As the comments have already mentioned, downvoting spam really doesn't cost you any rep at all. Downvoting questions never costs rep, and downvoting answers temporarily costs 1 point, but if the answer gets deleted (as it will with spam), you get your point back.
However, it is still recommended that you not downvote spam and simply flag it instead, per ...
Please don't be offended, and please don't consider a flag to be an accusation.
A combination of multiple factors that correlate with spammy behavior probably caused a user's spam alarm to fire a false-positive, and they raised a flag for a moderator.
Here are the factors that likely played a part in this:
It is a high-traffic page with >10,000 views. ...
There is a daily process that detects and removes statistically anomalous voting patterns every day.
If the problem persists for more than 24-36 hours, feel free to email the address at the bottom of every page -- or flag a relevant post for moderator attention.
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 ...
Because your question has an answer with a positive score, I don't think you'll be able to delete the question. (Based on this meta answer.)
Here are your options:
Do nothing. You can just leave the question as it is, enjoy the answers that you've already gotten, and move on with your life. The only downside is that the question may attract another ...
Firstly, apologies for not being aware that this was a standard reference source - we could have avoided a bit of discussion if I had realised that.
We get quite a lot of answers - maybe one or two a week - that make at least a vague attempt to be relevant but nonetheless appear to be spam/site promotion. In this case the flag stated:
Potential site ...
Yes, you can delete it. In most cases the reputation goes away.
You cannot force your question closed. If you can vote to close you can place one vote, but it requires four others to agree.
But it's preferable in most cases that you edit your question to make it better. If you're not sure how, ask for help in the comments (you can always comment on ...
I don't think you should be deleting/closing questions just because of a low score (unpopularity). You should only close/delete them for the various close reasons or if they are otherwise unwelcome to the site because of a violation of terms.
What you experienced is a reaction to a long, sauntering post with no clear question in it. Such posts are likely to be down-voted and (if not edited) eventually closed as either "not constructive" or "not a real question" because it isn't evident to others what, exactly, you are asking.
When asking a question, it's best to be specific and concise.
The answer is we are all human and subject to mistakes. A link to a CBOE article should not have been considered spam. The mod handling it is new, not in the US, and I'm guessing, not familiar with options trading.
You handled it just fine. Your answer is re-opened, and the comments all cleared now. Please accept my apologies.
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 ...
I know there are automated tools that monitor for vote fraud. The details of which are deliberately kept quiet to prevent people from manipulating the system.
Hopefully, someone employed at StackOverflow can weigh in with more details.