A thread on Stack Overflow about design patterns asked the question about examples of design patterns. Every answer revolved around the same idea that there are patterns but that there is no defined way to use them and that they don't solve anything on their own - they only help solve a problem.

Overnight a user has down voted all of the answers in an act of "vandalism" - seems he has a bit of the hump as his answer was not the accepted one

He even posted the comment:

"I know that most of you are the haters, so i'm laughthing at you (-1)ses ;) "

My question is this:

How can we stop acts of mass downvoting like this because someone doesn't like other users reaction to his answer - and more importantly should we stop it?

  • I believe there are some measures in place (see Vote fraud and you), but whether they cope with this specific example is another question. Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 10:21
  • +1 I was one of the users who got down-voted on that thread - I hear you.
    – chibacity
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 11:01

3 Answers 3


Honest answer, you can't stop it. In this case the user revealed who he was, but since voting is anonymous, in most cases we can't detect the user.

If however you know who it is, flag one of his posts for moderator attention and explain the problem. If required the moderators will contact the user directly and take it further.

However as already mentioned in a comment, there is vote fraud systems in place that will detect anomalies like these and will reverse votes every 24 hours.

  • thanks for the answer - i guess you are right - we just can't stop this kind of thing. I don't think the issue warranted a flag for the moderators so i guess its a closed thread now so nothing more to say :)
    – PaulStack
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 8:46

I would say ignore it the first time after all it is only 1 down-vote (-2 points per person) but -n times for the voter.

Remember there will always be people with different behaviour/cultures/reactions... Maybe in his view (where he took the understanding of literally giving a code example) he highly disagrees with the other options, so he does what the system gives him the privilege to do, down-vote.

The votes seem to have changed as more people have viewed it now though.

  • the down vote doesn't annoy me - its only -2 rep which is nothing. I just didn't like the way he went about it - his own answer being voted down and then him voting everyone else down in turn because of it
    – PaulStack
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 10:33
  • @PaulStack if he continues most likely it will be picked up by the tools Diago and middaparka mentioned. To ease your mind off of this, you should Whack a Kitty instead.
    – phwd
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 10:39
  • that's funny :)
    – PaulStack
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 10:41

Vandalism of posts can be controlled as the post can be restored and locked. Vandalism by comment or post can be controlled as these can be deleted. But vandalism by downvote is only controllable by the system's algorithms.

Someone editing a post for no purpose but vandalism? Flag it for a mod.

Someone making offensive comments, answers or questions? Flag it for a mod.

But flagging for mods when you think someone is revenge downvoting is pointless. We can't see who or what is doing anything, and we can't do anything about it.

I've asked that mods have more power over votes, at a minimum be able to see who + or -'d a post, but was rejected.

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