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I realise that everybody has the right to vote however they like, but there has been a pattern of very suspicious upvoting recently.

This question is 3 minutes old and has been upvoted once already, despite being clearly not of any decent quality. I've seen the same pattern quite often over the past few weeks, but without access to voting data (duh) it's hard to demonstrate after-the-fact.

Do mods have access to voting data? Can they determine whether the person who upvoted on this question has done the same thing as a pattern lately? Perhaps abusing the system whilst going for a voting badge?

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In other words, you fear that sock-puppets or other specimens are at work here. –  Rosinante Sep 24 '11 at 19:30
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Bad questions often have an upvote for every answer because many answerers routinely upvote any question they answer. Bad question + opportunistic answers + upvoting when answering = inflated question score. –  Rick Sladkey Sep 24 '11 at 19:38
    
Automatic upvotes when answering topic on meta: meta.stackexchange.com/q/30502/2509. –  dmckee Sep 24 '11 at 23:54
    
Another example, +1 after 2 mins but it's hardly a "great question" is it? Messes up comparative question scores >.< –  Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 25 '11 at 19:43
    
    
Curious -- why all the downvotes? This seems to be a legit question on a legit topic; I've been noticing exactly the same thing, rewarding ridiculously bad questions on a regular basis. And I'm referring to questions with no answers here, so upvoting a question you answer doesn't apply. –  Ex Umbris Mar 21 '12 at 18:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Voting is anonymous, so not even mods can see who cast the vote. And that is how it should be.

Voting is also personal. So maybe it is a bad question. But at least one person decided to upvote which is perfectly fine. (By the way, the questions with the most votes are not always the best, but at least they are liked by a lot of people).

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Indeed, moderators cannot see it, but developers can see who voted, of course. –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 19:11
    
Then I mean developers. @Gamecat: But it's a suspicious pattern that's happened on a lot of questions lately. My OCD doesn't like it. –  Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 24 '11 at 19:22
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@Tomalak Geret'kal, you are probably right. But this brings out one of the major weaknesses in a democracy: anybody can vote, means also any moron or anyon gullible enough to believe anything they read can (and will) vote. But unfortunately its still the best system. (And if we decide to exclude morons, who will decide who is a moron and who isn't). –  Toon Krijthe Sep 24 '11 at 20:25
    
I suppose you're right. It's really annoying though. –  Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 25 '11 at 16:51

With some users, it's customary to upvote a question that they posted an answer to. While I don't agree with this at all, I've seen it suggested before on meta (no reference at the moment). Something along the lines of "If you thought the question was worth answering, you should upvote it."

There are 2 answers and 2 upvotes. I highly doubt there is anything suspicious about it, some people just upvote anything they can remotely relate to.

(I just noticed this was posted in a comment an hour ago, sorry to rehash)

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Note that some of those upvotes may have been sympathy upvotes. Low rep users tend to attract sympathy upvotes as a way to give them added rep. This lets them use more of the site and so forth.

Granted, the user in this case may well be question-banned given his post history. So those weren't upvotes well spent.

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Do sympathy votes seriously still happen? That's disturbing. I'm all for freedom of voting and all, but that people would abuse their voting rights in such a manner is frankly sickening. Just one more reason why large-scale democracy does not work *moan* *grumble* –  Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 25 '12 at 1:51
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@TomalakGeret'kal: Of course there are still sympathy votes; human compassion has not been rescinded in the last 4 months. I don't much care for sympathy votes myself, but I don't see them as a horrible problem that invalidates the concept of voting. Something that rises to the level of "sickening". Not everyone feels the same way as others do about the use of their votes. But that doesn't diminish the power that each vote has. A question with 1 votes is not much better than a question with 0. Or a question with 2. It's when you get to 3+ that you're clearly onto something. –  Nicol Bolas Jan 25 '12 at 2:08
    
Such people should instead direct their sympathy and compassion at the wider community, who have to put up with the hordes of low-quality contributors to whom they are granting additional privileges through their fraudulent voting patterns! :) –  Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 28 '13 at 10:30

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