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Preventing users from downvoting good answers to bad questions

Seriously, this is frustrating.

After downvoting a question with a remark indicating why I thought it was a bad answer, I received downvotes on 3 random answers of mine all within 1 minute of each other. This kind of behavior is extremely frustrating and makes me hesitant to downvote other bad answers, or to leave a comment when I do.

How can the community avoid this kind of bad behavior?

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marked as duplicate by Ladybug Killer, JSONBog, random, George Stocker, gnostradamus Oct 30 '09 at 15:35

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.

Interesting. Never had this but feared something like this would happen some day. An option might probably be to make the suggestion comment anonymous. – Joey Oct 30 '09 at 14:53
Read… – Ladybug Killer Oct 30 '09 at 14:58
@John That's a good discussion. Thanks for the link! – Kevin Babcock Oct 30 '09 at 15:06
Don't say why you downvoted something, just do it anonymously – juanformoso Oct 30 '09 at 15:54
@Rich B: Wow. Just wow. You degrade me and anyone else who is concerned about this trend by calling us mentally ill babies? If you don't agree with the premise of my post then say so; name-calling and disrespecting others just adds noise and makes you look childish. – Kevin Babcock Oct 30 '09 at 20:11

I would report that behaviour directly to They'll be able to verify that it really is revenge downvoting, and take appropriate action.

(I wonder whether it would be worth having a "flag this user" button on the user profile page, in the same way as for comments etc. It really is the user's behaviour which needs to be checked, not one individual post or comment in this case.)

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Thanks for the comment. I like the idea of being able to flag a user. Not that I want to cause extra work for moderators, but sometimes there are those whose behavior hurts the community and should be checked. – Kevin Babcock Oct 30 '09 at 15:04
Regarding flagging users: you can just flag a question/answer by that user and make it clear in your report that you think the user revenge downvoted you. There's no need to have a special function for this. I've reported strange things in those moderator flags (like flagging to get some user accounts merged), and it always gets done. – JSONBog Oct 30 '09 at 15:07
@Chicago Ted: I'm sure it gets done, but I prefer there to be a logical flow to things :) – Jon Skeet Oct 30 '09 at 16:20
@Jon Skeet: Well, me too, but I'm working around a constraint called "Jeff Atwood". – JSONBog Oct 30 '09 at 19:04
@JonSkeet I tried that approach, but I was ignored – Morawski Sep 25 '12 at 18:01

On a few occasions when this has happened to me, Jeff's scripts spotted it and restored my rep.

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Thanks for the response. I didn't realize this behavior was actively being monitored. – Kevin Babcock Oct 30 '09 at 15:05
Jeff's safeguards can be circumvented. Before they were introduced and before a larger part of the trilogy population became aware of them, revenge downvoters would downvote 10 or more answers. They now settle for 3. – innaM Oct 30 '09 at 15:12
Any system can be circumvented. The question is, are people going to bother setting up the multiple sock-puppets to make a significant dent in your rep just over one lousy down-vote? – Paul Tomblin Oct 30 '09 at 17:16
They probably won't. But it's not about the little rep that gets lost when this happens. When a question gets little attetion, a single downvote on one of the answers can make a big difference. And it simply looks stupid if the accepted answer has a score of 0, e.g. – innaM Oct 31 '09 at 9:56
I have an accepted answer with a score of -11. I don't care, it's the right answer. – Paul Tomblin Oct 31 '09 at 12:04

I noticed today that one of my questions was downvoted because I had downvoted a few answers. The answers were just noise, not relevant to the Q. So I did something simple: I flagged my own post for moderator attention, noting that someone apparently did some vengeance downvoting. The downvote on my question is gone again...

Not sure if the Jeff-Script detected the vengeance vote or if a moderator just removed it, though...

Anyway, just flag your own answer or question, asking a moderator to check for vengeance downvoting.

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Wait, so you downvoted multiple answers and you think a single downvote is revenge? – mmyers Oct 30 '09 at 15:54
I explained in the Q I didn't like a particular solution, yet several still suggested the solution I did not want. So, that is very useless to me. If people can't read, they should not answer. Thus, downvotes... – Wim ten Brink Oct 31 '09 at 11:43

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