A profile I visited yesterday clearly had 14 serial votes ( 8 vote up on question and 6 vote up on answer ) in two minutes.

enter image description here

I have very good flag history of finding such false voting. However yesterday when I flag this profile my flag was declined.

enter image description here So my question is, This profile have a serial voteup, isn't it ?

closed as too localized by animuson, Toon Krijthe, Pops, jonsca, Martijn Pieters Sep 22 '12 at 7:44

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  • 1
    Two upvotes on each within two minutes of each other? Doesn't exactly seem natural. – simchona Jun 28 '12 at 2:40
  • May be but samething create doubts for false voting, as voting on question and answer at same time. – Lucifer Jun 28 '12 at 2:42
  • Seems it has been reversed and the profile is in the penalty box – Deco Jun 28 '12 at 3:02
  • Why downvote ? is it wrong that i report here ? – Lucifer Jun 28 '12 at 4:53
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    It's not wrong that you reported it, however linking to a specific user's profile in public like this is discouraged (hence my edit) - if they're innocent, you're effectively just inciting a mob of voters. This is why mod flags are private. In general, if you want something like this checked out you're better off emailing us directly using the "contact us" link at the bottom of every page. – Shog9 Jun 29 '12 at 3:10
  • ok, but without profile link how could i redirect you to him in question ? by just looking at the photo you can not guess any profile. – Lucifer Jun 29 '12 at 3:15
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    @Lucifer: well, if you email privately via "contact us" you can provide as much info as you want. Ditto for mod flags. But otherwise, I can view your flag history, so just mentioning the date and time is really enough. – Shog9 Jun 29 '12 at 3:22

Sure looks like it to me.

This sock smells like meat


  • 1
    Yup, but partially, what about my declined flag ? it is still in same status, it should turn to helpful – Lucifer Jun 28 '12 at 3:10
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    Can't change the status of past flags I'm afraid. BTW: I did review your other recently-declined flags, and found no evidence of bad behavior (in one case there was a serial voter, but the script caught this - and the votee had reported it himself prior to). – Shog9 Jun 28 '12 at 3:10
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    @Lucifer flag weight is no more, so it's really not a big deal. :) – Shadow The Coffee Wizard Jun 28 '12 at 15:14
  • @ShaWizDowArd ,i am not caring about the flag weight, but as i was right in my flag and action taken against this useful flag, there should be a process for updating flag result as well , see same problem discussed here meta.stackexchange.com/q/90135/173001 – Lucifer Jun 29 '12 at 2:04
  • Of course, even i don't want any innocent users to get into this. mostly i report to such the users who do frequently these kind of activities. have a look at to my meta profile's flag history ( the 6th flag from top ) such false voting started on meta too i think. These kind of users actually don't interested in the Q/A part ( for which site is really made for ). – Lucifer Jun 29 '12 at 3:18
  • @Lucifer: sure, I'm just saying that even when something looks suspicious from the outside, there may not actually be a problem. That's why moderators are given additional tools to check into this stuff, and administrators still more - each group provides a check for the previous. And of course, the script catches the vast majority of these without any interaction. – Shog9 Jun 29 '12 at 3:21

Shog9 already took care of this particular user, but if I could, I'd like to make a suggestion for future flags of this type.

It really does help us if you can present as much evidence as you can in your custom flag. Even stating what you did above, that a series of votes came in within minutes on a certain date, can save us a lot of time in processing these flags. If a user is just flagged with nothing more than "suspicious voting here" or the like, we have to go digging around ourselves in a few places to see if anything jumps out at us. Different moderators will have different ways of doing this, and we may miss the warning signs that you've picked up on if you don't spell them out for us.

Also, the scale of the voting anomalies matters, because a handful of votes in a string here or there can happen due to normal usage and may not point to a larger problem. We really want to avoid any false positives here, because of the serious consequences, so we tend to be a little more cautious when acting on small-scale voting patterns. I've declined a few flags myself for this reason, where I couldn't see enough to make a case for acting on a user. Again, there might be something I've missed, so please do lay out your case in the custom flag.

Manipulation of the voting system is a serious issue, but it can be hard to suss out and the penalties we impose can be harsh, so every bit of information we have to work with is appreciated. Now that I've transitioned over to being a moderator, I've looked back at a few of the flags I previously cast on what I thought were obvious voting patterns but were declined. I realize that I hadn't made a good enough case for what I saw there, and should have been more detailed in those instances.

  • I think you are right, i need to provide more information with the such flags. I will start doing it from now onward. I was thinking that if there was photo-upload facility with the custom flag, then would be more helpful after all a picture is 1000 words :) – Lucifer Jun 29 '12 at 3:22

This certainly appears to be serial upvoting, especially when all of these votes occurred within less than two minutes. I would suspect sockpuppetry in this case as well...

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