Last week sometime someone started to go through my posts on a particular Stack Exchange site and downvoted them, about 5 old posts of mine.

The system automatically reversed these downvotes so my rep is back where it should be.

What happens to the person who did these downvotes, assuming it was all one person?

Do they get a penalty or something for vote fraud?


There are no automated penalties beyond the reversal of the votes, but moderators can take action.

For a one-time serial-voting episode that gets reversed, most of the time (in my experience working with other moderators) there won't be additional consequences. If it happens more than once or is egregious (lots more votes), moderators will probably at least warn the user and might suspend. I've suspended people for a first offense when it involved lots of votes, but usually, if it's just a few votes and the user doesn't do it again, I figure either the reversal got the message across or he got it out of his system.

Once we know that a user has done this, at least some mods try to keep an eye on the user for a bit in case it repeats. Don't expect that kind of monitoring on SO, where the mods are already way too busy, but on smaller sites where this doesn't happen a lot, moderators are more likely to be able to pay attention.

  • 1
    per my observations vote reversal script has sort of a "memory", that is if it caught some user serially voting another one, it may trigger later at lower amount of suspicious votes than usual
    – gnat
    May 5 '16 at 19:30

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