About an hour ago, within the space of 26 minutes I received 3 downvotes each on the only question I've ever asked and my 2 highest scored answers.

I don't particularly mind someone I've annoyed in someway downvoting me, but the fact that they've obviously done it with 3 different accounts (what are the odds that 3 people found a problem with an answer I posted over 3 months ago in the exact same minute?) is a clear sign of abuse of the system.

I find it particularly suspicious that https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7221394/what-is-white-space-problem-in-ie, a question I voted to close earlier today, was upvoted 3 times very quickly in that same timeframe, and the person who asked it just happened to post an answer on my own question that was also upvoted 3 times quickly within this timeframe.

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    This account received the critic badge at around the same time and has only ever answered 2 questions - both posted by learner Aug 28, 2011 at 21:31
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    Not only that, you snagged eight spam flags, four on two different answers. One had a link (eh), the other just had some code. I trashed them and made a note on your account that you might be getting slammed by a butthurt user. Who, apparently, has three friends who all share the same ip and who seem to upvote each other quite a lot... Hmm, two questions with four spam flags each. Four users with the same IP who share votes...
    – user1228
    Aug 28, 2011 at 21:43
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    Not only that, the answer is bogus too!
    – Arjan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 21:49
  • Oh, but someone deleted my comment explaining my downvote of that answer. Is that to protect me...? Should we be scared? ;-) (Or did 3 or 4 people flag that comment?)
    – Arjan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:00
  • @arjan it was more to protect you. The users involved have been notified of their naughtiness.
    – user1228
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:09
  • If they share IP, can't they be the exact same person?
    – GUI Junkie
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:12
  • Thanks, @Won't, surely your □_□ will scare them ;-)
    – Arjan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:14
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    @GUI it is very hard to tell by IP alone. Signs point to no in this case, as the users don't only upvote each other, and they don't share more than 20% of their votes. Likely they are just co-workers or friends who code in the same home/cafe.
    – user1228
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:15
  • @Wont, I know IP's can be shared. Thanks for the answer.
    – GUI Junkie
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:17
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    I think reading private moderator messages should trigger Panopticlick technology! (Actually, that would be fun, @won't it?)
    – Arjan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:21
  • @Arjan hell, you should [feature-request] that! Apparently my browser is unique in a sample of over 1m browsers...
    – user1228
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:26
  • @Won't, I guess we don't want any of such measures to be publicly known... As an aside, it could even be triggered (once) on any page when some flag is set for some specific user: no need to first send a message then. (That said: roommates and co-workers could even share a computer, of course...)
    – Arjan
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:32
  • @Won't: my one, too. Huh. Already my accept header is unique. (text/html, */* gzip, deflate eo,de;q=0.9,en;q=0.8). But professional sockpuppeteers will learn to use different browsers for the different sockpuppets. Aug 28, 2011 at 22:38
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    @Paulo Sockpuppeteers are, by definition, idiots.
    – user1228
    Aug 28, 2011 at 22:59
  • @Paŭlo, different browsers won't help when using Flash LSOs (aka Flash cookies), which are shared across browsers for the same user. :-( (And used to be persistent even after clearing other browser data, but I've heard that has changed in new browsers.)
    – Arjan
    Aug 29, 2011 at 5:40

1 Answer 1


Anyhow, to close this question out, the bogus flags have been cleared, the system will have to deal with revenge votes (mods can't do anything about it), and the perps have been notified of their conduct.

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    Good job Will. Thanks. Aug 29, 2011 at 0:05

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