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Let's say I ask a lot of questions and I manage to have the same person answer at least 14 of them. I can then exploit the system by accepting all of his or her answers and writing a script that - every day at 12:01 - unaccepts them and accepts them again.

At this point right after midnight UTC this person will have gained 210 reputation for the day and will be unable to gain more from upvotes, while their overall reputation won't change.

I think the current system is really dumb, it shouldn't matter when in the day the answer was accepted

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+1 for noticing the potential security hole. – quack quixote Feb 27 '10 at 16:27
Your thoughts are scaring me. – Georg Schölly Feb 27 '10 at 19:40
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Yes, you would screw that person over. It would accomplish absolutely nothing for you, however, and I suspect that if people noticed you could face action from the moderators.

So yes, it's possible. I don't think it's likely to happen though - at least not for long.

While I agree with you that a time-based rep cap is non-ideal (as has been discussed at length before), I've learned to just live with it. Accepting things you can't change makes for a lot more pleasant life :)

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I'm going to learn C# just so I can stop you from getting more rep Jon! – Tyler Carter Feb 27 '10 at 16:53
We know what's happening if we see a number of "How do I concatenate strings in C#"? questions over the next couple of days. :) – Pëkka Feb 27 '10 at 18:41
@Chacha: in my post I wanted to use Jon as an example of my victim, but then I changed my mind because I figured a lot of people would reply with "he would still gain over 200 rep a day with accepted answers only from other questioners" – Andreas Bonini Feb 27 '10 at 19:13

First you have to find a person you really hate for all this effort, second this person must answer 14 of your questions and will third flag for mod attention as soon as he will figure out something is wrong (or he will post her on Meta).

There is no need to care about this edge case programmatically. Manual intervention will suffice.

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Running a reputation recalc on the target user would see them gain reputation from any other upvotes they received during the day, so it's not a foolproof plan. Since the scheme is not invisible, the perpetrator wouldn't live long before being taken down by a posse of moderators toting six-shooters.

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+1 for the mental image of an Old West-style mod posse! – Pops Jun 9 '10 at 19:08

I suspect that

  • The system to autodetect bad voting patterns will detect it and revert your changes
  • If not, a simple note to the moderators would revert the vote
  • Once either of the above happens, then a reputation recalc will fix the possible reputation loss

Either way, it's a lot of work for a little reward, and requires you to not only have many questions, but be interested in targeting a user that happened to answer several of them.

I don't think the system needs to be changed to prevent that action, but I'm sure if it becomes a common problem they'll take another look at it.

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