healthy? You mean right now!? I dunno. Heck, I don't even know when right now is! Perhaps the more important question is Can CRUDE be healthy? Certainly. Though it would probably be more healthy with a more diverse group of users taking part in it. That and the users involved must hold themselves to high standards, and remember that they are part ...


10

If you check your reputation history for today you'll find the following entry: +10 Serial downvoting reversed There is an automatic script that reversed such anomalous vote patterns. Those votes you see were reversed and you regained the reputation you lost from the downvotes.


10

Nothing at all happens by default to the serial voter, there is no notification or automatic consequence. The script is meant to eliminate such patterns without having to involve mods every time. Especially on larger sites this would mean a lot of additional work for the moderators. If a user repeatedly misuses the voting system by targeting specific users ...


10

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 ...


10

The exact mechanism of the serial voting reversal script is not publicly known. Even moderators don't know any more about it than the general public. But we can make a pretty good guess on how it works from observing it. To the best of my knowledge, the automatic mechnanism is strictly limited to reversing problematic patterns that target specific users. It ...


9

When I feel like I might be bordering on serial down-voting (even beyond the review queue--I occasionally go on witch-hunts for people who post contest problems, which can lead to many down-votes/close-votes on a single user in a short time), I self-regulate and take a break. If I'm in the review queue and find myself reviewing the same user a lot, I start ...


9

How many upvotes are to many? The details of the script are not public, to avoid users working around it. If I write a comment to every answer upvoted about why I think it good, would the system not reverse my votes then? For reasons given above few (not even including per site mods) know what the system does exactly, and those that do know are not ...


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