I would like to find out how it is possible that a non-moderator user is able to see how I have voted on their question or if applicable have flagged it?

This appears to have happened to me today, and it prompted a challenge in the SE chat room.

I was under the impression that the details of our votes and flags were not visible to other users, except possibly for moderators.

This happened on a separate occasion, were the user actually disclosed the details of my votes on a meta post, however the user in question was a moderator on a different stack and I just assumed that they had network wide privileges that others did not. However today's incident occurred with a low reputation user.

As this user has been having confrontations with a number of users on the stack, I do not think that it was a lucky guess that they singled out my vote and flag on their question, as it had more than one down vote and had apparently been flagged by a different user (this was a provided generally by one of the stacks mods), and at that point I had not had a chance to add a comment, so there should of been no indication that I was active on that question.

It is troubling if non-moderators are able to see voting or flags to questions without the voter or flagger's express consent, in other words, they do not say explicitly in the comments that they have down voted or flagged for a specific reason.

  • 6
    Pretty sure they can't see them AMR. They must have taken a wild guess, and an educated one perhaps.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:01
  • 1
    Yeah, that's impossible, unless you've voted/flagged from the review - then the task is in your review history, and upon clicking the task, your action is disclosed.
    – nicael
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:03
  • 3
    I'm voting for the educated guess.
    – YviDe
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:09
  • @YviDe I was the second voter. Might you have been the first? ;-)
    – AMR
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:15
  • 1
    Only some SE employees can see individual votes. No rep-based privilege gives you that ability, and neither does a mod diamond (though there is some kind of view of voting "patterns" that mods use when investigating vote fraud).
    – jscs
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:15
  • @AMR no. I didn't vote on any question on the site at all today until things had calmed down (yes, I checked that ;-))
    – YviDe
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:16
  • If one knows who might downvote their answers, it's not hard to make an educated guess when it happens. Still not 100% sure way, but enough to make those accusations. As for flags, impossible, just an added "bonus" to the guess. Dec 17 '15 at 21:18
  • @JoshCaswell Thank you for the comment. The other incident, the user was able to see the detail of upvotes and down votes. Are they able to do that network wide if they are a mod on a different stack, or is it only a privilege on the stack they moderate.
    – AMR
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:18

There are a couple ways that users can try and deduce that it was you who downvoted them, based on some detective work they can do on the site:

  • If they have a link to a review item which allows voting, and the timestamps between you completing the review and the downvote are roughly the same, they might assume it was your downvote.

  • If they watch your profile and see your reputation drop by 1 at the roughly the same time their answer gets downvoted, they might assume it was your downvote.

These are still complete guesses, though. They might be much more accurate and educated guesses than others, but are still guesses nonetheless. It is not possible for anyone other than staff to see votes. Even moderators don't see votes - they can only see voting patterns which might be deemed as suspicious.

Note that Stack Exchange employees (who may not necessarily hold moderator privileges) are able to see who voted for certain posts - this information is used very rarely, and there are strict rules for its access. This wasn't the case here.

If you're curious about a specific instance, feel free to contact us and request some clarification. In the most recent instance, I looked through the comments and the chat transcript, and don't see anywhere the user directly accused you of being a downvoter or having flagged anything.

  • It was just before they posted their question. I am not a mod, so it doesn't seem reasonable that they would direct the question at me if they were not aware of an action I had taken on the question,
    – AMR
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:24
  • I've seen such instances @AMR — A posts a question, gets a downvote, and flames "@B I know it was you. I'm going to kill your children." I'd just let mods do their job if there's anything that requires their intervention. You can just happily go on with your life.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 17 '15 at 21:27

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