You can always get a handful of people on Stack Overflow that go round serial up-voting. It has happened to me before and I can only assume it was done by the same person as all votes occurred in the same minute. I go on Stackoverflow not only to look for some solutions to problems and other snippets of information, but to help the Joomla users on behalf of my company.

If seen in my profile that 70 reputation has been removed due to being serial up-voted, which I am ok with as serial voting is plain stupidity, it makes my company and others it happens to look bad.

I e-mailed that Stack Overflow team requesting it be removed however they said it could not be done and that they could only warn the person responsible. To me, this is not enough, therefore is there something that could be done so that the reputation removed does not appear in the activity feed, like some sort of appeal form? Or something along those lines.

  • Wait, so you're asking that the restoration of rep taken away by serial downvoters be hidden? Anyone that can understand the reputation tab, or would even care about it, is likely to understand serial downvoting... – Charles Jul 8 '12 at 21:07
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    @charles i think the OP was serially upvoted, not down – simchona Jul 8 '12 at 21:08
  • sorry, yes, I was referring to serial upvoting on multiple answers I have made. I will update my question. thanks – Lodder Jul 8 '12 at 21:10
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    Why does it make you look bad, exactly? Those who examine the reputation history of users understand how this works; those who don't understand it don't typically care enough to look at it, so. – user102937 Jul 8 '12 at 21:13
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    @RobertHarvey: the big fat red lines in the graph & history don't look real good, even if it is easy enough to see the details - but then you also have to know how to interpret that "serial upvoting reversed" message (it's not that obvious that this user (usually) has nothing to do with it). It's a rep event that doesn't indicate anything about the user's participation, but a correction of actions done by someone else. I think the request has merit. – Mat Jul 8 '12 at 21:31
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    Just to note, if you remove the serial voting statements, you also have to go back and remove all the actual voting events that caused the reversal in order for the history to make any sense. – animuson Jul 8 '12 at 23:20
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    @animuson why? I can see changes in my reputation that others can't see (e.g. the fact that I have down-voted an answer), and that aren't reflected in the public view of the reputation I've earned in a given day. Why should this be any different? I should be able to see it but other users shouldn't. Why would another user need a 100% accurate picture of my history (which already isn't possible anyway)? – Aaron Bertrand Jul 9 '12 at 0:40
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    I hadn't considered this but yes, it does take some knowledge of the ins-and-outs to take such a message and not think it is a negative thing that the user themselves did. – Andrew Barber Jul 9 '12 at 1:23
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    @AaronBertrand: Encourage what behavior? By hiding it you're preventing the behavior. You don't see any advantage listing the reversal, and I don't see any advantage listing all the reversed votes. They both cause just as much confusion as the other. I'm not saying that having to hide the votes is a reason not to complete this feature, just that if it is completed, they should also be hidden. It only makes sense. – animuson Jul 9 '12 at 1:39
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    @animuson ok <shrug> of the two, I think the mass one-liner showing a reversal is a much more negative looking mark on someone's history than the scattering of individual votes that caused them. Like I said before, anyone checking up on my rep history already can't make the math work unless I've never down-voted an answer. My point being, I'll take removing only the reversal if it's a significantly different and more cumbersome task to remove the old votes. Plus removing the old votes may change things like rep cap earned on previous days, which currently I don't think they do... – Aaron Bertrand Jul 9 '12 at 1:50
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    Meta has taught me that addition and subtraction are hard. – user7116 Jul 9 '12 at 1:54
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    stands up Hello everyone, my name is Norbert. I have been serial upvoted and I do not wish to be labeled sits down – Kermit Sep 13 '12 at 0:06
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    stands up my name is Andrew and I think some serially upvoted me about 8 hours ago (11 votes across different questions in max 1 hour), and I don't want to be labelled either. sits down – AndrewC Nov 26 '12 at 22:16
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    I can report back that it was reversed, but only 9 were reversed (perhaps 2 were someone else). I found -90 much more demotivating and confidence shattering than I expected. I felt people would think I had cheated, and I generally answer fewer questions since then. :( – AndrewC Dec 11 '12 at 13:23
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    43 Meta Stack Overflow users agree with BoltClock that "It's not like this information is useful to anyone else except for public shaming anyway." – Jeffrey Bosboom Feb 19 '15 at 23:04

We can't easily hide these entirely; it would break the accounting for the reputation history in ways that would make it more difficult audit, which is sorta the whole point of having it public in the first place.

