How can we stop people asking trivial questions all the time to gain stackoverflow reputation?
And how can we stop people setting up several stackoverflow accounts and prevent mutual/cyclic rating?
migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 15 '10 at 9:01
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This is one of the reasons why questions were changed to carry half of the reputation weight as answers, ending in the 'great rep recalc'.
As for the sock puppets, there is an algorithm that catches 'cheating' patterns and reverses any gains (or losses, in the event of serial down-voters).
Its also not uncommon for new users to accidentally make several accounts, usually as a result of figuring out how OpenID works. There are other users (some of them notorious for providing stellar answers) who have multiple accounts.
Any system can be gamed, especially if you do so by playing within the rules. However, I don't think its that rampant of a problem to necessitate tightening the rules thus making participation less enjoyable for many just to deal with a few corner cases.
Left in comments on questions that were quickly closed, or down voted into oblivion. I think the system works rather well.