What is serial voting and how does it affect me?
I found out about serial upvoting detection today (lost 81 rep; I can't imagine how serial upvoting would result in that value, but let's ignore that for now). I decided to go on about my business of the day.
I open tabs for the tags I know about. I open tabs for a bunch of recent questions that look reasonable (including those that have answers, even accepted answers). I go through and start voting, blessing those answers that look good. It only takes 30s or a minute to review some questions and answers to know "Yup, that person got it. Well done." Normally I'd drop a +1 on the answer(s) that are right and move on.
Now I'm spooked. What if (like me) there are knowledgeable users who have high activity rates in short periods of time in an area? Do I have to wait a few minutes between upvotes so that I don't erroneously get flagged as a serial upvoter? Do I have to ensure that I throw a -1 between each +1? Do I have to ensure that I +1 someone else before I +1 the same person twice in a row? Or does the heuristic properly ignore upvotes on answers that temporally proximal to the upvote time, and I'm safe?
I suspect that many will say "We can't give away the secret of the heuristic, or the sock puppets will use that information to work around the system!" But I don't want to start 'working around the system' out of fear due to lack of knowledge.
How can you assure me that the behavior I'm describing as a morning routine will not 'waste' my votes and 'punish' helpful users (by depriving them of deserved upvotes)?