Someone has downvoted a lot of my questions or answers.

  • What should I do?
  • How does the system prevent this?
  • How often does the system look for suspicious behavior?

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  • 2
    If anyone is wondering why I'm not just converting a previous question—I don't want anyone who answered to lose rep from (admittedly-future) votes from the CW-conversion. – waiwai933 May 30 '11 at 4:13

What should I do?

Don't panic. There is a system in place that will prevent abuse of the downvotes.

How does the system prevent this?

There are certain patterns that people tend to follow. Stack Exchange has been doing this long enough to have a good feeling for when people are trying to abuse the ability to upvote/downvote, versus when they happen to be doing it by chance.

Usually when people complain about serial downvoting (or even serial upvoting), they intend it to mean that one user (the attacker) is downvoting a lot of questions or answers from another user (the victim).

There are rules in place that detect suspicious voting patterns from the attacker on the victim. If such a situation is detected, the offending votes will be silently removed.

Is this a manual or automated process?

The system looks for suspicious voting patterns as part of a regular, automated process. If you think you have been the target of egregious voting, you can just wait and the system will automatically rectify the situation if it does detect suspicious voting patterns.

Note: A reputation recalc is also performed if the system detects suspicious votes against a user, so your reputation may shift more than expected. More details on reputation recalcs can be found here: How do I audit my reputation?

  • 1
    How many serial downvotes will activate the protection system? For example, Four of my questions are downvoted by someone serially (which are asked in separated dates and subjects). – masoud Mar 4 '13 at 10:34
  • 1
    I laud your desire to know, but let me just point out that anyone that knows that metric can side-step it, so for the sake of "protecting the system" that number or the time-range involved in "a short period of time" will not be disclosed. If you honestly feel you have been the victim of sustained serial downvoting by one user, please use the contact form to ask for more help and let the SE team look into the details directly. Cheers! – jcolebrand Mar 4 '13 at 16:02
  • @MasoudM. Those votes were close enough that they will most likely be caught by the script. Check tomorrow – Kevin Mar 4 '13 at 16:05

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