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I was just querying the stack exchange database, and I noticed that there are records in Votes for upvotes with null UserId.

SELECT COUNT(*)
FROM Votes
WHERE VoteTypeId = 2
  AND UserId IS NULL


-------- 
28433695 

(1 row(s) affected)

What functionality allows this to happen?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Votes on the Stack Exchange network are anonymous. The Data Explorer doesn't allow you to bypass that.

The user IDs are nulled on purpose for the public data dumps because otherwise it would be a serious breach of privacy. You'll notice that there isn't a single upvote with an attached UserId. Same for downvotes.

In fact that's the case with most of them. The only votes that are not anonymized are "Favorite" and "BountyStart" votes (types 5 and 8).

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You are correct, sir! tyvm –  Nick Vaccaro Apr 23 '13 at 18:53

A small edit of your query makes it clear:

SELECT COUNT(*)
FROM Votes
WHERE VoteTypeId = 2
  AND UserId IS NOT NULL

- 
0 

(1 row(s) affected)

This is really just a comment.

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Just a comment?!? gasp KILL IT WITH FIRE! –  Richard J. Ross III May 13 '13 at 18:39

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