That said, we can make it less of a public wagged finger:

Voting corrected (learn more)

...which links to this page in the help center, which documents the various reasons why this can happen and emphasizes that there's no shame in it unless you're intentionally trying to inflate your reputation.

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    "Voting corrected" seems a little... ominous. – hichris123 Mar 31 '15 at 21:00
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    @hichris123: It's definitely better than the previous "Serial upvoting reversed", but neither of them emphasises that it was due to a third party, not the user on whose page it appears, that this -X reputation adjustment was made - which is, I think, why people have been asking for such entries to be hidden in the first place. Personally, I'd prefer "Voting by third party corrected". – Amos M. Carpenter Apr 13 '16 at 5:18

I tend to agree with this - it looks bad, provides no real advantage to anyone other than a moderator investigating the root cause of the problem, and actually offers a reverse-engineering tool to folks intentionally looking to game the system.

Hiding it by default, visible only to moderators and profile owners via the "show deleted posts" checkbox, makes sense: you can still figure out where the reputation went if you notice a sudden drop, but drive-by viewers and the person voting for you can't.

It's probably worth noting here that blatant sockpuppets are simply deleted - the entry in your rep history would then read, "user was removed".

  • I would agree with you, but ANY downvotes look bad. Why single out these "downvotes" over others? -2 or -5 looks worse to me than -70 because I know that it's not possible (AFAIK) to get -70 in one shot from a downvote on a bad answer. – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 17:44
  • @Jimmy: because these aren't actually down-votes, in the same way that having one of your posts deleted isn't a down-vote. At one time, this would've shown up as effectively a re-written history, the original reputation gained from those votes no longer applied; it's nice for the peace of mind of the recipient that these are now accounted for properly in the chronology, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything to an external viewer. – Shog9 Jul 9 '12 at 17:49
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    because these aren't actually down-votes -- you just made my point. The OP is saying the minus sign on the upvoting reversal is making his company look bad. You've just shown how clear the difference is between downvotes and upvoting reversals. – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 17:54
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    @JimmyPena: not just my company, but me as a normal user. And this doesn't just go for me, I think others might agree. I think given the choice if people had one, they would rather not have the rep deducted in their activity feed – Lodder Jul 9 '12 at 18:00
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    First users complain that reputation isn't Live. Then they complain when their old crap was deleted because they could see their rep change in living color. Then they complained when their rep went down or up or didn't change at all but didn't have a history entry. Now they complain when it explains too much because people might not understand the explanations... – user7116 Jul 9 '12 at 21:17
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    @sixlettervariables ... and then users complained about all the complaining. And the someone complained about the complaining about the complaining... – Some Helpful Commenter Jul 9 '12 at 21:40
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    @SomeHelpfulCommenter: those responsible for the complaining about the complaining about the complaining have been sacked. – user7116 Jul 9 '12 at 22:08
  • @sixlettervariables :) where's that 16 ton weight when you need it – Some Helpful Commenter Jul 9 '12 at 22:36
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    What if the upvoter is a genuine user and not a sock puppet? He won't be deleted and the description remains same.. serial upvoting reversed Shouldn't there be an end for it? Please check this – Bhuvan Rikka 웃 Oct 17 '12 at 7:23

The blog post Reputation and Historical Archives describes displaying reputation lost from deleted questions as a privacy violation.

Second, we won’t display reputation lost to deleted questions on your profile unless you explicitly ask for it, and won’t display it at all to other people (apart from moderators). This was an egregious privacy violation, and we sincerely apologize for not catching it sooner. [emphaisis mine]

I fail to see why rolling back serial up/down votes is somehow different, considering that serial upvotes on your account can be something that's completely beyond your control.


It would have much less prominence in the rep history if it counted as being on the same day as the serial voting occurred.

I believe that the serial voting script runs at 3am UTC, and that SE counts a day as UTC midnight-midnight. You could run the script at whatever time you like, but make the "serial upvoting reversed" event appear on the same day as the voting.

