Recently, I posted an excellent question with enough info for an answer and found an outstanding series of answers that I had wanted to post, but my question had been down-voted twice and then closed. One of the users immediately got several upvotes on all of his comments, even though his comments contributed nothing (such as 4 upvotes for a comment that contained misinformation); then, my question was closed by four people (probably unrelated). My question is, might these things be related? Because it's certainly not normal site behavior for a user to receive 8 or more upvotes on a single comment thread in the window of a few minutes (I think 4 upvotes in the first thirty seconds followed by 4-6 more in a few more minutes). Users tend to be critical and give upvotes sparingly but be overly liberal with downvotes; so, this could be taken basically as proof that the person is cheating the system.

In my experience, meta doesn't do enough about this kind of gaming, but it does a few things like linking accounts. What else is done to prevent and police honor sharing? Are suspicious strings of upvotes ever investigated? Because if a users is abusing the system, their reputation should be at least rolled back to what it would be without the gaming.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Upvotes on comments do almost nothing. I think they're involved in maybe one badge. There is no way to downvote a comment. An upvote pretty much just means "I agree". They can rack up pretty quickly for a question thread that keeps getting nudged to the top of the active stack. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 6, 2020 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman They don't rack up that quickly unless someone is cheating the system (e.g. only one upvote for the first comment here and only 5 upvotes over two days for the first answer). I feel like I'm talking to children who believe in Santa Claus. It's a fact that the only way to get +4 in less than a minute is cheating. Fake scientists hate the truth. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2020 at 6:14
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ What's your accusation? That people maintain sock puppet accounts in order to upvote comments that are unflattering to new users? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2020 at 12:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, of course, why wouldn't they? And why assume otherwise? People spend thousands of hours catfishing chats and video games: why wouldn't they abuse a platform like this which might have even more value? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Wolfpack'08 why would people create new accounts just to vote on comments? Voting on comments does absolutely nothing. It gives you no points, no benefits, no nothing. Just a badge for getting a few comments with over 5 votes if I remember correctly. And it is not a fact that cheating is the only way to get +4 on a comment in minutes. I once had +10 in about 3 minutes after telling someone their question was rubbish and to stop shouting (they posted all in caps). Comments are not meant to be for discussions or answering. This is not a forum site. Someone made a comment, and others agreed. \$\endgroup\$
    – MCG
    Feb 14, 2020 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


There was no "gaming". Your question was not "excellent", and people responded accordingly.

Remember, we can only react to what you actually write, not the thoughts that are hidden in your head.

The idea is that you use the advice given in the comments to improve your question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ (a) I disagree: it's a beginner question with a clear answer. (b) I don't really care if there was gaming or not: I'm just curious about methods meant to prevent gaming. I used all of the info in the comments to "improve" the question to the commentator standards, but the improvements turned out to make the question quality worse because they added irrelevant info to the question. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5, 2020 at 5:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Notice, your answer was posted four hours ago, and you didn't get four up-ticks. Respectfully, I think it's impossible to agree with your opinion. I think your opinion is as foolish as believing in unicorns and leprechauns. Nobody gets 4 upvotes in one minute without gaming: the users responsible just pulled the wool over your eyes, and you're too much of a bureaucrat or a willing fool to think about it with integrity. Also NOT AN ANSWER. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5, 2020 at 5:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your answer is stupid. It's not an answer, and it's incorrect. I committed all of the requested changes, and the question was still changed and down-voted, and the suggested changes were pointless. The original question is better than the edited question, and it didn't need to be improved. It was the opinion of one narcissistic fool who didn't want to admit that he was too inexperienced to answer that the question needed to be changed, and in the end he was absolutely incorrect. Probably you were involved in the cheating yourself because your argument is too weak for you to defend it. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2020 at 6:16
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Wolfpack'08, once you find yourself in a hole...stop digging. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Feb 13, 2020 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton Thanks, Uncle T. +9999999 points for agreeing with big brother. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 14, 2020 at 6:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Wolfpack'08 wow... someone is upset! I read your question..... It has no context. Without context, it makes absolutely no sense. It was a bad question and I would have 100% voted to close. As for this answer, Dave is a moderator, so he has tools to look into accusations of vote manipulation, so I am sure he would have mentioned it if true. As for your response to this whole thing? Childish. \$\endgroup\$
    – MCG
    Feb 14, 2020 at 16:02

Aaah, now I know what question you're talking about. I only saw the first version, which made absolutely no sense to me. It was at the top of my active queue, so I posted what I thought to be a very reasonable, 100% snark free comment, asking if you forgot to post a figure or something, as that was what seemed to me to be the problem with the question.

In that state, it was far from an excellent question. I didn't know what R was, I didn't know what C was, and I posted a comment asking for clarification. I couldn't off hand remember if I voted to close at that point, but it looks like I did. I didn't flag it as a low-quality question, though I did think about it, opting instead to see if you could fix it up. In its initial state, though, I did think it was low quality enough to merit the close vote without waiting.

