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It seems like some folks will open up a profile and start voting up (and down) multiple posts from a single user within a fairly short time window. I beleive that this ends up getting flagged as "irregular" and the votes dissapear.

Can we introduce a limit of 8 votes a day for a single user's posts? In other words, I couild not open up Mr. Skeet's profile and vote on more than 8 of his posts within 24 hours.

I don't know what the limit would be for the "irregularity" pattern that gets identified in the batch proccesses, but that number could be good as well.

If you were to be coding an application, you wouod code to prevent the exception rather than swallow it and deal with the effects later, should this be any different?

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Well, that explains this tweet: twitter.com/jonskeet/status/3281095099 –  Rowland Shaw Aug 13 '09 at 7:06
    
Aghhh very good Rowland... –  RSolberg Aug 13 '09 at 14:09

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Having something like this would be welcome, but I'm not sure exactly how it should work.

I suspect it should be a shorter time and lower number than "8 per 24 hours" - more like "4 per 10 minutes" as you suggested on Twitter.

I'm sure there have been times when I've upvoted Marc more than 8 times in a day entirely legitimately - we happen to hang out in the same tags, his answers are right and well-written about 99.9% of the time, so they naturally get my upvotes.

The behavior I think we want to discourage is:

  • Open user profile
  • Find recent answers
  • Open each answer in a new tab
  • Upvote them all

My guess is that people will get bored with that pretty rapidly - if you capped it at 4 votes in 10 minutes (or even in 5 minutes) I don't think people would keep waiting for 5 minutes just to vote another 4 times... but it's a lot less likely to hit legitimate voting.

I don't know how often this happens though - I know of it happening to me about 3 or 4 times, and of course it happened to Konrad in a sustained fashion for a while.

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I think there are valid cases where a user could give more than 8 up votes to a particular user in a single day. It's pretty preemptive to assume a user is up to no good simply because they have voted up a certain user several times.

Really the necessity of this depends on the algorithm used to determine what "gaming" is, but such a system must remain in the shadows in order for it to stay effective. Using heuristics rather than a simple no more than x votes approach is probably the better way to go, regardless.

Right now I have faith in how the system operates, but mostly because I don't care about the reputation of my peers that much. I respect users with a lot of reputation, but I'm not going to be the first one to ask for improvements or fixes to how reputation is dolled out. I have no way to tell if fellow users gain most of their rep from users gaming in their favor, but then I guess if they've had such an effect on people they must have done something special.

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I would say it is quite possible for a user to give out a large number of votes to another user in a short time - I have probably done it myself sometimes. Generally, this is what would happen:

  1. I see a really good / interesting question / answer.
  2. I have a look at that user's profile page to see if they have any other good / interesting questions / answers.
  3. I start browsing through (especially) their questions, voting up the ones that I find interesting or useful to me.

Usually I won't go much past the first page of questions / answers since that would be where I would find the best, but it would still be quite possible for me to give a user more than 8 up-votes in quite a short time frame like this.

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