Can we revoke voting privileges from those go through profiles and up-vote or down-vote spam others?

Sure, the system re-sets it, most of the time if it's big enough to catch it, but if we actually add a punishment to the behavior ("If you can't use them properly, don't use them at all"), we might be able to train users who do this better.

  • You're talking about a separate detection mechanism that relies on how users find what they vote on? E.g., natural discovery through search and internal links is viewed more favorably than going through someone's profile?
    – user154510
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 21:19
  • 1
    What is the real problem here? And how is the software supposed to detect someone's state of mind? Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 21:23
  • The usual mechanism for dealing with this is to suspend the user temporarily.
    – user102937
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 21:29
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/108538
    – user102937
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 21:47
  • I'm just thinking about removing the thing they're abusing, rather than the account access.
    – Incognito
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 21:52
  • See also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/84655/fine-grained-suspension
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 22:09
  • I'm new here, so I'm not in the position to judge, but I can easily notice how people abuse the voting system by unnecessary up/down votes. -- But I'm not blame SO since any voting system on the planet may be used wrongly by abusers, this is more about people/users than system itself.
    – sysop
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 22:12
  • Everyone has their own options on how votes should be cast, @sysop. That's probably the best argument in favor of making them anonymous - once you're able to use peer-pressure to coerce folks to vote a certain way, the results lose most of their meaning.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 22:17
  • @Shog9 I agree, also compared to other Q/A sites, I believe SO moderation is quite fairly and fast. -- I'm moderator of a CG forum myself and pretty much understand what's going on behind the scene, moderation is not as easy as it look. ;)
    – sysop
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


There's no way to build an automated system that can judge intent.

Moderators can and do examine these on a case-by-case basis, and are both willing and able to hand out warnings and suspensions as needed to keep the peace. Suspension temporarily revokes all privileges... I'd say that satisfies your request.

  • Revoking all privileges is fine, I was thinking of revoking a subset of all instead. They might be abusing the arrows but they might still contribute something worth-while in that time. If this is what's been decided that's cool.
    – Incognito
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 23:19

When I see a user posting a superficially appealing (and often upvoted) answer that is seriously, deeply wrong, showing an identifiable misunderstanding of PL semantics, I think that they will have posted the same misinformation often, so I browse their answers to identify other instances.

Of course I explain what is wrong in the answer with a comment.

So searching one's answers and downvoting a few of these is not inherently hostile behavior.

And I can tell you I know hostile behavior, as I have been the focus of a few hostile users (including serial downvoters without comments).

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