When a Stack Exchange employee invalidates votes in cases of voting fraud any reputation earned from acceptance of answers is removed, but the actual acceptance stays. This results in a the answer staying pinned to the top, and having a very notable graphic indicating it is "the best answer" even though the acceptance was deemed fraudulent.

While it is true that most mods, in cases such as this, frequently tend to delete these answers (and they frequently merit deletion in their own right, regardless of the voting fraud) there are likely to be some number of cases where the answers don't merit deletion or where a mod or employee doesn't find all of these answers to delete them.

By having the (automatic or SE employee triggered) vote reversal script also undo acceptances it ensures that these fraudulent answers aren't given undue attention without giving moderators fined grained control over the acceptance of answers.

(Note that this proposal was originally mentioned by Brad in this comment, along with some related discussion.)

  • 1
    Votes are also invalidated when accounts are deleted, and that could be another case where acceptance could be removed. However, there might be side-effects with that when accounts that weren't involved in voting fraud are deleted (via deletion requests or for other rule violations). Oct 19, 2016 at 18:00
  • 1
    @BradLarson I believe that when deleting a user there's a path for deleting votes, and a path for not deleting votes (not sure if that's manual or not) but presumably any case where regular votes aren't deleted acceptance also shouldn't be deleted, and any cases where regular votes are deleted acceptance should also be deleted.
    – Servy
    Oct 19, 2016 at 18:01
  • 16
    To clarify: The accept vote itself does get deleted when we invalidate the votes. It's just that the accept status does not get removed from the answer (or the question, wherever the actual "this answer is accepted" data gets stored). So it appears accepted when it really isn't. I think adding this check to the nightly cleanup would probably be beneficial.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Oct 19, 2016 at 18:03
  • 1
    Surely there must be any number of cases where the acceptance is not related to the fraudulent votes. You'd have to check very carefully for a link.
    – Chenmunka
    Oct 20, 2016 at 11:01
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    @Chenmunka This is referring to cases where the votes have already been determined to be fradulent because a link was already found, it's just that the rep was refunded but the accepted status kept (because there was nothing in place to remove it).
    – Servy
    Oct 20, 2016 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


Moving forward, vote invalidations that take out accept votes will also remove the accept status from the question and answer in the process, so the accept mark will disappear.

  • This has caused the opposite of a desirable effect at meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/356907/…. The question owner has accepted what was the best answer in his opinion, then has made the extra step of serial voting the answerer to thank him. Extra votes were invalidated, but the answer did not deserve to be unaccepted. We should leave "acceptance" status to the discretion of the question owner without reverting those.
    – Cœur
    Sep 23, 2017 at 4:12
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    @c This feature did not change the behavior of invalidations. The previous behavior was that accept votes were still invdalidated but the accept mark did not get removed properly, which led to a lot of confusion. We can't trust that any votes were valid when there are clear signs of bad cotes, and invdalidating accept votes along with the rest is never gonna change.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Sep 23, 2017 at 4:16
  • 1
    As well, accept votes are only ever hit when staff have to become involved, which means the voting wasn't straight-forward enough for the automated system to process it.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Sep 23, 2017 at 4:19

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