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What should be done to people who downvote strategically?

Should a competitor be allowed to cast votes on other answers and/or the question as it can negatively influence the person asking the question? Maybe he does this before he posts an answer. Should the points/votes revert if so?

How is this problem solved now and how is it going to be solved in the future?

Easy questions usually net 2-3 answers at the same time soon after posting. No problem. Until now. When a competing answerer votes down the other answers for false or dubious reasons, what can I do?

Today has been the second time I've been on the sore end of this behaviour (I flagged my answer so that a moderator can see what's happening) and I get taken for a complete idiot as my answer is voted down by users with higher reputation on what I believe to be less than honest reasons.

When one person answers a question, all votes they cast to the competing answers (or question itself) should be discounted or dismissed altogether since they are competing to earn the points for an accepted answer.

If they spot anything wrong on a competing answer they should leave a comment or flag it, but don't give them the option to vote me down. That just gives their answer a higher ground to the OP while mine is pushed to a negative score.

It's not fair to me and it's not fair to the community since it allows answers that won't work 100% a leg up on the competition.

What are my options in this case? Do you find it to be the right way to get more points?

I don't want to start any disputes. I am not saying I didn't make a mistake in my answer. All I'm saying is that it's not fair since somebody else's answer doesn't work better than mine.


Though my own problem seems to be solved (and I ended with more points than I should have) the correct answer is still not accepted. This shouldn't be an issue for now since the OP can think about the answers given based on his knowledge/needs. I bet my case isn't the only one around.


3 Answers 3


If your answer really is good, then others should upvote it. You only lose two points for a downvote and gain 10 for an upvote. Therefore, if your answer is good and it is voted down for reasons unrelated to how good it is, you will only be missing two points.

The user is up to selecting the answer that fits his or her needs best, so you shouldn't be concerned about them selecting a wrong answer. I suppose they could select an answer that is sub-par to another, but in that case you'd expect the community to upvote the more correct answer more.

There's also another side to this--I think most users upvote answers to a question they're also answering. I know I've done this before and still added my own answer. I think this case probably outweighs the case of a 'competitive' user abusing downvotes. Would you want to disable the ability for competing users to upvote your answer as well?


I frequently vote for other answers to the same question I answer. But if the answer in incorrect I would down vote and I don't see that as an issue. In the example you provide it looks like the down vote might have come from the other poster who pointed out that you had problems in your code. But it could have come from someone else that just read your answer and voted. I would suggest not to assume who is voting and do your best to create answers that get up votes. (1 Up cancels out 5 down).


They could probably check for people who do this frequently, or maybe they already do. But I don't really think the option to downvote should be removed. Sometimes answers really are wrong, and people should be able to downvote them while giving a correct answer.

If this is happening enough to be worth addressing, I'd say either revoke the votes of serial offenders or maybe hit them with a rep penalty. I've suspected it of happening to me a couple times, but you can't prove it unless you dig into the voting data. Even if all my suspicions were correct though it wasn't enough times that I'm too worried about it.

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