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I am not a fraud, I have no acquaintances here whatsoever. I love reading questions and answers here and upvoting what I feel is cool. Sometimes I'm in awe of some answers and questions posted here. So I do see into users' profile and open their top questions and answers, and if I like them I upvote.

Number of votes:

Mostly up to 5 questions or answers (may be at best 10).

Mode:

When upvoting (or downvoting) in the opened links, I do not restrict my votes just to that user, but to all good answers and questions I find in that link. Also I do not open the profiles of someone I remember I had visited once.

Am I susceptible to be caught for serial voting? Is reputation gained from my votes deducted from his profile in this scenario? I just dont want my votes to be wasted, hence asking.. I went through these two links but hadn't got enough clarification. Thanks

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Awesome. You can be my groupie. But to answer your question: the SO team don't reveal the exact details of the anti-fraud scripts, for obvious reasons. –  slugster Apr 1 '12 at 13:01
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Clippy will tell you. –  ThatOtherPerson Apr 1 '12 at 13:01
    
@slugster atleast could they tell me if it is a habit to be discouraged? –  nawfal Apr 1 '12 at 13:03
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There is nothing wrong with sensibly up voting good questions/answers. Don't worry about "wasting" your votes - you get a fresh batch each day. If you sprinkle them around you shouldn't trigger the fraud scripts, if you do then so be it - unless you do it all the time. –  slugster Apr 1 '12 at 13:08
    
@slugster Ok I get it. –  nawfal Apr 1 '12 at 13:09
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Let's do an experiment. Go upvote a bunch of my answers and I'll let you know if the rep disappears tomorrow. :-) Seriously, don't -- and don't worry about it. Just vote for stuff you find helpful. –  tvanfosson Apr 1 '12 at 13:23
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Interacting with the team over some possible downvoting sprees on physics has given me some insight into some of the parameters the script uses. Suffice it to say that if you are honestly searching out good content and taking care to judge it before voting the script won't be too twitchy. –  dmckee Apr 1 '12 at 13:57
    
@dmckee mm i get it. thanks.. –  nawfal Apr 1 '12 at 13:58
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1 Answer 1

up vote 24 down vote accepted

As long as you stick to voting on the content of the post as opposed to the user you will be fine. Even if you do trigger the anti fraud algorithm. There are many limitations to prevent unwanted behavior but sometimes even "honest" actions are tripped up.

An example of this could be the 6 question per day limit.

What happens if I really have 6 different questions in one day and plan to document and research them before posting them here?

I'll be blocked - I can't post more than a certain number of questions per day. This is in place to prevent spamming and to try prevent people from posting questions without doing some sort of research or making some sort of effort before posting.

Another example more suited to our topic would be the voting issue that you detailed.

  • What happens if, while browsing the site I come across a string of 10 posts that are phenomenal; Great questions, great solutions - all in all a win-win?

What would happen is that a whole lot of users would get their recognition and a nice little pat on the reputation for their efforts. BUT - and here is a big hairy one -

  • What would happen if you (unknowingly) upvoted the same user on each one of those posts? What if that user happened to be extremely active on that tag and happened to post an answer on all of the posts you saw?

What would happen is that you would trigger the voting fraud algorithm - even though you were in fact voting on the content and not the user.

So you see - it would be impossible/unfeasible/damn-hard to detect these kinds of situations - the anti fraud trigger would be pulled and a vote reversal would be fired out of the proverbial SO barrel...


To directly address your post -

Am I susceptible to be caught for serial voting?

At the end of the day we all are - even if we don't mean to serial up/down vote someone.

Is reputation gained from my votes deducted from his profile in this scenario?

Most certainly - the anti fraud script will nullify the votes you made to that user and recalculate reputation accordingly.

I just dont want my votes to be wasted

Don't worry! They are not wasted! At any given time there are way more than 40 posts that deserve an up/down vote - you can't get to them all in one day :) Use what you have and tomorrow you'll have a brand new batch of votes to dish out as you see fit!

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nice explanation. thanks.. –  nawfal Apr 1 '12 at 13:27
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You are very welcome! Don't hesitate on voting - if you see some content that you believe to be beneficial (or not) to others - vote on it! –  Lix Apr 1 '12 at 13:30
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Accidental serial up/down voting (IMO) would be much more probable here on MSO as there is a relativity small bunch of meta heads that cruise here all the time. You all know who you are! Upvoting this comment is a confession of that. commentVote++ // can't vote on my own comment. :P –  Lix Apr 1 '12 at 13:55
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Just as a note - this DOES happen (I know of at least 2 cases on SciFi.SE, one happened to me yesterday another to a different very active user who's a top answerer on a popular tag). –  DVK Apr 1 '12 at 15:44
    
@DVK - I can see "honest" serial up/down voting being an issue on smaller communities or in communities with very active users on a specific tag (as you said). SCIFI.SE (AFAIK) has under 5000 users and in comparison with SO for example, that number is extremely small. So yes - the size of the site would defiantly be a factor here. –  Lix Apr 1 '12 at 15:53
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