Apologies if this is not the right place to ask this.

I noticed today that earlier this week, four of my answers (mostly a few weeks old, all with quite a few upvotes and no previous downvotes) were downvoted within three minutes, with no explanation given in any case. I assume it was the same person, though I know of no way to confirm that.

I'm not hugely bothered by this (-8 "reputation", oh no!) but it does rather look like someone decided to find all my recent-ish answers and downvote them all at once, for some reason.

Is there anything in the system to detect and prevent someone doing this?

If not, shouldn't there be?

Again, I'm not upset, I'll quite happily live my life without ever thinking about it again; but if there's a reputational "scoring system", there ought to be a way to prevent malicious interference, should there not?

  • 1
    There is a process in place which picks this up and the perpetrator gets banned, but I think it needs more than 3, someone else will be able to give you fuller information
    – Kilisi Mod
    Nov 8, 2018 at 17:36
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    I think there is a process for detecting a "serial voter". I think it detects both upvoters and downvoters. I'm not sure if that triggers something automatically or not. Nov 8, 2018 at 17:41
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    if it has been over 36 hours since the troublesome votes occurred, consider acting per instructions at MSE: What can I do if I'm the victim of serial downvoting?
    – gnat
    Nov 8, 2018 at 18:21
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    @gnat - thank you. That link covers the situation nicely, in fact, this question is probably a duplicate of that one (I didn't think to use "serial downvoting" as a search term). Nov 8, 2018 at 18:25
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    I just gave you vindicative upvotes because they were quite good. I hope the automated system doesn't similarly remove my upvotes.
    – Jim G.
    Nov 8, 2018 at 21:40
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    @JimG. - it's an experiment! This is the kind of scientific maliciousness the world could use more of. Nov 8, 2018 at 21:41
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    I went through the top few and saw a couple of your questions worth an upvote, so you should have your 8 rep back. I don't see why they got downvoted, not how I would have answered them, but perfectly valid solutions.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Nov 9, 2018 at 1:58
  • oops 'answers' not questions.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Nov 9, 2018 at 2:15
  • @JimG. It almost assuredly will, the system (and the rules) don't approve of serial voting in either direction...
    – mbrig
    Nov 19, 2018 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


As per gnat's comment, there's an automated bot that picks up on suspicious voting (positive and negative) and resets periodically.

What can I do if I'm the victim of serial downvoting?

The triggering criteria for this bot isn't public, but is good at catching suspicious behaviour.

However, if you do see that you're being suspiciously targeted in a fashion that doesn't trip the recalculation, then please contact a moderator by raising a flag on one of the affected posts. We can either look into it, or raise this to the admin team to look into.

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    The triggering criteria for this bot isn't public, but is good at catching suspicious behaviour. Is blatantly false. The serial voting script is designed to be extremely conservative in reverting votes.
    – Magisch
    Nov 9, 2018 at 12:18

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