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A high rep individual and moderator on one of the SE network sites has the following text in the "About Me" section of their user profile.

If you are looking for something to vote on, I'm looking for feedback on the tail end of my answers on IPS [Link to user's answers]. Look at the lowest-scoring answers; downvotes as well as upvotes appreciated to help me decide what to keep, and what to kill.

From my understanding, this flies directly in the face of the policy of "voting on questions not users" since it is encouraging users to click through lists of answers by a particular person and vote. My thought was that this statement is encouraging serial voting and would not be acceptable.

  1. Is this accepted behavior?
  2. If not, what should be done to report it?

I'm assuming the answer to question 1 is "no", but if that's the case and it's obvious, I would expect this individual to know better. This caused me to question my assumption on this.

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    I don't see how that statement in question is suggesting the same person issue multiple votes on contributions from the same person. I only see a statement that encourages somebody to vote on their contribution (but isn't indicating which way to vote). If you find the comment unhelpful, you should flag it, and select "It's no longer needed." and a moderator will deal with it. – Ramhound Apr 16 at 20:23
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    @Ramhound As a clarification, this isn't about a comment but about a profile "about me" section. – Christian Rau Apr 16 at 20:24
  • @Ramhound The user provides a link to all of their answers and directs people towards specific answers to vote on. As for not directing users to vote in a specific way, there would need to be 5x as many negative votes as positive votes for this not to be a net positive in user rep. – kuhl Apr 16 at 20:24
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    @ChristianRau - Does not change my stance. The statement is not indicating somebody serial vote their contributions. Most people do not even pay attention to user's profiles, otherwise, people would have reached out to me due to my "I am slowly dying on the inside." comment in my own profile. – Ramhound Apr 16 at 20:29
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Nah, don't worry.

Yes, voting on users rather than posts is generally a bad approach to SE. You ought to consider the content of the post, not who wrote it. But going as far as saying some dude encouraging people to give feedback on their posts in his profile text is actively violating this might be...taking it a little too far.

Maybe think twice about voting up something just because your best friend wrote it or downvoting that answer from this dude who left this rude comment on your question. But let's try to not lose sight of the forest for the trees. There can sometimes be a thin line between stumbling over an avid new user's interesting answers and...going on a hunt to upvote someone's stuff. The same way someone asking you for honest feedback on their answers could be construed as an underhanded vote-beg, but...it really doesn't need to.

In general, I'd be hesitant to judge all kinds of advertizement people do for their posts as "begging for rep". In fact, I've made the experience that pessimistic approaches like that often point to too much of a score-minded approach to SE in the person uttering the complaints. This isn't to say this necessarily is the case here and your honest concern is still appreciated. But I've seen site cultures where too much of a concentration on reputation and competitiveness has grown into a general distrust of any other motivation for e.g. advertizing an interesting post in chat or posting a self-answer and things like that. For example when you say stuff like "there would need to be 5x as many negative votes as positive votes for this not to be a net positive in user rep" this seems like a lot more elaborate considerations than what the user of that profile link put into it themselves. ;-)

On the bottom line, yes, you can take this as begging for votes, but that is by far not the only interpretation, especially not in the way it is written. And in this way it seems totally harmless in a profile about me section, especially since this is also the singlemost place where you have the most freedom for expression on SE (still under some restrictions, though). It's not even uncommon for people to share a list of their coolest SE questions in this section.

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    Sharing a list of coolest SE questions is a bit different from specifically encouraging people to go through a list of one user's posts and vote on stuff, though. If someone actually did the latter (at least if on a large scale - I haven't checked the numbers involved here) that could very likely be counted as serial voting. – Rand al'Thor Apr 16 at 21:10
  • Would the filter flag someone for serial voting if they do what the user in question is asking them to do? I would assume yes. – kuhl Apr 16 at 23:41
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    @Randal'Thor But that’s only due to the limitations of the serial-voting-detection mechanism. There’s nothing inherently wrong with sitting down for a couple of hours and reading through a few hundred of a user’s posts and voting appropriately. – Alex Apr 17 at 3:50

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