TL;DR - (Research on meta was unclear) In an ambiguous case of possibly malicious downvotes on the same correct (but not best) answer over a long period, should we just delete the question and move on (my reaction, supported by some of the discussion on meta for related questions)? Or, should we flag it for moderator attention (the accepted answer to the closest question I could find on meta)?
I've been researching on meta trying to find an answer to this question, but I was not able to find an identical question nor ferret out an unambiguous answer from the different discussions an unambiguous answer I was able to get a clear answer.
Basically, I had a particular answer to a question that was AFAIK correct, it even had one comment from someone that questioned something about the answer, but I clarified and the commenter agreed it was correct. It was a simple question about how to break a 16-bit value into two bytes for serial transmission.
The same day, I had downvoted a couple of other people's answers to other questions and left comments as to why. One of the questioners got upset with me and left a comment about it, eventually deleting the post altogether. That same day, the answer to the above question got downvoted with no commment, followed by another downvote within the next day.
Then out of the blue it received another downvote within the last couple of days. My feeling was that the individual had bookmarked the question and was somehow continuing to downvote; I'm not sure the particulars of what this would entail since I know a user account can only downvote a question once, but I figured perhaps using alternate accounts.
Since the post was -3, and since my suspicion is that it's being downvoted retributively, I figured I should just delete and move on, which I did. However it was being done, I didn't figure there would be any way that a moderator could really do anything about it anyway. Also, the post was kinda old school, in that it was fine for the old embedded systems I used to work on, but once i saw the other answers, I realized it wasn't the best way to do it in C# anyway, so I could see how it could perhaps be considered not useful. (Although, there was at least one other answer almost identical to mine except using a downshift instead of a mask on the high-order byte, so I don't think that was it.)
I got to thinking about it today and wondered if I did the right thing, so I did my research on meta, and the closest answer I could find here on meta about what to do is to flag so that a moderator can look at the situation. (Malicious Downvotes?) However, this question is related to a single user downvoting different answers, not the same one, so it's a different situation as regards a moderator being able to see who was doing it.
But for this particular case: a question which is right but not the best answer, other answers that were very similar, no way to be sure it was malicious, etc., it just seems like the right solution is not to flag, but to just accept that there's no way to even know whether the answer is malicious, delete it, and move on.
So, which is the right answer? Flag it as suggested in the Answer referenced above? Or to just delete it and move on since there was little loss to the community anyway.
other possibly relevant research: