This question already has an answer here:

What should I do if I want to anonymously report suspicion that a user is gaming the reputation system? It isn't clear that the question flag can also be used to flag users...

Original question as posted:

Once in a while you come across those odd cases where someone has a hi-rep, >10k for example - and asks a very simple question. A little bell goes off and you get a tingle in the back of your mind. I spent 3 years in intelligence with the Army. So even subtle things tend catch my attention. Given the opportunity, I'll even do something that might bug that person to see the reaction(s) - sorry, but some habits never go away. I will certainly do a little research to determine whether my instincts are substantiated.
Now, I would love to give an example, but I wish to do so anonymously. I happen to have one of the moderator's email and wondered if I should give that person my information directly. If the community wishes that I post all my information here, I will do so. It just really rubs me the wrong way to see this system getting abused. It does this community no good at all. Btw, I'm not really sure what tags to use for this.

marked as duplicate by Shadow discussion Dec 31 '15 at 12:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


Flag the question, saying it requires moderator attention.

  1. Click the flag link.
  2. Select the Requires Moderator attention link.
  3. State your reason why you are flagging the post.

How To

  • 14
    +1 unbeatable, sir. Free-hand circles with drop shadows. This takes it to a new level. – Pëkka Feb 13 '10 at 0:53
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    Yup, my screen capture application supports those. FastStone Screen Capture: faststone.org/FSCaptureDetail.htm – Andrew Moore Feb 13 '10 at 0:54
  • is the flag function really this obscure? I am concerned. – Jeff Atwood Feb 13 '10 at 0:55
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    @Atwood: No, but it seems that people are reluctant to flag questions/answers when they really want to flag users. – Andrew Moore Feb 13 '10 at 0:56
  • Honestly, call it a bonehead move. I don't know why I didn't think of the flag. Call it answered...and I can rephrase the question. – IAbstract Feb 13 '10 at 0:57
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    +1 Andrew...I guess I didn't think of it b/c it is the user, not the question. – IAbstract Feb 13 '10 at 0:58
  • Question flagged... – IAbstract Feb 13 '10 at 1:00
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    @andrew toxic, community destroying idea, will never be implemented. see dupe for reasons why. Focus on actions not people, otherwise you're .. uh .. kind of eviscerating the thing you think you're "helping". – Jeff Atwood Feb 13 '10 at 2:43
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    @Jeff: Then maybe consider renaming the flag link to flag post/user ? – Andrew Moore Feb 13 '10 at 5:04

Having high rep and asking what you perceive to a be a simple question does not equal rep mongering. Why not just down vote the darn thing and move on? I know it sounds crazy, but Jon Skeet does ask questions from time to time. You typically get rep by providing quality answers and asking good questions. I think its rare to find this behavior.

Is anyone else getting tired of the cries of moderator abuse and rep mongering? Crazy!

  • 1
    s/crys/cries/ – quack quixote Feb 13 '10 at 1:21
  • Fixed now. +15! – John Rudy Feb 13 '10 at 4:39
  • I believe it is a very rare behavior for our community members to attempt to game the rep system. But even the great Tiger Woods (gasp) is not perfect. I fully admitted that I goofed when I didn't consider the flag for this purpose. Also, I appreciate the overall expediency at which my concern was laid to rest with only my rep slightly tarnished rather than making a media fest out of another individual's alleged abuse. +1 for knowledge gained...and I do like ponies... – IAbstract Feb 13 '10 at 19:53

It seems quite possible that someone could have a really high rep for their expertise in one area, but be a complete noob in another. (This example may be in error, but ...) I'm thinking Alex Martelli asking how to write a Hello World program in COBOL. (@Alex, in case you read this - no offense intended, you (and your Python expertise) just came to mind.)

  • @GreenMatt: your absolutely right (not that I know anything about @Alex mind you :) ) ...and I would not have made my decision without first considering this scenario... – IAbstract Feb 13 '10 at 2:08

I think this is what the "Flag" function is good for. Flag the suspicious post and write down why. Better let moderators handle it, don't post any details here.

  • Should the flag function be highlighted in some way? I've seen a number of these "How do i.." that were simple "just flag it!" answers. Why can't users find the flag function? – Jeff Atwood Feb 13 '10 at 0:57
  • @Atwood: It seems that people are reluctant to flag questions/answers when they really want to flag users. A simple flag link on the user pages might just do it. – Andrew Moore Feb 13 '10 at 0:58
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    @Jeff: someone should put that in a FAQ somewhere... – quack quixote Feb 13 '10 at 1:22
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    @andrew toxic and community destroying idea, will never be implemented. see the dupe for why. – Jeff Atwood Feb 13 '10 at 2:42

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