I recently joined Stack Exchange in a modest attempt to give back to the community that I've taken so much from. The experience so far has been great, although I am jealous of some of the reputation scores I see out there. Anyway...

I had my first negative experience yesterday. I downvoted a question based on my opinion that it was poorly and hastily constructed (per downvoting guidelines), and I made a constructive comment to the author requesting more information. Some other user observed this and made a rude comment about my downvote. He then proceeded to downvote all of my activity for the day.

It was a little frustrating, but I'm over it. It did get me thinking that Stack Exchange could/should have some ways to detect and weed out trolling and bullying on the exchange. I know you have moderators, and I'm curious about how they get informed/engaged when things like this occur.


2 Answers 2


Every post and comment has a "flag" feature that alerts a moderator to a problem. These flags are taken very seriously and are handled as best as they can by the moderator team for a site.

Flagging has an option to report a post for offensive behavior: if enough people flag a post as offensive, it's automatically removed without moderator intervention: generally, really offensive stuff garners enough negative community reaction it's handled faster than a moderator can step in and manually resolve it.

If these aren't being resolved to your satisfaction, there are two other recourses:

  • Create a post on the meta discussion site for the site in question and explain what happened and what you expect to see as a resolution
  • You can get the "team" email address by clicking on "Contact Us" at the bottom of every page: you can email it and explain the situation. This goes directly to Stack Exchange, Inc. and is not seen by the volunteer moderators: this is useful if you don't feel moderators have taken the appropriate action in a serious situation or if anonymity is paramount.

However, it's important to keep a cool head when dealing with other people, especially online when there are no visual or body language cues. Something not intended to be rude might come off that way simply because the written word isn't all that expressive. If you can resolve it by staying calm and amicably working it out with the other person, that's almost always going to be the preferable way to resolve a situation like that.

  • 1
    Thank you for the thoughtful response. In this case I did use the Flag option and I'm glad to hear that will be taken seriously. No real harm done, it just drove my curiosity on how this familiar "BB/Forum" throwback is handled at scale. Thanks again for the reply.
    – kingdango
    Nov 16, 2011 at 2:51

Mark addressed dealing with offensive posts, but I think he missed:

He then proceeded to downvote all of my activity for the day.

In the case of suspicious voting (particularly mass downvoting), the system will automatically detect it and cancel the votes, so your reputation should bounce back in a day or so

  • 2
    I find people who downvote heavy also upvote so as to defeat the system 4 down votes and 2 upvote while nets positive points for the user and defeats the system in place and makes the user look really bad in the process if done enough
    – user223017
    Jul 8, 2013 at 12:21

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