I seem to have acquired a secret admirer who systematically downvotes my answers for a while now. Almost every day I get downvotes on various old answers, sometimes several in a row. Never more than 5 (limit for daily downvotes), which means the same person is doing it. Never a comment is left (which by itself is rude, IMHO, and I don't understand why SE allow downvotes without comments).

Is there any mechanism to identify such manipulations and eliminate them/block the offenders? It kindof defeats the purpose of showing the visitors what answers are considered as good by the community.


2 Answers 2


Re: "for a while now".

Actually, some voting irregularities were identified and dealt with just this past weekend. We discovered a couple of suspicious accounts, and the votes from those accounts have been invalidated with the help of Stack Exchange staff.

If those accounts were the source of the strings of downvotes you're referring to (and I'm expecting they might have been), then your reputation history ought to look somewhat cleaner now, vs. last week. I've had a look at your history and I can't see any string of recent downvotes standing out now.

There are tools available to both moderators and the staff of Stack Exchange to identify suspicious voting patterns – but I'm not about to divulge the extent of what's available. :)

Let's just say we do take a closer look at voting, from time to time, especially when good answers seem to be getting downvoted without good reason. We want to keep the site fair for all.

  • 1
    I had three random downvotes just today, including for a +10 answer.
    – littleadv
    Jun 11, 2013 at 22:53
  • 1
    @littleadv I just checked your votes for anomalies and I did not see any down vote anomalies. None.
    – C. Ross
    Jun 11, 2013 at 23:33
  • With 742 answers. you're bound to get a handful of downvotes now and then that may seem like a pattern, but aren't one. Jun 11, 2013 at 23:37
  • 4
    That many? Hmmm... I really need to find something better to do...
    – littleadv
    Jun 11, 2013 at 23:41
  • 4
    There are sites that are far worse for voting practices. Reddit for one. The simplest article someone puts up and there's +6/-3 almost immediately. A food blogger put up a cheesecake recipe. Seconds later, the downvotes. I mumble "who downvotes cheesecake?" The mrs answers "Lactose intolerant voters." There are times I suspect an answer has too much opinion and will get hit, but doesn't, and times I think I nailed an answer only to shake my head at a downvote or two. I've learned to move on. Jun 12, 2013 at 0:19

It happens. People get a craw in their shorts for whatever reason, and take it out on someone. If you ticked them off last, you "win." If you have a lot of reputation and hence are an object of envy -- (did I actually just write that?!) -- then you might "win" as well.

There are algorithms that smoke these kinds of things out, and the mods smoke out more of them.

So sit back, enjoy your favorite beverage, and let the well-oiled Stack Exchange engine and its tireless army of power users eradicate this undeserved blemish on your otherwise ironclad reputation.

  • 3
    +1 for beverage. Best advice for any concern :-P
    – littleadv
    Jun 20, 2013 at 16:24

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