Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 155 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I believe it's possible to deduce who upvoted or downvoted on a post using the new First Posts review tool.

For example, here's a review I did on DIY.SE (the site where I'm most active):

enter image description here

The review history page (note: seeing the full history appears to be a 10k privilege) shows that I reviewed it at 23:36:21 UTC:

enter image description here

The timeline for the question shows a downvote on the answer on September 13th:

Timeline of the post in question for September 13th shows a single downvote

Clicking through to the user's reputation tab shows the downvote occurred at 23:36:17 UTC:

enter image description here

So if the only action on the post for the day is a downvote, and there was a review committed just a few seconds after that downvote, it's not terribly hard to deduce who placed it.

This may be less of a problem on SO and the other big sites, but for the smaller sites where there are few people reviewing, I believe this could compromise voting anonymity.

share|improve this question
    
SO is a pretty busy site. Two different people doing something within a few seconds of each other on the same post is little more than a coincidence. You can't stop people from assuming you were the down-voter if you commit some other audited action, even if they are minutes apart. – Aaron Bertrand Sep 14 '12 at 14:22
7  
@AaronBertrand I agree with your statement, but I draw a slightly different conclusion than I think you are; people already jump to conclusions about who down voted; I don't think we should make it even more easy for them to make such assumptions. – Andrew Barber Sep 14 '12 at 15:06

This is true enough. However, in order for this to be used to find the down-voter you have to already suspect someone of voting on a given post and look up either their activity history... Or trawl through the review history looking for the post.

Even then, there's no explicit confirmation that the vote was theirs - all you know is that they did something on that post during the review, and the post was down-voted at around the same time. Maybe they flagged it. Maybe they left a comment (and then deleted it). Heck, maybe they voted and then later retracted their vote!

It's a trade-off between privacy and transparency, and something you should be comfortable with if you plan to spend a lot of time moderating the site - folks will just as soon go after you for voting if you left a comment soon after a down-vote was cast, or even edited.

If you encounter harassment over voting - regardless of the source or accuracy of the allegations - please flag for moderator attention.

share|improve this answer
    
"If you encounter harassment over voting - regardless of the source or accuracy of the allegations - please flag for moderator attention." Does that include "Why the downvote, {insert suspected downvoter name here}" comments? – Al E. Sep 14 '12 at 17:41
2  
Yes. Flag those instantly. – Shog9 Sep 14 '12 at 18:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .