I came across this term when I checked out a fairly new guy who seemed to be answering a few questions and I noticed he had received, over the last few days, big negative numbers taken out of his reputation score with the tag "serial upvoting reversal".

I investigated and found out that it could be because of "unusual activities" surrounding a bunch of upvotes he/she received during a period of a few minutes i.e. it looked fishy; either a cheat, a fan or a stitch-up. I was impressed with the explanation and the tools available to moderators.

But, I suddenly remembered that I had received 5 consecutive upvotes (on non-current questions) a couple of days ago. I checked, and lo and behold, the "fairly new guy" also had a series of rapid-fire upvotes at the same time on the same day.

My 5 upvotes all occured at 10:48 and the new guy's 13 upvotes occured from 10:51 to 10:53.

Could someone look into this please. I don't want this guys votes if he's trying to cover his tracks or someone his trying to create a smokescreen.


Someone got a bit enthusiastic.

One of the early lessons learned on Stack Overflow was that, occasionally, someone will lose sight of the purpose of voting - elevating useful information and providing gratifying feedback to authors - and will engage in indiscriminate voting for (or against) folks who they like/respect (or dislike). Throwing an extra vote or two at a co-worker or someone who helped you out is no big deal, but when this becomes a bigger problem it is caught and reverted:

Based on additional analysis of the voting data and user data, we’ve refined our detection of voting anomalies even further. I have to be coy (again) about exactly how we do this because I don’t want users optimizing around the various checks we do. But, in a nutshell:

  • We can automatically detect sockpuppet accounts now. Sockpuppets used for the purpose of upvoting or downvoting will be deleted, and their votes — cancelled.

  • We now perform a more detailed statistical analysis on voting patterns. Any voting patterns that are too far outside the statistical norm will be nullified.

The moderators here have contacted the folks responsible privately about this, and the votes have been invalidated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for doing this but I suppose the only trace of some anomalous behaviour is the red mark against my name should somebody see today's votes cancelled in my profile. A person doing this might be forgiven for thinking I'd been up to some underhand vote rigging. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Oct 11 '13 at 9:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka, I wouldn't worry about that side of things, it's not that obvious and anyone looking at that level of detail probably knows how it all works. While it appears on your rep 'drop down' so its apparent to you for other users the only way is to view your reputation at the detail level, which isn't really something many people would do. \$\endgroup\$
    – PeterJ
    Oct 11 '13 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterJ yeah I guess so. I might also add that the "person" who was "connected" with the anomalous voting appears to have had their account closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Oct 11 '13 at 14:06

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