I didn't find any other topic like this, so:

Imagine the following scenario:
User A and B (possibly C,D,E...) want to abuse the system like the following.

  • A asks some simple question.
  • B answers the question correctly (since it's simple and ontopic, i.e. a regular SO question, but possibly a duplicate).
  • C,D,E... all upvote the answer of B and the response of A.

If this happens repeatedly, A and/or B can quickly gain a lot of reputation.

Is there some automatic analysis tool that shows the moderators such "clusters" of abusers?

Or are the moderators able to deal with such situations manually?

  • 5
    See - blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/12/vote-fraud-and-you and more importantly for this scenario - blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/03/more-voting-anomalies
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 10:47
  • 3
    Have you identified a possible instance of this, or were you looking to get away with it? (or were you just curious?)
    – slugster
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 11:34
  • 2
    If you try to get away with this, don't come to Meta afterwards complaining that your rep is gone. Commented May 5, 2011 at 11:36
  • 1
    @slugster: I was curious, because I couldn't imagine such a big crowd-powered site to work without some automatic fraud detection mechanisms. Now that I read (especially the second part of) my question again, it kind of looks like I would like to know if it's possible to detect an abuse I committed. This is funny, since it would be kind of stupid to ask a question like this if one did some abuse like that in the past (see Bobby's link, which I didn't know of and which is very entertaining).
    – ptikobj
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


There are several levels of protection against such voting abuse/fraud:

  • Automated scripts that detect anomalous voting patterns
  • Moderator tools that show suspicious voting patterns
  • Moderator tools to investigate specific users

The details are not public, as that knowledge could help to get around those measures.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .