Let's say I have user A with a sock puppet, B. B asks a question, A answers (somewhat poorly) but get accepted by B.

Then a diamond moderator comes along and verifies that B is a sock puppet and deletes the account.

Could it be made that the accepted vote is automatically removed? Conditions:

  • question is from a sock puppet
  • accepted answer is from puppeteer
  • there are other answers [possibly with a better score]

This would allow better answers to automatically float up without the need to delete the answer from A (that despite everything, it might still be useful for some users).


1 Answer 1


When sockpuppet votes are explicitly removed, all cross-voting is removed including acceptances. (Acceptance is just another type of vote.) It would be logical, then for all cases of sockpuppet correction to behave the same way, regardless of whether those votes are nuked by the automatic script, manually by a CM, or as part of account deletion. Clearing acceptances should not depend on the scores or presence of answers on the affected question. (Besides, that's easier to explain.)

The gap here is that deleting a sockpuppet account doesn't pass through the invalidation step. After all (I imagine the person implementing it thought), votes are removed as part of account deletion anyway, so why bother? Except that account deletion doesn't clear acceptance votes, only up- and downvotes.

It seems reasonable to me to have sockpuppet deletions pass through the vote-invalidation step, even if most of it is redundant, to catch the cases that would be missed.

(Thanks to Bhargav Rao for explaining to me how some of this works after I got it a little wrong in my first version of this answer.)

  • at first I thought there is a good reason to keep the system as it is now, because accept from a puppet naturally transforms into accept of self-answer. But your explanation made me change my mind and what we have now seems wrong. It's essentially a complication of the system (skip invalidation of some kind of votes instead of simply dropping them all) having the sole purpose of... making it convenient for those who abused it.
    – gnat
    Jul 18, 2018 at 18:18
  • ...guess it makes better sense to do opposite, ie make the system straight and just invalidate all votes and stop worrying about abusers. If puppet master wants to have that accept of self answer, let them do it themselves after the invalidation
    – gnat
    Jul 18, 2018 at 18:18

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