Example: Three days ago I was serial downvoted[?]

After these weren't automatically reversed, 24 hours later, I flagged one of the posts. It was eventually marked as helpful, but the downvotes are still there.

It could be that it was 2 users, but it looks like too much of a coincidence.

What should you do in these circumstances?

  • 2
    The relevant info has been edited into the FAQ, which means this is now a duplicate. Please note that it's policy to close questions as duplicates of FAQ questions if the answer is contained there, even if it wasn't there at the time this was asked. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 7:58
  • 1
    @Ano: Where exactly is this policy formulated? Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 8:33
  • @NathanTuggy meta.stackexchange.com/questions/47634/… Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 15:58
  • @Ano: I don't see anything. (The first mention of that specific policy comes from an edit you made two weeks ago, which has now been rolled back by the first community member to see and consider it inappropriate, namely me. I do not approve of individuals or small groups inventing their own idiosyncratic and aggressive moderating styles and unilaterally tweaking FAQs to reflect those styles when there's pushback. FAQs are not the place to innovate or create policy. They are the place to record existing policy, and they need citations for anything at all controversial.) Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 21:03
  • @NathanTuggy I thought this was actual policy, because I saw other users closing such questions. That said, I'll probably start a meta-discussion on this topic. What's one argument against such closures? Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 21:29
  • @Ano: I've seen a good many users closing questions against FAQs because they're relevant, and I have no problem with this unless the FAQ is very long and the question very specific (at which point it becomes simple Read The Friendly Manual behavior, which is hostile to Stack philosophy). I have seen no other users that I'm aware of editing the FAQ to cite a question and then closing that same question against that FAQ. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 21:46
  • @Ano: I would argue that it is illogical for a FAQ to primarily cite dupes, and even more illogical to cite dupes of itself. Further, questions to clarify points that are not completely settled in the FAQ should be allowed, and indeed should be left open when possible so that new answers can be added if they are suitable — and then voted on. Prematurely ending this — permanently — by duplicate closure is not healthy. (Especially since future questions attempting to re-examine the issue will then likely be duped against the FAQ again, for similar reasons, probably before being answered.) Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 21:47
  • @NathanTuggy By the way, my proposed edit to the tag wiki doesn't refer to posts whose info is subsequently edited into the FAQ. I carefully worded it to only cover the case where the info in question was already contained in the FAQ in the first place (which is an accepted policy). Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 3:53
  • @SonicWizard: I did notice and appreciate that, but I wasn't really sure the tag wiki was a great place to put "sometimes we close questions as dupes of questions that have the answer already", even if there was an implied "even if the target is very long". Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 4:02

1 Answer 1


Our guidance here is to do exactly what you did, wait for the script to run and if the votes aren't reversed, it means:

  • It wasn't the same person. You'd be surprised how often that is actually the case
  • The votes did not trip the algorithm(s), which are designed to err on the side of caution.

What this prescribes is shrugging it off entirely, and possibly seeing them reversed in the future, unless it becomes a pattern in which case you should reach out to us privately.

You'll note that the three posts down voted were already quite heavily down voted. I'm reasonably certain that someone did happen upon your profile for whatever reason, but I'm not really inclined to manually invalidate votes that the system did not unless there's a compelling reason - e.g. someone is methodically evading automatic detection using various techniques. This might have originated in chat - it's just hard to say.

We strongly discourage going through someone's profile and down voting what you don't like - and I will be contacting someone privately to let them know why it's something they should avoid doing.

I can't tell you why I'm not taking additional action, because doing so would reveal a little too much about how these things work. Well, I am taking action, but probably not as much as you hoped - sorry about that.

  • 1
    I'm the moderator that originally marked his flag as helpful and took a look. I didn't see anything on my end. I thought I had sent this to you in chat, but I may not have. Sorry 'bout that. Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 12:40
  • 1
    @GeorgeStocker You might have, while I try to make sure it never happens, pings once in a while fall through the cracks.
    – user50049
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 12:42
  • 8
    "It wasn't the same person. You'd be surprised how often that is actually the case" - This has happened to me a couple of times, and yes: I would be very surprised if it wasn't the same person (that is, one person per downvote spree, not one person returning after months to do it all again). 17 different answers downvoted within 3 minutes seems way too much of a coincidence when I rarely get downvotes at all.
    – nnnnnn
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 5:01
  • 6
    "It wasn't the same person." - Well I'm not surprised! Someone who wants to teach anyone else a lesson, calls up his fellows and ask them to downvote. Thats how you get your 7 Answers almost an year old downvoted within a minute.
    – Identity1
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 9:26

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