The comment did get four positive ticks, though I can't tell you how long it took. I assure you, those votes did absolutely nothing for my reputation, is far too small of a thing to be capable of stroking my massive ego, and could not help me earn any badges (though if I flagged it as a poor quality question, and it was accepted as helpful, that would have contributed to a badge). I have no sock puppet accounts, and did not flag the comment myself in any way. I asked nobody to upvote the comment (you can check, as the only mechanism I would have to do that would be the group chat).

So, why the upvotes?? I can't speak for the people that upvoted, because I don't even know who they are, but I can certainly say why I might upvote a comment like that if I came across it.

There was a question that I thought needed some help. The comment pointed that out to the asker in a nondisparaging way, judgement free, trying to help a new user form a better question. It even suggested that the shortcomings of the question might be a simple oversight, as opposed to a poorly framed question. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the comment was completely in line with the "be nice" attitude encouraged by Stack Overflow. It's how we encourage users to interact with new users. The upvotes might be a "well done" indicator, perhaps even by a moderator or two, because that's how we want experienced users to behave.

Believe it or not, a good deal of thought went into framing that comment. Often, I would vote to close and move on. One of the main motivations for that comment, and the wording that I chose, was actually because I thought your question might attract less well-framed comments that you might take offense to. I thought I'd use the opportunity I got by seeing your question fairly early to shut down anybody who might respond more rudely, by showing them how you can solicit more clarity without being rude.

I'm sorry your intro to EESE was rough, but you're certainly welcome to keep at it if you're willing. I hesitate a little to say that, even with the edits, I still need some more context to understand your deleted question. If you want, you can edit this meta question to let us help you make it a better question so you can undelete it and maybe get it upvoted and reopened.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a bunch of nonsense. Several upvotes on every question answer and comments culminates in a massive doubling or tripling, and while it would stroke your narcissism rather than your ego (low-quality esteem and personally knowing that your esteem is not authentic), you'd be at 5k (or probably significantly less) or something if you weren't gaming the system. When people see an upvote, they make the presupposition that the content is good and are more inclined to jump on the bandwagon, and it incentivizes people who cheat the system to post a lot of useless comments when they're gaming. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you don't know what R's and C's are in a register, you should skip questions like that. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, NOT AN ANSWER. I'm asking what admins do to police and prevent cheating, and I don't take personally the mistakes of people who are less accomplished than me and standing on thousands of fake accolades (no real accomplishments of their own): I expect they'll stay the same. But not seeing any real answers just shows me that the admins are either in denial, or they expect users like me to maintain the site out of our own passion. I have to work twice as hard and re-post an identical, excellent question so assembly devs with the same question have a resource to get this answer quickly. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would your response get an up vote if it isn't an answer? Gaming. You're trolling the site with useless, low-quality, off-topic content. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:42
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Not an answer, but when I saw you were adressing my comment, and thus accusing me, I excercised self defense. You're wrong. I'm done. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, I'm not. And your troll partner is also a gamer. Your answer is a non-answer and doesn't belong here: it doesn't deserve votes, it deserves flags. The fact that it was upvoted is incontrovertible proof that you're cheating the system. Nobody in their right mind would believe your fumbling 'defense'. In every way shape and form, you follow your pattern of non-content and false credit. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Feel free to flag it. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's already flagged. They need an ignore feature so I can keep slimy creeps like you out of my threads. Not wasting any more time on you: you don't even know what C's and R's are. Good riddance. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:47
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ On meta on EESE, upvotes mean "I agree", nothing else. No points. You tag as Discussion, you get discussion. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 3:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, well if "I don't know what C's and R's are, even though they're described" gets 4 upvotes, editing the question and adding images for laymen should get 20 upvotes (not a downvote). And judging from the responses to this thread, electronics.stackexchange is totally open to gaming; so, anyone reading this can take it as an indication that making 5 accounts and running an upvoting catfish ring would have a big reward and no potential consequences. It's totally unscientific: it's just a personality cult. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 4:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good luck with your class. BTW, that's machine code, not assembly. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 4:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ You neither know what machine code nor assembly are, hack. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 4:40
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd go look it up, but I'm right in the middle of using my sock puppet accounts to upvote my own comments. It'll have to wait. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 4:42
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman The poisonous attitude demonstrated by the OP here is a little over the top. I'm suspicious it's just a troll. \$\endgroup\$
    – JYelton
    Feb 21, 2020 at 23:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Wolfpack'08 While your posts are entertaining, I can’t help but feel a little guilty for enjoying myself. It’s like standing out on the sidewalk to watch your neighbor get loaded into an ambulance. Morbidly engaging. You clearly have some sort of mental disorder. Scott’s answer couldn’t have been more friendly, nor better stated. Also, note that while I’m just now seeing this for the first time, I visit the main SE/EE page several times daily. You can expect up/down votes to occur far more rapidly on the main page, than here on meta. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 29, 2020 at 22:30

You must log in to answer this question.

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