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If you just witnessed tactical downvoting, is it a reportable offense?

Some time ago I posted an answer, I got +1, seconds later I got -1.

Someone gave a similar answer, and when I deleted my answer, this person got +1. So it seems like this is the person who down-voted me.

Should I flag this behavior? Or although it is not very ethical is there nothing I can do about it?

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marked as duplicate by gnat, Toon Krijthe, hims056, Shadow Wizard, Martijn Pieters Dec 12 '12 at 11:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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How do you know that person is the one that downvoted you? Sounds like a huge assumption. –  animuson Dec 12 '12 at 2:57
    
@animuson Because, I delete my answer wait to see if he get a plus 1, and he did. So I undelete the answer again and he got a -1. –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 2:59
    
When ever you see something like that A Wizard did it –  Jeremy Thompson Dec 12 '12 at 3:10
    
Although, does not answer my question, I have to admit it was funny. –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 3:12
    
I don't know why the down votes here also. –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 3:21
    
Dont worry about downvotes here - it means people dont agree with you - dont take those downvotes personally - you have to have thick skin here at meta. –  Jeremy Thompson Dec 12 '12 at 3:23
    
@JeremyThompson okey, thanks –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 3:24
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Voting is different on meta. This does not necessarily explain the down-votes on this specific question, except that maybe people feel that you shouldn't want to do anything about it. –  Aaron Bertrand Dec 12 '12 at 3:25
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In my opinion you are being way too picky. There's really no reason to investigate each and every downvote you get, especially if you also got upvote which means your answer is not bad. Better spend that time answering yet another question and helping yet another poor soul. :-) –  Shadow Wizard Dec 12 '12 at 8:06
    
@ShaWizDowArd Yep, a little bit, after thinking about it, I was about to delete this question (minutes after posting), but someone had already post an answer. –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 10:42
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4 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yes, Tactical down-voting is a problem, but It's very hard to know whether that's what's happening.

But even if you could identify that the down-voting is tactical, there are even some of the opinion that you have the right to down-vote for whatever reason you please.

every times someone down-votes, they get -1, so you can rest assured that any failed attempts at tactical down voting will hurt the guy.

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Yes, but in the meantime he can get +1, and than take out the down-vote, besides that the person getting -1 will probably delete the answer. I though the point was getting reputation with answers not throughout tricks, what the point of competition between users lol –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 3:06
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@dreamcrash A single downvote doesn't mean much. If your answer is good, other users will upvote it and the one downvote won't matter at all. A single user can't do much damage to the other answers on the same page as theirs unless every reader who happens upon the page stops reading and just clicks some arrows. (Also votes are locked after a few minutes, so they can't be arbitrarily retracted later.) –  Anna Lear Dec 12 '12 at 3:30
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Looks like there was a comment on your answer explaining the reasoning behind the downvote.

While people downvote for many reasons, including revenge and other types of malice, it sounds to me like in this case you're overthinking it a bit. I'm not saying you should be happy about getting a downvote, but this case didn't look malicious to me.

Don't take it personally. Take the criticism and either improve your answer to address it, or move on and post more answers. :)

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Thanks, and thanks also for the answer. –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 3:49
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The biggest problem here is you're assuming that it's the person who posted another answer that downvoted you. You don't know that. Unless you're sitting there stalking their profile watching all their reputation changes, there's absolutely no possible way to know a person downvoted you. Assuming that will only cause problems for you, as it causes false accusations. It's perfectly possible someone thought your answer was wrong.

Tactical downvoting may exist, but there are just as many people out there who will upvote your answer even if it's competing with theirs. There's even a badge for doing so.

Another thing to consider: don't delete your post just because you got one downvote, especially if you still have a zero or positive score. You get 10 reputation for an upvote, and only lose 2 for a downvote - so you're still sitting at a net gain of 8 reputation. If there are legitimate reasons for your post being wrong or unuseful, someone will comment on your answer. At that point, you can either edit it to make it correct or delete it to remove inaccurate content. If it's correct and useful, others will upvote the answer and that downvote will be meaningless. Don't let a single downvote intimidate you.

As for flagging, you should never do this. A moderator cannot do anything at all to reverse downvotes, and technically the behavior is allowed, so long as they're not mass downvoting (or upvoting) all of your posts at once.

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Your first paragraph is spot on, though in this case the comments on the answer confirm the suspicion. –  Anna Lear Dec 12 '12 at 3:26
    
I did not accuse anyone without knowing. I was being a child I agree on that. –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 3:33
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Seems like the user has explained his down-vote, though he didn't have to. People are going to down-vote for a wide variety of reasons - maybe they don't like your hair, or maybe they think you down-voted them first, or, maybe, they don't think your answer is very good (and they may be right or they may be wrong).

There is not much you can do about this. Unless you have evidence of repeated abuse from a particular user (in which case e-mail team@stackoverflow.com and they will investigate - though they may not reveal any details of their findings).

Aside from that case, you need to decide if you're going to let occasional down-votes - justified or not - bother you. If you are going to let them bother you, then maybe this isn't the community for you. I have a variety of answers with a couple of down-votes but no explanation (here's one example - +94, -2?). I used to let this bug me but it's just like bad drivers hogging the left lane - no matter where you go, people like this are going to be there.

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Yep, you are right. I am being a spoiled child, thanks for replying –  dreamcrash Dec 12 '12 at 3:43
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