Yesterday I asked An alternative for the Decorator pattern in Java? on Stack Overflow. Apparently, it rubbed someone the wrong way and they downvoted it. I can understand that, although down-voting without a single comment is rather useless.
I presume that it was to offset a potential up-vote, since they took care to only victimize a couple of my zero-vote answers. It's not really a serial downvote (yet?) but it is the first time that something like this has happened to me, and without an explanation to boot.
My issue in this case is not the points—4 points are not really significant—it's the fact that a couple of IMO correct and relevant, even if not stellar, answers now have negative votes, which indicates to the casual reader that they are incorrect and/or dangerous. I'd rather they had targeted a couple of up-voted answers, really. All because of a completely unrelated question.
- Is this practice common? (Hopefully not!)
- Is this practice acceptable? (I'd guess not, since it implies voting for reasons other that the content.)
- If not, is this considered a form of abuse?
- Should/can I do something in cases like this?