See this:

It's real. (Thanks Manishearth for helping me on this!)

Any user with upvote privilege can simply click the upvote button repeatedly to cause this to any other user, at any time.

How can we block this? I couldn't come with a concrete suggestion so your ideas are welcome.

  • 1
    Tha works if there is no tracking of who voted for whom. So the question is, when repeatedly clicking, would this be recorded for each click? Probably not. But can moderators see who voted on whom? If so you can at least identify the account. – Devolus Jan 7 '14 at 12:18
  • @Devolus no, mods can't know but it's not relevant and that's not what I'm asking. I want the achievements mechanism that is responsible to show that green number, to somehow identify such thing and prevent it. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jan 7 '14 at 12:22
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    Hey, that's the private message feature people have been asking for! All you need is to know morse code. – Mat Jan 7 '14 at 12:28
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    @Mat that's plain stroke of genius! – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jan 7 '14 at 12:31
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    They could just implement some kind of cooldown period for too many votes cast or undone within a couple of seconds. Chances are those aren't benign votes anyway. – slhck Jan 7 '14 at 12:51
  • @slhck isn't there already? ... oh, there isn't. – John Dvorak Jan 7 '14 at 13:06
  • @JanDvorak there is only for the reputation display in user profile reputation tab - otherwise it will show +10/-10/+10/-10 events like crazy. :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jan 7 '14 at 13:07
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    They are not even private, actually. Just volatile. – John Dvorak Jan 7 '14 at 13:09
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    On a side note, why does the tavern chat new message indicator flicker as well? – John Dvorak Jan 7 '14 at 13:16
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    Ohmygod, it's... it's Oscillating! – Billy Mailman Jan 7 '14 at 13:43
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    @Aditya so it was you! lol! As for hat, it was recorded few days ago when Winter Bash was still active (and it's not me by the way, I can't give myself reputation) and I was just slow to bake this discussion. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jan 7 '14 at 13:53
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    @BartoszKP others too but it was declined... personally I do find it nice feature. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jan 7 '14 at 14:45
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    Is this an actual problem encountered somewhere by someone? – SQB May 15 '17 at 12:07
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    But has it actually been exploited/observed in the wild @ShadowWizard? – Martin Tournoij May 16 '17 at 12:22
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    Given that virtually nobody has been a "victim" of this horrific exploit, and that there are exactly no consequences (unless an epileptic doctor is using SE while investigating extraterrestrial bacteria in an underground laboratory), I'm pretty sure it's a non-issue. – Jason C May 16 '17 at 12:51

According to The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide, after you have undone and redone your vote 30 times, it is locked in:

So you would only be able to do this 30 times for each post.

  • 14
    At which point you could move on to the next post? :-) – Martin Tournoij May 15 '17 at 12:22
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    @Carpetsmoker - and then you'll get in trouble for serial voting :P – Mithical May 15 '17 at 12:24
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    Not if you cycle the votes only 28 times, before it gets locked, and make sure you don't leave a vote. – Martin Tournoij May 15 '17 at 12:25
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    That would be a very dedicated troll. Oh, err, unless it can be scripted -- that would be bad. – Monica Cellio Aug 25 '19 at 3:23
  • @MonicaCellio everything can be scripted. Its always only the question how much time someone is willing to invest in the script. – Josef says Reinstate Monica Oct 21 '19 at 12:55

I might suggest implementing a similar limit seen with undoing and redoing upvotes with accepting answers.

The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide says the following about accepting answers:

  • All must wait 15 minutes after asking to accept any answer
  • All must wait 48 hours after asking to accept own answer

This says nothing about flicking the acceptance on and off like the asker is talking about for upvotes. I think a similar limit needs to be implemented for accepting answers to prevent abuse like this.

Even with the 30 undo and redo limit for votes, this still allows some abuse like this, since it's pretty easy to count off 25 or so undo/redos and not hit the 30 limit. If you had to wait 15 seconds or so to undo or redo a vote or accepted answer, it would completely prevent this sort of rapid-fire on-and-off abuse of the system.

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