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I just got an answer to one of my questions that really has nothing to do with the question and yet it already has three upvotes. It's just basic information about rebasing, and my question has nothing to do with rebasing. It's a brand new user and this is his only answer.

So I'm thinking that someone is creating users, posting semi-related answers and upvoting those answers in order to get enough users with enough rep to significantly boost the rep of some other user.

I don't have access to enough data to make any further investigations, but I thought I'd ask here on meta if someone can confirm or deny that this answer is part of a rep scam. Perhaps looking at the users who upvoted the answer may give you a clue?

I'd also like to know if I'm just paranoid or if this is a legitimate reason for suspicion.

Here's the answer (now requires 10k SO rep):

Sometimes if a rebase fails then you can just:

git rebase --abort
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3  
Related: Flagging a post for moderator review –  blahdiblah Oct 3 '12 at 10:04
    
@blahdiblah So you mean that I should flag it and refer to this question? –  Erik B Oct 3 '12 at 10:11
1  
Yep. Seems like reasonable enough suspicion to me. Worst case scenario: it turns out the poster's actually a good guy giving a good answer and your flag is declined. –  blahdiblah Oct 3 '12 at 10:13
    
Most likely sock puppet account of existing member with multiply accounts. No worry, moderator can look into it, merge all the accounts and suspend the main account. –  Shadow Wizard Oct 3 '12 at 10:28

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

The most I can tell you is that yes, something is definitely suspicious about this answer and the upvotes it received.

That said, beyond that, we are looking into it and will take the appropriate action if we find that there is any abuse of the site.

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4  
I've always said it's bad form to call out specific users like this.. just flag it and let the people who have the tools/knowledge handle it. There's absolutely no reason to discuss a specific user in a public setting. –  Mike B Oct 3 '12 at 14:32

I think this is a "feature" of the review system. The post just appeared at "First Post" queue or "Late Answers" queue and some reviewers just hit upvote and "I'm done."

The motivation may be to encourage the new user, or just to obtain the number of reviews in order to get the badge.

Sorry for being so pesimistic.

UPDATE: My opinion is that badge system and reputation system are great. Even the review system is an excellent ideea. What I said above is that something like that may happen. Or happend. So, the "Feature" is not a feature of the review system, but of some people. :)

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+1, I definitely feel like the First Post queue is related to this problem. –  user7116 Oct 4 '12 at 14:04

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