I understand dvs are part and parcel of the site - and a lot of you know my thoughts about their use. Today (so far!) I've had four, and feel there may be a serial dver on the loose. (It won't be the first time for me). How can mods get involved - can they alone be allowed to check on who it may be. As in, if all of them emanated from the same source, could they know?


(I'm interested to hear what my more experienced colleagues say about this, but here's my response.)

We can't see where these votes are from, nor can we reverse any votes; the only things we can see are the rep changes that you see and a little bit of extra data on voting statistics. You had four in a row in a very short time span, which certainly looks suspicious. (Like you, I'd bet money on those coming from the same user.) It wasn't enough for the system to catch any kind of downvoting spree, so there's not much we can do currently. If it continues happening, let us know, and we may need to get a community manager involved if it gets serious enough.

You may also be interested in Random Downvoting over on Meta.SE.

  • Thanks Richard. Last time it happened the result was a suspesion, so someone has access to persons responsible, I'd have thought. All rather peurile, and adds to my 'campaign' regarding dvs...I don't even have access to when they were given. You, it seems, do.
    – Tim
    Feb 14 at 16:23
  • 1
    There's a couple more tools we have to check for serial and targeted down voting, but if the system does not catch it and it's not a majority of the user's votes it's really hard for mods alone to see. Another factor that complicates this is the sheer amount of post you have so it's harder to see a breakdown since there's so much content collated together without a timeline.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 14 at 16:53
  • Thanks again. So what was the exact problem?
    – Tim
    Feb 15 at 7:55
  • @Tim looks like the system reversed 3 of the 4 downvotes automatically due to target voting. In general, try to wait about 24 hours for the system to correct it as it only runs the target voting checks nightly. If it's still an issue after that period, you can ping the mods in chat or bring it up in meta. Most likely we will do a quick dig based on our tools and if we feel there's more going on we'd need to escalate it. In the past that has taken a while, but CMs have been getting back to mods faster recently so we'll see.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 15 at 18:52
  • @Dom - so why are the mods denied this access? It's hardly going to be used maliciously, so who is protecting what?
    – Tim
    Feb 15 at 20:06
  • @Tim The general idea is to make voting anonymous so even mods having info who votes what way on what question would be a little too much power for a mod. The tools we have are for general patterns rather than specifics to protect that anonymity. Even CMs only do it on a last resort.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 15 at 20:32
  • And that's where it rankles for me. Anonimity, lack of respect, absolutely no chance of being caught out, and not having to reason why. Total immunity. You must know I love this site, but that to me is a rather large carbuncle, with, it seems, very little thought behind that part, leaving opportunities for mischief and more.
    – Tim
    Feb 16 at 7:04
  • I thought "normal users" can only downvote a question once. So I don't think one user downvoted the same question multiple times.
    – U. Windl
    Feb 16 at 17:20
  • @U.Windl All users can only downvote a question once. In this particular instance, it looks like a user may hae downvoted four separate questions/answers all in a row.
    – Richard Mod
    Feb 16 at 20:53
  • 2
    I just made a quick survey of the downvotes I've received so far this year. Although nobody took explicit create for any of them, around 2/3 to 3/4 I could at least come up with some rationalization for -- more or less vague -- and the rest were entirely mysterious. I wonder what's typical in that regard: downvotes that at least kind of make sense to the OP versus those that are wholly baffling. Just idle wondering.
    – Aaron
    Feb 17 at 7:00

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