On August 17 I got serially upvoted twice in a day:

enter image description here

I am assuming that except the blue colored upvote the rest of the votes are by the same two users. I reported the incident and my flag was deemed helpful.

From the first upvote at 6:56 am, there are two upvote on this question "How to increase Performance Tuning of Android Application" and I'm also assuming it's the same two users.

Today (Aug 22) just an hour ago I was serially downvoted:

enter image description here

Again I reported it by flagging, which was deemed helpful.

I know that serial voting is detected and reversed at the end of the day by an automated script, my question is:

Is there a more permanent solution for repeated serial voting by the same users?

  • 3
    "i reported it by flagging and it return in deemed helpful" Since when are we supposed to flag such stuff? Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:03
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    @WaffelizedBobby: we don't need to flag such stuff, usually. But the flag isn't going to be marked as 'not helpful' either. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:05
  • 2
    @WaffelizedBobby actually it's OK to flag, but only after 36 hours Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:06
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    @ShaWizDowArd, i did the 2nd option `Flag one of your answers and ask a moderator to look into the anomalous voting patterns.``
    – Lucifer
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:09
  • @Lucifer: I took the liberty to rephrase the answer to avoid further confusion. As a matter of fact, I just moved the last sentence from the first point to the second. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:20
  • @Lucifer "hour ago" is not 36 hours. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:23
  • @ShaWizDowArd, i know that part already, i read that question and answer too, i know all that part already, but it is not an permanent solution, read my question title again. you guys closed my question wrongly i think.
    – Lucifer
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:25
  • To permanent solution is to either lock everyone out, or do a real-time scan of all votes cast...which most likely will result in everyone being locked out because the servers are busy checking votes. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:33
  • @Lucifer I tried to clarify your question a bit, and voted to re-open. The answer, unfortunately, is no.
    – yannis
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:38
  • @YannisRizos thanks, let see what other users and moderators thinks/do regarding this. If they plan something, then we may bring some good solution for these kind of activity :)
    – Lucifer
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:41
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    @Lucifer I posted an answer for you in a duplicate question: "it is most likely that the guy who serially voted you once, will have harder time trying it next time, even if they vote less" - that's about as permanent as it gets isn't it? meaning, reversal script doesn't forget the prior abuse
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:42
  • OK, @Yannis made it somewhat different though you still shouldn't flag so fast. Voted to reopen as well. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:58
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    @ShaWizDowArd, thanks i flagged it so fast in order to protect my account against the suspension. and being english my third language, i sometime cant express my query properly to you guys, which converts it in to mis-understanding
    – Lucifer
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:01
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    @ShaWizDowArd Lucifer is very well known amongst moderators for his uncanny ability to detect voting rings and he's aware of the flagging protocol - but in general you're absolutely correct, serial voting is taken care of at the end of the UTC day, flagging before that is just plain noise.
    – yannis
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


There already is a permanent solution - though that depends on your definition of a solution.

An automated system that detects serial voting is in place - once detected these get reversed within 36 hours, no human intervention needed.

If you mean you want a way to stop serial voting from ever occurring, I believe that would be very hard to achieve in real-time (or near realtime), and the current solution is good enough for most.

The comment Yannis made suggests that there is nothing that actually flags users who do this, at least nothing moderators are aware of.

A mechanism to log these occurrences against a user (with a timestamp) would be beneficial in finding repeat offenders, in particularly those who serially vote often. With this kind of data, such users can be dealt with (warnings that if unheeded will result in a ban?).

  • 4
    It might make some sense to have a more permanent solution for repeat offenders though.
    – yannis
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:02
  • @YannisRizos - I assumed that there was a mechanism in place that flags repeat offenders (i.e. for each detected occurrence something increments against the user, possibly with a timestamp). If that's not the case, it should be, so repeat offenders can be dealt with.
    – Oded
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:05
  • If there is, I wouldn't know about it (it might be dev only). But fortunately we don't have but only a few serial voting incidents on Programmers, it could be the case that there is such a mechanism and I just never had any use for it.
    – yannis
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:07
  • Well, every request could return a 406 (or 402) error, that would solve that problem for sure. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:07
  • @WaffelizedBobby - I don't follow.
    – Oded
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:10
  • @Oded: Every HTTP-request to the server could return "Not Acceptable" or "Payment Required" as responses (which effectively locks everyone out). Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:12
  • @WaffelizedBobby - I see. Like site upgrades seem to do.
    – Oded
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:17

Yup, there already is a solution for this kind of activity: Serial upvotes are automatically detected and reverted at the end of the day (UTC).

  • i know this part already, as i detected many sock-pa-pets on SO already.
    – Lucifer
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:01

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