Just since yesterday I am noticing my answers or questions are downvoted randomly, mostly highscore ones...

Secondly, people are just upvoting basic question and answers.

YES even the lamest questions are upvoted like 7-8 times and even basic answers are upvoted above score of 10. Is this because of Winter Bash? If yes, then Stack Overflow should be concerned about this.

  • If the point is to make people more involved, I don't think there is any need to get concerned that they do. – Oded Dec 20 '12 at 12:58
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    @Oded Involved as in what sense? Just take a look in CSS/HTML category, am very much active there...questions are going +7,8, answers going +10... – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 12:59
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    Don't forget it is also the holiday period and people are doing less work in the office – Oded Dec 20 '12 at 13:00
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    I think the downvotes are tactic downvotes. – hims056 Dec 20 '12 at 13:00
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    This. I love the hats, but I fear they may encourage the same kinds of behaviour like the review queue..... – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Dec 20 '12 at 13:01
  • @hims056 forget about the downvotes but people do that too just to earn caps..upvote/dowvote we get caps...race on, comment madly..and earn caps and get on the top of the leaderboard – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 13:01
  • I feel this question should only be answered with statistics. – Denys Séguret Dec 20 '12 at 13:04
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    So you mean the reputation system is the death of the reputation system? – hakre Dec 20 '12 at 13:05
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    This already happened in the review queues, so please move on, nothing to see here. – Toon Krijthe Dec 20 '12 at 13:08
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    No moreso than badges. Though the "post on meta" hat seems to have encouraged a lot of junk on meta (I'm not referring to this post, as good as a snide remark as that would be) – Ben Brocka Dec 20 '12 at 13:08
  • @GamecatisToonKrijthe Can you explain me what's the *REVIEW QUE*(Am New Here) – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 13:08
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    Review queue, where users can review posts and edits of other users and gain badges for that. Problem is that there are too many serial upvoters to get a badge quickly but introducing a lot of upvoted garbage. – Toon Krijthe Dec 20 '12 at 13:10
  • @GamecatisToonKrijthe Oh yes even I do review QA.. – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 13:11
  • Do you really see this increasing beyond the noise that /review generates, especially given that holidays are here and people have more time to review? Can you link to some specific posts? – Tim Post Dec 20 '12 at 14:24
  • @TinyTimPost stackoverflow.com/questions/13971674/… and here goes the duplicate stackoverflow.com/questions/3042979/… – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 14:28

Concern? Even the FAQ does not tell this, but SO is actually a browser-game for techies and nerds.

That's also why the whole Winter-Bash is so tremendously popular. It's like an long-awaited skin or decoration feature in a MMORPG.

So what should one be concerned about? That it motivates users to use the site? Maybe it's just what we need: To not take things too seriously all the time.

(and yes, there you get an upvote, even you are concerned and might not totally love it, it's all with good intentions)

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    People blindly upvoting crap is something to be concerned about, IMO. We have enough of that already – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Dec 20 '12 at 13:05
  • So flood up the votes for easiest questions too? I remember you told me to close the question and not to answer on duplicates but people just vote the question up, that question get answers, the answer gets loads of upvotes and the users are happy – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 13:06
  • @Pekka: We have that since the new review queue. At least on my own feelings. I don't have any stats. – hakre Dec 20 '12 at 13:06
  • @hakre and no pal I was not complaining, I was like most of the question and answers are upvoted above 5..but even your answer makes sense – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 13:07
  • @Mr.Alien: There are dynamics. I don't say they work well, always. But dynamics often work in favor of the good. But if you've got the conception to not do so, don't do so. I don't do either (or I make a joke but I then leave a comment, too, like yesterday, when the upvote was a paradox action). – hakre Dec 20 '12 at 13:08
  • @hakre Ya sir even am becoming slowly like you suggest, answer only if the question is unique and makes sense – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 13:09

Before starting to write this post I agreed with you, as I noticed this around related tags yesterday. It seemed that common knowledge questions were being up voted through the roof. Well, I just looked through the posts in this tag from the last 48 hours or so and I've come to realize that the problem isn't anywhere near as severe as I thought it was yesterday.

I won't give any names... but, I only counted a handful of posts that seemed to have a much higher vote count than they deserved. Overall I'll just say that I think this problem seems a lot worse when you run into these anomalous posts, but if you look back I think you'll find that the balance of poorly researched questions being up/down voted has barely been upset.

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    exactly what I was saying, today is quiet near to normal, yesterday was like race up on winter bash leaderboard..Irony is am the first on stackoverflow lol – Mr. Alien Dec 20 '12 at 14:54

I think you're overestimating how much people care about the hats. People do get pretty excited about hats when they get them, but I doubt new users (who are the ones most likely to abuse the system) give much of a flip either way.

A new user compulsively hunting down silly image overlays for their gravatar on a site they don't much care for is not a very compelling scenario; that would be the established users, and they already know the ropes.

Ridiculous upvotes have been around for a while now, exacerbated by the review queues. I don't think Winter Bash is a major contributing factor.

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    Your lack of faith in the OCD disturbs me. – Toon Krijthe Dec 20 '12 at 13:13

The intention of hats should be looked at as a fun way of encouraging participation, while stylishly disguising male-pattern baldness and preventing a user's head from getting chilly.

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