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
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 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. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 12:22
  • 90
    Hey, that's the private message feature people have been asking for! All you need is to know morse code.
    – Mat
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 12:28
  • 5
    @Mat that's plain stroke of genius! Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 12:31
  • 5
    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
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 12:51
  • @slhck isn't there already? ... oh, there isn't. Commented Jan 7, 2014 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. :) Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 13:07
  • 3
    They are not even private, actually. Just volatile. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 13:09
  • 1
    On a side note, why does the tavern chat new message indicator flicker as well? Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 13:16
  • 6
    Ohmygod, it's... it's Oscillating! Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 13:43
  • 1
    @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. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 13:53
  • 1
    @BartoszKP others too but it was declined... personally I do find it nice feature. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 14:45
  • 4
    Is this an actual problem encountered somewhere by someone?
    – SQB
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 12:07
  • 2
    But has it actually been exploited/observed in the wild @ShadowWizard? Commented May 16, 2017 at 12:22
  • 3
    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
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


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? :-) Commented May 15, 2017 at 12:22
  • 1
    @Carpetsmoker - and then you'll get in trouble for serial voting :P
    – Mithical
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 12:24
  • 5
    Not if you cycle the votes only 28 times, before it gets locked, and make sure you don't leave a vote. Commented May 15, 2017 at 12:25
  • 4
    That would be a very dedicated troll. Oh, err, unless it can be scripted -- that would be bad. Commented Aug 25, 2019 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
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 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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