Nicely discouraging serial upvoting
Update after closure: I had not found the other post, despite doing an (admittedly quick) search.
There is indeed huge content overlap.
The only additional points I contributed--and I think they add something to the discussion:
- Do this just once for newish users, providing a learning opportunity. Don't make it a regular feature.
- Rationale for why this would be a far superior learning experience for new users.
The current learning experience is deeply broken, IMO. It's a shame that most users will find out what they are doing wrong only when it happens to them themselves at a later time, at the hands of another new user. This later event (being on other end of serial upvote) will probably happen much much later, when the original user has accumulated enough post content to be serially upvoted.
Bottom Line: Users don't learn that their behavior is problematic when they actually need to--when they themselves are engaging in the practice.
I've been seeing some serial upvoting of some of my posts recently and I'm guessing, based on when it's happening and some answers I gave, that this is happening when uninformed users are trying to express thanks.
In one case, I gave a book tip along with my answer--and a user went and bought the book and then told me in a comment that they really appreciated the book tip (Mastering Regular Expressions). However, my answer had only received one upvote (which is fine). I'm guessing that the user wanted to express extra appreciation and rapidly upvoted a bunch of my posts.
If the user were to receive a warning/teaching popup while engaged in the action, this would probably prevent the majority of serial upvoters from ever doing it again . As it is, apart from me contacting the user, I doubt that person will any time soon learn about the fact that their actions are frowned upon (and I'm not certain that things happened as a I outlined--I'm just guessing).
They way things work now, most users will probably only learn about serial upvoting when they themselves are the recipients of serial upvoting. At this could be long after they themselves started serially upvoting. Immediate instruction on the problematic action would be so much more effective than them learning about the problem only when it happens to them at the hands of someone else.
Here's how i'd see this working (this is just a rough example).
For newish users (newish needs further definition), if they, say, upvote the same user on a few posts, say 3, with the space of, say, 1 minute, their next upvote for that user--if it comes within a minute--would give them a pop-up saying that they might be serial upvoting, with a link to a FAQ type page with more info. This would only ever happen once for a user.
Using such a naive approach to possibly detect serial upvoting for the purposes of providing instruction to new users could prove valuable orientation for these users at a time when they have no idea the practice is problematic. It would also not give away any details of the real serial-upvote detection and correction logic.
This may a significant missing piece in dealing with serial upvotes. Reputation correction is already happening. But early prevention/training is not, as far as I know.