I looked at the readme.txt file for the last data dump publicly available and I couldn't figure out how on a particular post, does the UI notify me that I have already voted?

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In votes.xml there is no record of which user voted a post. Unless the user is the owner or he/she has made it a Favorite, one cannot count the number of votes for a particular user, then how does the UI notify any random user who votes on a post? Or may be I am missing something obvious.


Votes in the data dump are intentionally anonymized.

You won't be able to figure out who voted on a post from the data dump, that would completely break the anonymity of voting. Voting records are also removed from SEDE's datasets, and of course aren't (and won't be) available through the API.

  • Is there an alternative way to get that information? – ajmartin Apr 4 '13 at 5:21
  • Nopes ,,,,, ,,,, – Lucifer Apr 4 '13 at 5:22
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    @ajmartin No. Votes are anonymous. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 5:22
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    @ajmartin You can do it by hacking into the SE database. This might get you both the Hacker Badge and a trip to court. :) – Mysticial Apr 4 '13 at 5:23
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    @ajmartin That's up to SE to decide, but in the very unlikely chance they decide to provide some subset of voting records I'll be amongst the first to request my accounts to be deleted, as it would be a huge breach of my privacy. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 5:26
  • @Yannis Makes sense! – ajmartin Apr 4 '13 at 5:27
  • @Yannis You have a lot of hide don't you... :P – Mysticial Apr 4 '13 at 5:28
  • @Mysticial Heh, perhaps the one thing that I really don't want people to know is that I occasionally upvote horribly non constructive questions on Programmers (than I also insta-close). It may not be a good fit for the site, but that doesn't mean it's not a damn good question. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 5:29
  • @Yannis Aha... I do that on SO a lot as well. :) As much as everyone says that voting is anonymous, I vote knowing that it really isn't. Employees have access. All it takes one security breach for everything leak out. – Mysticial Apr 4 '13 at 5:31
  • That's just a generally good policy for internet behavior in general, not just here, though – user206222 Apr 4 '13 at 5:32
  • @Yannis Via open source communities, your entire code is visible. So I don't think that just by merely showing what you voted or not is that big a privacy breach at least for stackoverflow. Your code may speak more horribly than just a vote... – ajmartin Apr 4 '13 at 5:33
  • @ajmartin That's not the point. When I signed up for an account, the contract (in the philosophical sense) was that my votes would be anonymous. If that changes, I'm out. I won't hate SE for changing the terms of the game, and I won't lash out or anything like that, I'll just move on. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 5:35
  • @Mysticial Well, there was a breach recently (more of a bug really), and it was f'ing awful. But that's not really a problem, at least for me. I won't ragequit because a handful of votes saw the light of day due to a mistake (unless it happens every day), but I'll certainly move on to doing something else with my time if there's an intentional drastic change to voting. – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 5:40
  • @Yannis Ah. I assume I didn't hear about it since it would have made PR sense for SE to keep it hidden away. – Mysticial Apr 4 '13 at 5:44
  • @Mysticial You assume wrong, it was all over Meta and SE was quite open about it. Gory details: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/156507/… - As you'll notice it only took minutes for people to realize who the downvoter was, and about the same time for the first moronic comments to appear (since deleted) – yannis Apr 4 '13 at 5:48

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