This way serial upvoting wouldn't cause the inaccurate rep increase one day and a big red negative the next, and serial downvoting would get cancelled out.

We shouldn't be permanently red-marked for this. Sockpuppets and voting rings - yup, permanent red mark, happy. Random drive-by serial upvoting? It's not our fault - please don't leave a negative rep day on our record.

(It's about to happen to me on meta, I believe (10 upvotes on some fairly random stuff 12 hours ago), and it did happen to me on SO a while back, and I found it massively demotivating. Ironic that it was probably someone trying to be nice to me that ended with such a black feeling.)


If seen in my profile that 70 reputation has been removed due to being serial up-voted ... it makes my company and others it happens to look bad.

I'm curious to know exactly how, since you have clearly explained how it happened.

If I go to the Reputation tab on your profile it clearly says Serial upvoting reversed wherever there is a deduction. So I don't think anyone is being made to look bad.

Why not put a note in your profile saying you have been getting serial upvotes?

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    Because people may not read that note in your profile. Why is a reversal an important part of the publicly visible part of your reputation history, that requires all of this extra dialog to explain away? And this goes for both serial up-voting and serial down-voting IMHO. – Aaron Bertrand Jul 9 '12 at 13:34
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    @AaronBertrand Some people like to see those stats. Maybe the OP shouldn't be representing his company here. – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 13:48
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    Well as I said above there are stats (like my down-voted answers) that other people can't see. I'm not sure whether "people like to see them" translates to "SE must show them." – Aaron Bertrand Jul 9 '12 at 13:49
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    @AaronBertrand It is already showing them. I fail to see why Stack Overflow should help JoomJunk's marketing department hide something that, with any kind of inspection, is clearly a system message fully explained as having nothing to do with the user's activity. – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 13:54
  • I don't understand what value that it adds, or why a person's company affiliation has anything to do with it. The reversal has nothing to do with anything the user did. – Aaron Bertrand Jul 9 '12 at 13:55
  • @JP. I am not representing my company in the way you are thinking. I work for the company and it is shown in my description. That is all. – Lodder Jul 9 '12 at 13:56
  • @AaronBertrand what value that it adds Explaining why OP got +70 and then -70 right after? Please explain the alternative. My understanding is: I get some upvotes, then they get reversed, so the whole thing disappears with no explanation. All I know is that "the system" took away rep for an unknown reason. – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 14:00
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    @Lodder That is exactly what it says in your question above: to help the Joomla users on behalf of my company – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 14:01
  • @JP. Like I said, I am absolutely fine with the reputation being removed. I deem it fair. All I am asking it for it not to be shown in the activity feed in certain cases as I doesn't reflect well. – Lodder Jul 9 '12 at 14:02
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    @Lodder that's exactly my point -- doesn't reflect well -- from what perspective? Your company's? It clearly says "Serial upvoting reversed" in your profile, that isn't enough? – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 14:04
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    @JP. Doesnt reflect well on a company nor a user themselve. Lots of people only care about point therefore create 2nd accounts and vote themselves up. I don't particularly want people thinking I have done this – Lodder Jul 9 '12 at 14:09
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    @Lodder: perhaps you could educate them on The Internets. Or, even better, just not care. Your Arbitrary Fun Points went up, then down, and internet peoples did things...thus ends another episode of As The Stack Overflow Turns. Answer questions to help people out, forget about everything else. The message itself is neither good nor bad, thus there is no reason for anyone to worry. – user7116 Jul 9 '12 at 14:22
  • @Lodder Sorry, I just don't get it. Why are people are smart enough to understand sock puppets on Stack Overflow, but not smart enough to see the "Serial upvoting" message on your profile? – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 14:24
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    @JimmyPena: He's saying that it looks like he was caught cheating (possibly with alt accounts doing serial upvoting). Therefore reflecting on his company. Personally, I don't see how this could be a significant issue, but that's the logic. – Nicol Bolas Jul 9 '12 at 18:03
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    @NicolBolas I would agree with you if it was mentioned in the question. – JimmyPena Jul 9 '12 at 18:16

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