There are numerous posts which indicate that moderators cannot see who casts specific votes due to lack of voter information in the data dump, but there are also posts which indicate that moderators are effective at responding to reports of serial downvoting

How can this be? I can think of only two possibilities:

  • They have tools which let them access the "production database" in which the voter information is available, at least for relatively recent votes
  • They engage the devs, who investigate on their behalf

Just trying to clear up my mental model of what/how data is retained on SE.


Moderators can see votes in the aggregate cast between specific users. If the percentage of such votes seems to be too high, it can be an indicator of serial voting. But we also use other criteria to make that determination.

Moderators can, and do, destroy accounts whose sole purpose is to game the reputation system. But we cannot do anything about serial downvoting (other than suspend users). Generally an overnight script detects and removes such votes.

  • ...and what would be overnight script? You mean to say, server itself? – Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan Dec 11 '13 at 16:39
  • @AfzaalAhmadZeeshan yes, it's an automated script run serverside – wax eagle Dec 11 '13 at 16:42
  • Thanks. I didn't see this capability in meta.stackexchange.com/a/4576/216381. Are the tools accessible at 10k a proper subset of the available moderator tools? – Peter Alfvin Dec 11 '13 at 17:04
  • 1
    The tool I'm describing is only available to diamond mods. – Robert Harvey Dec 11 '13 at 17:07
  • Are there also tools to find sock puppets who downvote the same old posts at about the same time? – Arjan Dec 11 '13 at 19:01
  • @Arjan: Not really. The tools are not that specific. – Robert Harvey Dec 11 '13 at 19:12

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