I've recently come across a few really well written and researched answers contributed by low rep users.

I feel like my solitary upvote isn't sufficient reward for their efforts. (Yes, I know that truly good answers will attract votes from other users, but in less active tags this can take a while.)

Is it 'wrong' to go to the user's page and go through other answers and questions they have worked on to give them 'bonus' rep?

I wouldn't upvote obviously bad answers, but if the answer is at least ok - or if the answer is an area I don't have experience in - is this 'reverse-gaming' or a legitimate technique to help great new SO-ers?

Edit: thanks for the feedback. It's a good thing I asked first...

Might have to ask a new question about how to help people 'level up' in quieter areas of SO.


2 Answers 2


As Downvoter says, too many votes will trip the anomaly filter.

Nor is it reasonable to vote for the authors other posts because you liked one in particular. However, it is entirely reasonable to go to their profile page and spend some time hunting up other deserving work of theirs and then vote for those good posts.

  • 3
    This is a dangerous suggestion. See Jeff's comment on my answer please. You maybe doing more harm than good.
    – juan
    Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 13:44
  • 1
    That's unfortunate. I know there's a few users who consistently post good answers and I'll often frequent their page to learn from them. It's a shame that there's a downside to this.
    – Shane
    Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 14:59

It is absolutely wrong.

You should upvote (or downvote) posts based only on the post, and not the author.

Also, keep in mind that there's a nocturnal process that detects anomalous vote patterns (including multiple votes from the same person) and reverses them.

  • 5
    +1 - I'm not totally opposed to giving someone an extra upvote or two on deserving answers, but do keep in mind that if you do this more than a couple of times you'll just end up costing that person when all of your votes for them are removed as anomalous. Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 3:26
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    I was going to upvote this answer, but then I saw who wrote it. Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 3:58
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    This is such a great answer that I will upvote all your other answers now to reward you. Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 9:12
  • @Daniel - lol, but downvoter doesn't need the extra rep...
    – Antony
    Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 9:25
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    it doesn't just reverse them -- it invalidates ALL votes from you to that user, for all time, permanently. So my advice is to tread very carefully. Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 10:14
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    @Jeff, How do you know if you have been hit by the "detects anomalous vote patterns" check, as I often find another user thats have asked a lot of questions that I think are worth upvoting. (People do have the some interests as each other) Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 11:02
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    @jeff, does it invalidate future votes also? are you "banned" from voting that user again?
    – juan
    Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 12:45
  • @Ian I am willing to bet that the time frame between votes matters too. I imagine the script looks for more serial actions, such as me going and downvoting or upvoting all of your answers in a short time frame (short enough that it wouldn't be possible for me to read them all). Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 17:22
  • @jared - maybe we need a field on the profile screen for reading speed...
    – Antony
    Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 22:16
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    @Jeff: I'd be willing to bet that some of the absolutely dreadful users (sh*** being one) get a tremendous number of downvotes removed because of this algorithm. Perhaps it is a little too heavy-handed in acting permanently.
    – Ether
    Commented Mar 5, 2010 at 3:51
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    @Jared, the hard bit with is I often open lots of tabs, then read all the questions on a subject and then upvote the best questions. So it is hard to relate speed of voting with "no time to read" Commented Mar 5, 2010 at 9:25

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