As discussed elsewhere, the reputation recalc has reduced the reputation of some high-rep users on some sites, because some serial upvoting has been reversed. This was the fate of one of the highest-rep users on Mathematica.SE: he lost 420 points.

It is pretty obvious that there was a run of votes, one per question in quick succession, for him the previous day. There is no argument from us about this: it should be reversed in line with existing policy.

But now we are noticing more serial upvoting on his profile, perhaps to "compensate" for the earlier loss of reputation.

I've posted something on Mathematica's meta site to encourage whoever it is to stop. It's not helping one of our most valuable members and is only causing consternation.

EDIT: to be clear: The problem is not how to compensate, but how to discourage some serial voters from trying to "compensate" for the loss of upvotes from their earlier serial voting, now reversed.

Is there anything else we can or should do?

  • 1
    Outside of contacting the offending parties, not much can be done.
    – Oded
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 12:34
  • This doesn't really seem to have anything to do with the reputation recalc, the "vote fraud" script runs independently (daily IIRC). The new serial votes should get automatically reversed again.
    – sth
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 12:42
  • @sth that may be, but how do we reconcile the rep losses for this reason today but not previously (see related question)?
    – Verbeia
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 12:50
  • 1
    @Verbeia - I think the changes to ensure that your reputation keeps step with reality have just highlighted something that's been going on for a while and not been caught/highlighted until today.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 13:01

2 Answers 2


Moderators have a tool to detect suspicious voting patterns. If the behavior continues, a moderator on the site should privately contact the serial voter and explain to them that they're not helping matters.

  • 3
    Ok, the awkwardness is that the affected user is a moderater.
    – Verbeia
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 12:57
  • @Verbeia I personally wouldn't hesitate to contact someone who was serially upvoting me to ask them to stop. However, I understand it might be awkward for some. They should ask another moderator or a member of the Community team to contact the user if they're not comfortable doing it themselves. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 13:00
  • Just to clarify, does this mod tool only kick in during suspicious voting patterns or do you (mods) have access to users' voting history? I ask because I was under the assumption voting was private (even from moderators), and the voter fraud thing that kicked in every now and then was an automated process (without mod interaction). Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:35
  • 2
    @MarvinPinto Individual votes are still private. Moderators don't have access to raw data, but we can see aggregate information in cases of suspected vote fraud. We can check for suspicious voting from any user, but the tool just won't display anything unless the automated process would have found something suspicious to begin with. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:41
  • @BilltheLizard Fair enough, thanks for clarifying. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:46
  • 3
    @Verbeia You think "stop upvoting me" is awkward? Try "stop downvoting me"!
    – Pops
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:26
  • Are there any circumstances where serial upvoting is actually justified? somebody could be doing a serious reading of Jon Skeet's content on a particular tag of interest
    – prusswan
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 17:43
  • @prusswan No, that's a rather odd behavior. If you're studying a particular topic your votes would be spread out among several contributors to that tag, not all going to just one user. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 21:34
  • Currently the 'Suspicious vote patterns' page doesn't show anything... Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:16
  • @SjoerdC.deVries The script that populates the page runs randomly. You can trigger it on any user whether you suspect they're giving or receiving bad votes. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 23:04

I think there's a simpler solution than moderator intervention:

Does the fact that serial upvoting has been reversed even need to be publicly visible on the reputation page?

As far as I can make out the reputation lost on downvotes isn't visible to anybody other than mods and the user. If the removal of serial downvotes were private in the same way also wouldn't this stop people from trying to "compensate" as you observe?

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