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Serial downvotes in quick succession on all my posts

I have been an active member of Stack Overflow for the last 2 weeks (although a registered member for just 6 months).

Today at around 1 p.m. (+5.30 GMT), I had some 149 rep. But within 2 hours I got 19 downvotes!!! In fact downvotes were on my all 19 replies that I had made so far. They included 4 accepted answers. Now, that can't be a coincidence, I think. Some people are intentionally downvoting users with low answer counts. I have verified it. Actually on the questions, where I have been downvoted, all other replies including the question itself are downvoted.

So, why shouldn't be there some kind of downvote validation?

Also, is there any way to get my hard earned rep back? :P

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    There's really no guarantee that it's the same person... There are a lot of active users on Stack Overflow at any given time. – Cody Gray Jul 3 '11 at 11:57
  • @Cody the answers are not so bad - no way they got downvoted in the same time "for real". Such thing happened to me too recently with all my questions and top answers. Guess we got trolls in the system. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jul 3 '11 at 12:04
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    ....... rep-o? – Grant Thomas Jul 3 '11 at 12:23
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    How did you verify that people downvote those with low answer counts? – Adam Lear Jul 3 '11 at 14:02
  • I see that most downvotes were indeed cancelled. So it's all good now? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jul 4 '11 at 7:03
  • Yeah, i verified them now. :) I am happy. Thanks a lot you all. – Nishchay Sharma Jul 4 '11 at 7:22

There is already.

Such patterns are recognized by automatic daily jobs, downvotes are cancelled and the reputation is recalculated.

Wait one day and see for yourself, it happened to me as well couple of weeks ago.

For the record, I'm really supporting automatic system that will prevent me from downvoting someone - let everyone downvote whoever they want, and if the system identifies "trolling" like in your case, it will handle it.

If the downvotes won't be cancelled within two days or it happens again, report here and I'm sure the moderators will handle this.

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    Or just get rid of down-votes. – dbasnett Jul 3 '11 at 12:01
  • @dba - what do you mean by that? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jul 3 '11 at 12:02
  • It is my opinion, and not one widely shared here, that down-voting really doesn't serve a purpose. – dbasnett Jul 3 '11 at 12:25
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    @dbasnett: Yes it does. It encourages better content. I just downvoted 5 questions this morning because they were poorly laid out, no real queston, and there was about 3-4 comments from users saying about the same thing, "what is your question?". You want upvotes, write good questions. Its that simple. – Brian Jul 3 '11 at 12:27
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    @Shadow It would be a nice penalty to trollers to get a little "brand" to their avatar, or some such, for 24 hrs after such an attack. Like a little watermark stamp with a picture of a troll :) – TLP Jul 3 '11 at 12:28
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    @dbasnett: Yes, that's quite an unusual opinion. Downvoting is the logical opposite of upvoting, both of which are used to rank the questions in terms of helpfulness and accuracy. You'll note that unlike other online forums, answers aren't (by default) displayed in the order in which they are posted. Instead, they're posted in order of votes. This way, the community can audit answers for content and quality, and move them up or down the page relative to other answers. I can't imagine what you think is harmful about downvoting. Remember we're not downvoting users, we're downvoting posts. – Cody Gray Jul 3 '11 at 12:29
  • @dba - fair enough, but most of the community plus the developers think differently so it's not really relevant. Personally, without downvoting SO will get flooded with bad contents and it's real threat to the community. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jul 3 '11 at 12:34
  • @TLP nah, that would be just noise - what I'll do is send such trolls to the Penalty Box after repeated abuse of the system. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jul 3 '11 at 12:35
  • @Cody - why can't no up-vote serve the purpose? It amazes me at how often I read that the down-vote is about the post and not the person behind the post. That might be the intention, but do a search here and tell me if that is the reality? Do an online search for 'Psychology of Online Forums'. – dbasnett Jul 3 '11 at 13:02
  • @shadow - do you have some factual data to back that up, or is it just an opinion shared by many? I participate in other places without the ability to down-vote and I don't see the anarchy prescribed by those defending the down-vote. Yesterday, for voicing this opinion again, some users down-voted some old posts(over a year old) of mine. – dbasnett Jul 3 '11 at 13:03
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    @dbasnett: I could answer that here, but this is fairly unrelated to the question being asked. You should start a new Meta question if you have some detailed statistics to back this up. Yes, it's an opinion; it goes because it is indeed widely held by many. I can't see why that's a reason to reject it on face. – Cody Gray Jul 3 '11 at 13:17
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    First of all I can no longer post questions here because I have been a bad boy(that hardly ever happens). Second; I have learned that it is not OK to have an opinion that varies from the masses. If I were able to post the question I might get enough down votes to just disappear ;) In the early days of Ethernet it was a widely held opinion that the speed was 10Mbps. At a large government agency I made a roomful of gov't managers angry when I told them the facts, that it was maybe 10Mbps, often not. – dbasnett Jul 3 '11 at 13:26
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    @Nishchay: There used to be a penalty, but it was removed less than a month ago. There is a limit on upvotes/downvotes. You have an equal limit daily for both. Comment votes (which cost nothing and give nothing) also have a limit. – Brian Jul 3 '11 at 17:53
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    Per-site metas have solved this problem by not tracking reputation. Stack Overflow's meta (this one) is the only meta site that maintains a reputation score of its own, separate from the parent site. This is because the Stack Overflow meta is also used as the parent meta for the Stack Exchange engine that powers all of the sites. All of those things conspire to make it a strange bird, and people have just come to accept that things are different here. The only thing I see as problematic is when you're excluded from providing feedback because of it. But don't change the voting system on SO. – Cody Gray Jul 4 '11 at 6:58
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    @Cody good points, I would certainly go for removing the automatic block here on Meta. Worst case, if someone keep asking really bad stuff that is not constructive for others, probably moderator can apply the question ban manually. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jul 4 '11 at 7:01

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