Bob, on his first day, asks a question on a site, and it goes viral. It gets lots of upvotes. Reasons of virality can be some update in a new tool or it can be a common query like

So Bob hits the rep cap 10 times and gets 2001 (and counting) reputation in 10 days. Some facts about Bob:

  • He is not a fan of reading documentation, and he didn't read this article either: https://stackoverflow.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/edit

  • He has done 0 edits, so he doesn't know about "Which edits should be avoided?"

  • Bob is evil.

  • Bob is a rare case. I don't know if any Bobs ever existed or not.

He goes on editing a lot of posts without much thought. He also votes down new users' posts blatantly, leaves bad comments, and creates a chat room which is not at all relevant to the site. He accesses review queues and lets spam posts slip through.

  • What will the system do to prevent all that mishap happening in the first place?

  • What actions will be taken to revert the damage done?

It is NOT a feature request. It is a query to those who know how things like serial voting detection, spam detection, etc., work.


Abuse of edit and review privileges are handled slightly differently by the system.

Edits will notify the poster if they are substantial, giving the poster a chance to review it. They also bump the post to the home page, so it's less likely to fly completely under the radar.

There's also a rollback war flag automatically raised to mods that can help mods identify where bad edits are happening:

Two rollbacks from the same user on a single post will generate a "rollback war" auto-flag for moderator attention.

An edit which causes a post to become "low quality" will bump the post into the Low Quality Posts review queue if the edit is live for more than 15 minutes.

So as a regular user, if you see a blatantly bad edit, you could flag it and roll back if you have the privileges to do so.

Reviews are audited on some sites, and users are automatically banned if they fail audits too much.

For sites without audits (most of them), they rely on the majority of users voting "correctly". It's basically up to mods how much they review the reviewers. If it seems like most posts are being handled appropriately, there may be no reason to.

Regular users can help mods identify potential problems by raising an issue (either meta post or mod flag) if they feel a review task was mis-handled in some way. If the mods do notice there's a user consistently misbehaving or reviewing incorrectly, they can message, review-ban, or even suspend the user, depending on the situation.

  • Yes it partially answers it. Edits part is mostly aftermath. Review part seems like in process, but those audits are random too and need some consistent failure to get a ban. The last para is also aftermath, and it's something I guessed too(while writing the two parts in the question) – ankii Sep 22 '19 at 18:05

There's few explicit mechanisms - the clever thing about the way things are designed is folks eventually learn the ropes and do learn to do things the right way.

In this case there are certain mechanisms in place that probably are going to throttle how fast you can get reputation.

You have a fixed sized suggested edit queue and can't have more than five suggested edits pending, as per the pertinent FAQ post. You'll also not be able to hit more than 1,000 reputation from suggested edits as it's capped at that. Even if you managed to rate limit your edits perfectly, with, say, a script, folks are going to notice you flooding the front page and get crochety. And since you need 2k to edit on your own, its not really going to get you there.

Suggested edits are a terrible way to get reputation quick.

You could get 2k rep in 10 days by hitting the rep cap every single day. Doing so legitimately means you're doing something very right. You can slice off a few days if someone accepts answers or you get bounties (and clever bounty-hunting is actually a great way to get rep fast). If you're doing this, you've either gotten how the site and community works, or are such a good fraud it dosen't matter until someone catches on. We hope its the former.

Even then these things end up quietly letting you get how the system works. Reams of virtual paper of posts like this aside, the primary way to get to learn to use SE is to use it. You ought to be able to get by from the [help] and [tour], and rely on meta for... complicated things that those don't cover.

There's always exceptions of course - but even where someone really famous say John Carmack posts an answer to something only he could answer, and that went viral - he's at 3k after a few years.

We haven't had much problems with him. Probably too busy writing kickass code and building rocketships.

  • Suggested edit reputation is limited to 1000. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Sep 22 '19 at 3:27
  • I think that you're mixing both questions. This is about some user getting high rep due to a popular question, with no experience of editing or reviewing. – ankii Sep 22 '19 at 3:53
  • Second half covers that. But fundamentally - the act of getting reputation practically means you're using the site, and seeing how other people do it. – Journeyman Geek Sep 22 '19 at 3:59
  • 1 Suggested edits are a terrible way to get reputation quick Yes I know, Bob got rep by question. 2 Doing so legitimately means you're doing something very right. Just one question which happens to be popular at the moment. 3 Even then these things end up quietly letting you get how the system works. Bob isn't interested in learning that. He got powers, he is abusing them now. 4 We haven't had much problems with him. This case is as rare as Bob's, so chances are that Bob exists. – ankii Sep 22 '19 at 18:08

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