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My Stackoverflow account (only a few hours ago) had 80 points, 7 badges, I had answered questions, made comments.

I just came back - and everything is GONE. The points here on meta are left, but all my activity on SO - it never happened! Down to 1 point and an empty profile except for my user data.

What happened?

Well, at least they kept my cat (profile picture)....

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My browser history found this - stackoverflow.com/questions/20573308/… - but the Q is gone. I'm not even sure I commented there. –  John Smith Dec 13 '13 at 22:22
    
Was that the only post you made on the site? –  Undo the Snowman Dec 13 '13 at 22:23
    
Of course not! But why would I keep track of it? I had some answers, a lot of comments (many upvoted so no spam), and 80 points 7 badges gone. –  John Smith Dec 13 '13 at 22:24
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Is this you? stackoverflow.com/users/544779/morre –  Nick Craver Dec 13 '13 at 22:30
    
No it is not, obviously. I provided the link. –  John Smith Dec 13 '13 at 22:42
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@JohnSmith the account you linked has no activity, and never has...so trying to find what was you –  Nick Craver Dec 13 '13 at 22:44
    
Of course it hasn't! That's what my post is about, isn't it? :-( –  John Smith Dec 13 '13 at 22:45
    
Two of the comments on that deleted question are from a deleted user: user3062321 –  Mysticial Dec 13 '13 at 22:46
    
Were you doing anything that might have inspired punitive action? –  Emrakul Dec 13 '13 at 22:47
    
Well it seems I must have been deleted, isn't it, how else would I end up as described... TBH I couldn't care less about "points", it's not like I'm a regular or that I could buy anything. The only part I really regret is not being able to comment - most of the answers I gave were comments, because I had something helpful to say but didn't want to bother writing a full answer... –  John Smith Dec 13 '13 at 22:50
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I've restored your posts and comments - I'll let the moderator responsible answer here though. –  Shogging through the snow Dec 13 '13 at 22:51
    
@Emracool Not that I'm aware of, I mean, my email is saved here and I got nothing. I didn't spam or insult anyone either - well, the last part "as far as I can tell", obviously :) –  John Smith Dec 13 '13 at 22:51
    
@Shog9 Thanks - but just one thought - if this WAS a deliberate act, which it looks like now(?), whatever whoever's reasons, shouldn't I have been notified at least? Or is there more strange stuff happening - right now on my SO homepage almost all questions have 0 answers, 0 votes. The last few days there was a lot of green and numbers at any given time... –  John Smith Dec 13 '13 at 22:56
    
Now your SO account profile claims you joined today but that also you answered a question on Dec 3. Strange. Regarding the different home page view did you have some favourite tags set up that have been lost? –  Martin Smith Dec 13 '13 at 23:06
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@MartinSmith I think Shog just took all posts that belonged to user:3062321 and reassigned them to the new account. –  Mysticial Dec 13 '13 at 23:11

1 Answer 1

I was the one who deleted your account. I did so because I had very clear evidence that you were acting as a sock puppet of another user. I've already provided a warning to the other account.

I can't describe publicly some of the information that led me to believe this, but I can provide some indication of what led me to this conclusion. First, you and another user very clearly were targeting votes to one another. It was also obvious that you were the only two users at a particular location.

However, what caused me to finally remove your account was the fact this other account recently got into several rather heated arguments in comments (which involved some fairly abusive language by that user). In those arguments, you came in immediately after them and supported them with comments that made you seem like a neutral party. You also upvoted all of their comments, making them seem like they had support. Also, a name of "John Smith" doesn't instill confidence when combined with all the above.

It is our policy in cases where we strongly believe a user is a sock puppet to delete the account and warn the primary if the abuse is blatant. Deletions, while destructive, can be reversed to some degree, as happened here.

I have documented the evidence I found using the internal moderator tools for other moderators and SE employees to review.

If you are indeed a discrete individual, you very clearly know the other person involved here and are working together with them. This needs to stop, particularly when it comes to being rude to others in comments. Also, please do not exchange votes between each other based solely on the fact that you're friends or coworkers. Votes need to come based on the content in question, not the person behind it.

If I have made a mistake here, I apologize, but I've tried to explain as best I could what caused me to act in this way.

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Sound reasonable to me. –  Undo the Snowman Dec 13 '13 at 23:58
    
I indeed know the "other person". –  John Smith Dec 14 '13 at 8:39
    
Woah! And SE proves again that its moderation capability will always be THE BEST! –  h2O Dec 14 '13 at 8:47
    
I think I provided plenty more value in my answers and comments compared to the in comparison minor votes for my friend (less than 70 points total, it's not like I spent all day voting him up) and that ONE instance of arguing with a guy who I still believe is wrong. And I'm not sure about the efficacy of fraud detection - without the argument and my colleague calling on the moderator (he just told me) I don't think this would have been detected . –  John Smith Dec 14 '13 at 8:49
    
@JohnSmith - It isn't difficult to deduce the other person as they have already been previously linked. Their reputation shows "User was removed" and -75 points rather than "less than 70" –  Martin Smith Dec 14 '13 at 13:29
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@MartinSmith You are BRILLIANT! And you caught me lying! FIVE more points than I admitted! You, Sir, are a genius. I bow to your greatness. Of course - reading comprehension is not your strongest skill, or you should have realized that my "other person" (in quotes) very deliberately was in response to the answer I commented on, which refrained from naming someone. Personally I could not care less, since it is in the open. If you WERE brilliant you would have noticed that MY ACCOUNT is being discussed very openly here, so why should the other one be a problem for me? Feeling important today? –  John Smith Dec 14 '13 at 15:30
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@JohnSmith - At least 6 points. Less than 70 implies no more than 69. And, no, not feeling especially important. This is my usual level of pedantry. :-) –  Martin Smith Dec 14 '13 at 17:37
    
+1 for being a great and watchful mod, and for making SO a better place! –  Doorknob 冰 Dec 14 '13 at 18:01

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