Okay, so it's a very hypothetical question.

I'll tell you where I come from ...
Last year, on Stack Overflow there was some sort of fake account made and I have no idea why that guy/girl upvoted all my answers .My reputation increased by 200 (That's the maximum ~thank god !) and I was pretty delighted but the next day I got a huge moderator's notice and my account was suspended for like 3 months or so [I don't exactly remember the time :-( ] My reputation became 0 and I could answer no questions .

My question is:

If I upvote someone's answers genuinely out of interest, will his and my account get turned down the same way?

Finally, I want to know the logic behind identifying scams vs genuine questions.

And also the answer to my above question.

  • Please note I have no intention of doing it . Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 15:04
  • 1st of all serial votings will be detected and removed by an automatic script. Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 15:07
  • 3
    not hypothetical enough...
    – Shog9
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 15:13
  • 1
    @TilakMaddy - If you were suspended for what actually was a random user's serial upvoting, then there is more to the story then you have shared, because if truely was a random user and you had absolutely no connection to that user you wouldn't have been suspended. If you truely didn't have a connection, then you should seek to have that suspension removed from your account history, since being a victim of serial upvoting isn't against the rules. I see no evidence of you recieving serial upvotes in your reputation history at StackOverflow though.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 15:55
  • 1
    Long story short: Don't upvote someone's answers. Upvote good answers. If you're not targeting anyone, there's nothing to fear.
    – Bart
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 16:01
  • 1
    As I talk about here: meta.stackoverflow.com/a/338836/19679 , suspensions aren't automatic, they're only manually handed out by moderators. We do so only when we judge that there was knowing coordination between two users. You voting for an unrelated person isn't going to get them suspended, but I still don't recommend targeting someone with arbitrary votes. Vote organically on content. Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 16:04
  • @shog9 - new more hypothetical attempt. "Is there any vulnerability in the system that I could abuse to avoid detection if I was writing a serial upvote system? Note that I don't really want to do that, I am asking just for learning purpose"
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 16:04
  • @Derpy a friend of mine says that all such enquiries are from immoral and or illegal intent. I could not possibly comment myself. Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 16:54
  • @Derpy - You will be caught if you serial upvote people.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 18:30
  • @Derpy, asking developer whether there is any bug in their product. Lol. Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 18:57
  • @Ramhound please, try to picture me as I hold a big sign with "Sarcasm" written on it :P. Every time I see a question that goes like "how does the system detect serial upvote and how could I bypass detection (don't worry won't do it)" I ask myself if that is just a boring troll attempt or if someone really hopes the staff will describe how to bypass the site security in a post.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 8:57

2 Answers 2


If the moderator feels that the other user is complicit in the voting fraud, then yes, they will face consequences. If the moderator feels that the other user wasn't complicit in your voting fraud, and that you were acting on your own, then only you will face the consequences of the voting fraud.


Serial voting, regardless of whether it's up- or downvoting will be reversed automatically by a script that runs daily (afaik, not too sure about the intervall).

If you're caught voting serially on multiple occasions, you'll most likely end up getting suspended, however, the severeness of the punishment mostly depends on the case at hand.

The other party - the target of the votes - will - under normal circumstances - not be facing any punishment whatsoever apart from the reputation gained/lost due to the serial voting being reversed.

If it's a case of sockpuppetry (both accounts belong to the same individual) or two co-workers voting for each other, then yes, both will be punished.

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