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I noticed that for some reason three of my old questions had been downvoted. This was unusual IMO because these questions were so old (and because I answer way more questions than I ask).

It seems to me that this almost seems to be a "vendetta", where for some reason someone is digging up all my old questions and down-voting them. Is there a way to find out if this is the case? And, if so, is there any sort of policy against going around downvoting someone's posts for some reason?

BTW, one of these posts was closed some time ago, I believe in error. At the time I didn't know about meta, and had since forgotten it. If anyone reading this cares, please check it out and see if you agree with my assessment and vote to reopen.

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The only occurrence seems to be on March 6th? (3 downvotes). Normally the system should automatically reverse serial downvotes, but 3 seems to be an edge-case. I have had such downvotes not be reversed. In that case I just flagged for moderator attention to notify them so they could handle the situation if it needed handling. (Note, you won't get the rep back.) – Bart Mar 17 '13 at 22:02
That's fine (6 points doesn't matter much), but this is not the type of behavior I think SO should be encouraging, so it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they got some sort of slap on the wrist for it even if I never knew about it. – Amy Blankenship Mar 17 '13 at 22:05
Um, how do you flag a vote? – Amy Blankenship Mar 17 '13 at 22:06
Through interpretive dance..... Either that, or just flag one of your downvoted posts for attention and explain the situation using a custom message (the "other" option). – Bart Mar 17 '13 at 22:07
@Bart If through interpretive dance...please make a video and post it online so everyone can use the same dance to call on the mods! – bluefeet Mar 17 '13 at 22:13
@bluefeet I would, but a court order says I mustn't. – Bart Mar 17 '13 at 22:14
@AmyBlankenship: It doesn't really matter if it is closed. You just don't get new answer. You already answered your own question, and it seems that it worked for you. I don't think there is anything more that can be added. – nhahtdh Mar 17 '13 at 22:23
I know, but it just seems wrong. If that's the right way to handle it, why aren't all questions that are marked as answered closed? – Amy Blankenship Mar 17 '13 at 22:48
I've re-opened that question, maybe you could mark it as accepted. With regards to targeted downvoting against you I don't see anything suspicious going on in the mod tools. – Kev Mar 17 '13 at 22:49
@Bart If we were to undo the votes (or if they were invalidated by the script), the rep would come back. However... see my answer. – Adam Lear Mar 17 '13 at 23:16
Thanks. I don't think it occurred to me to mark my own answer as accepted back then :) – Amy Blankenship Mar 18 '13 at 2:11

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

We do have systems in place that invalidate suspicious-looking votes, so if someone repeatedly and obviously targets your posts, those votes will be invalidated without anyone's involvement.

Other than that... We do our best not to make assumptions about how people vote or why. Everyone gets downvotes once in a while, and at this point there's no way to tell if there's anything malicious going on. It doesn't necessarily look like it to me, but it could really go either way. We don't want to jump in and start removing votes indiscriminately when the situation isn't 100% clear.

Votes are anonymous for a reason and trying to guess why somebody voted they way they did is incredibly error-prone. Everyone has their own criteria for why they vote, and sometimes we have to tolerate small indiscretions, even if those reasons are somewhat ill-advised.

So my best advice at this point would be not to worry about these downvotes. But if the downvoting keeps up, drop us an email via the "contact us" link at the bottom of any page and we can investigate further.

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Everyone gets downvotes once in a while -1 to prove that point. – Yannis Mar 17 '13 at 23:22
@Yannis I knew I could count on you. – Adam Lear Mar 18 '13 at 0:03
I downvote people according to days of the week. If your name starts with "A-D", You get downvoted Sunday. E-H: Monday, and so on. Oh look, it's Sunday. – George Stocker Mar 18 '13 at 0:25
@GeorgeStocker I LOL'd :D Everyone gets downvotes once in a while but if this is in response of a wild rage, it doesn't really feel right. E.g., when some days earlier, I told a person that his answer wasn't entirely right because OP's question was ambiguous and couldn't be answered without clarification, he didn't like it. And after a short while, a couple of my other answers on dormant question got downvoted. Rep-hungry reviewers and angry downvoters just make SO bad – Ejaz Apr 18 '13 at 7:04
actually not bad but little less than best :) – Ejaz Apr 18 '13 at 8:19

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