Today I was going trough some reviews on Stack Overflow on the Low Quality Posts list. I flagged this answer as "Not An Answer" as "This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post". Then I got an, at least, unusual and rude answer from the answerer:

@Yaroslav Are you kidding me? Don't tell me how to use this site, son, I have been here much longer than you

I flagged the comment as rude.

Then, with no apparent reason, just few minutes after receiving this comment, I got two downvotes on a couple of my answers, already verified with the OP in question, without any comments on how to improve my answer or what was wrong so I could correct it.

So, apparently as he has +20k I can not flag one of his answers? Just because someone has ten times my reputation implies that he can't be wrong once a while? And by the way, the accepted answer with three upvotes is from a user with 496 reputation.

It is not the first time I see these kind of actions. It is not common, but it happens. It's there a way to prevent/avoid this? If I see a high rep user with an incomplete/incorrect answer, should I flag it or not? I will flag it of course, whenever I see it. I guess it is something already known on all Stack Exchange sites, but nevertheless I don't see the point on just downvoting other answers just for vengeance.


It happened for two more answers and with the same pattern. This one got three downvotes in half an hour, as it was indeed not correct, I deleted it. This other answer is suffering the same issue. And it is weird, at the end, as my answer was correct in this particular case.

  • 5
    Just for the record, you can't technically know that he was the one who downvoted your questions. You can guess, and you might be right, but you can't be sure. Also note that you should send an email to team@stackoverflow.com if you would like to discuss a specific instance of voting fraud; here on meta we can't really do much about it.
    – Servy
    Nov 16 '12 at 19:40
  • You are right @Servy, I'm just guessing that the downvotes are from that user. I do not think it is as bad as to write them, is not like I've been "attacked" with downvotes, I just wanted to be sure that I was not doing wrong.
    – Yaroslav
    Nov 16 '12 at 19:44
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    The two answers that got downvoted are ... not great answers. Revenge voters never go through the trouble of finding a poor answer, they'll just hit whatever is on the first page. Do consider the possibility that your answers got reviewed as well. Btw, leaving a comment is entirely optional. For a good reason, it avoids a lot of drama. Nov 16 '12 at 19:52
  • I agree with you @UphillLuge, even upvoted your comment. If my answer is incorrect, incomplete or whatever other reason and deserves a downvote, perfect, I then will try to improve it. But the comment left by that user was unnecesary and out of place and is very suspicious that right after the comment, couple of minutes after that, I got the downvotes. Whenever I can, if I downvote, I leave a comment to help the user to improve his answer, usually with links to the faq or alike. I know is optional, but helps, specially new users
    – Yaroslav
    Nov 16 '12 at 23:52
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    I'm not sure which makes me cringe more: the fact that you dumped a boilerplate comment on an answer that was posted many years ago, or the fact that he reacted as if he knew the place well at the time he wrote such an answer. Nov 19 '12 at 12:44
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    Then according to your comment old answers should not be flagged/deleted/commented at all, even if they don't follow Stack Overflow quality standards? If so, then why 2,3 or even 4 years old questions are listed on the review lists?
    – Yaroslav
    Nov 19 '12 at 13:53
  • I didn't say anything about flagging the answer. It's just... I don't see the point in posting that comment on that sort of answer along with the flag. You saw the answerer's reaction yourself. Nov 19 '12 at 18:41
  • Ok, now I understand your point @BoltClock'saUnicorn
    – Yaroslav
    Nov 19 '12 at 21:35
  • I think it's perfectly possible that someone who felt annoyed by you for a moment goes to your page to check your posts - maybe with a thought like an angry "Who's that guy?!". And then start to read your posts, relax, and vote just normally. You may be irritated because you got three downvotes after the disagreement; But it could be because he went through many of your posts. Ok, voting normally would mean you'd get upvotes at the same time - but maybe he was just not in the mood for voting you up, and voted either down, or not at all. Oct 25 '14 at 20:26

You are right: That is rude and offensive. I flagged it so too. But I don't think you can do anything about it besides flagging such comments.

And on SO we discourage link-only-answers. That is why the post was correctly flagged as low-quality. It just does not meet the quality standards of SO.

And for the downvotes: They may be from the answerer, but you can't be sure. Serial downvoting will be reversed if the amount hits a specific treshold.

  • 1
    +1 Answer and comment flagged too. Voted to delete answer now that it has enough downvotes.
    – Oded
    Nov 16 '12 at 19:41
  • Already commented on @Servy comment about the downvotes procedence. I guess I was not incorrect flagging that answer to close as it was link only.
    – Yaroslav
    Nov 16 '12 at 19:45
  • 1
    script likely won't catch if there are only two downvotes (especially to low/zero score answer), I had a chance to "test" that. I'd guess that experienced users know that and exploit to "bite". I had similar experience yesterday: screen shot with two unusual DVs in one minute
    – gnat
    Nov 16 '12 at 19:58

You are 100% correct. That answer really didn't meet the Stack Overflow quality standards, and you've correctly flagged it.

Don't be alarmed by downvotes, serial downvotes are automatically reversed by the system, and 2 or 3 downvotes doesn't matter at all on the long run.

Don't let it discourage you!! Keep Overflowing! :)

  • 1
    Keep letting my program overflow? Isn't that a bad thing?!?!?! Jul 31 '13 at 19:27

As it has been pointed out, maybe it was not him that downvoted your answers.

At least your first post might have been coincidentally included in the Low Quality queue because of its length. In my opinion is a wrong answer as I commented and I would downvote it if it wasn't already at -2.

  • Yes, I just guess that the downvotes come from that user, already commented about it. At least now I know I correctly flagged that answer.
    – Yaroslav
    Nov 16 '12 at 19:47

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