Revealing voting patterns - new trend?
Is down-voting on SO supposed to be anonymous? I ask because it does not seem to me to be.
I asked a question today. I got 3 good and 1 mediocre responses. I voted up the two that helped me and accepted the one that worked best. A while later, several new comments from one person appeared, to which I responded (since they were questions for me), and then that same person posted a new answer. This answer was crap. The person missed the whole point of the question and gave vague "pseudo-code" (and calling it that is generous) that basically restated my question.
Though I try to use down votes sparingly, especially when someone takes the time to answer a question I asked, I really want to down vote his answer. However, if I do, then my "reputation" will report "-1 downvoted" today. Since we've been going back and forth in the comments (in my failed attempt to explain the question to him), it's fairly likely that he'll peg me for the down vote.
In rumaging through the his reputation, I noticed that he gets down voted a lot. Moreover, he often votes down things on the same day as he gets down voted. Looking at a few recent questions where he posted an answer that was down voted, it's pretty clear that he (often successfully) down votes questions or competing answers when he is down voted, perhaps based on comments or, as is easier, based on profiles where down votes are recorded.
In this particular case, it's worth it for me to down vote him because (1) it's a stupid answer, (2) I don't live and die by my SO reputation, and (3) it really wasn't a great question that I asked. However, this does bring up the larger point that perhaps a date should not be associated with a down vote.