9

There is a particular user on here that I believe to be a troll (majority of their answers are patently bad advice with negative score). Every so often when I run into a new bad answer from them, I will take a look at their profile and see what they've been up to lately. Usually this results in me down-voting a number of their recent posts.

Now, I am evaluating each post on its own merits and then choosing how to act. I am not simply down-voting because this user posted it; I would have done so if I encountered it in the wild too. However, I am intentionally seeking out this user's posts to see if they warrant votes or flags.

Is this type of behavior considered inappropriate for SE? After going through a few posts, I'm wondering if I'll be triggering the automatic fraud detection when the scripts run tonight.

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    cross-site duplicate: Can there be legitimate serial downvoting? – gnat Nov 29 '18 at 14:43
  • "I'm wondering if I'll be triggering the automatic fraud detection when the scripts run tonight." - You will find out tomorrow. And then you can continue or change your approach depending on how the system treats you. – Joe Strazzere Nov 29 '18 at 16:06
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    we have a troll user? – Kilisi Nov 29 '18 at 21:38
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    @JoeStrazzere Well, the automatic scripts didn't reverse any reputation. Though, now I've received a couple downvotes on my two highest-voted answers, I suspect in retaliation. – David K Nov 30 '18 at 13:05
  • @DavidK Nobody knew who you voted. – SmallChess Nov 30 '18 at 14:46
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    @SmallChess The only person who would know is the user I downvoted. – David K Nov 30 '18 at 14:54
  • You say their answers have consistently negative scores; are they simply poorly written answers, or do you believe they are out to deliberately antagonise / mislead other users with them? – user34587 Nov 30 '18 at 16:08
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    @Kozaky I believe they are out to deliberately antagonize. I could believe ignorance from one or two of their answers, but not 50. – David K Nov 30 '18 at 17:37
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    @DavidK - it may just be an attempt at humor. – Joe Strazzere Nov 30 '18 at 18:28
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    I get consistently downvoted, it's not me is it? Don't think I've had any answers without downvotes – Kilisi Nov 30 '18 at 22:57
  • @DavidK "the automatic scripts didn't reverse any reputation" - I wouldn't expect the serial voting reversal script to give the voter their reputation back, if that's what you're talking about. AFAIK, the script is designed to be invisible to serial voters. – Dukeling Dec 1 '18 at 17:52
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    @Kilisi If those votes are not getting reversed it is the community down voting not a single serial down voter. Your answers are often abrasive. – paparazzo Dec 10 '18 at 21:18
  • @paparazzo well, that was ironic – Richard U Dec 12 '18 at 17:56
  • Serial downvoting is rad as hell and very legal. – user90809 Jan 28 at 21:03
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Is this type of behavior considered inappropriate for SE?

Yes, because you are targeting one specific user.

From the FAQ:

The user then visits their profile and, like with serial upvoting, systematically visits their posts and downvotes them.

Here from one of Tim Post's answers:

Serial voting describes a pattern where your votes seem to focus on specific users instead of posts.

Even though you evaluate each post on its own merit, it's still inappropriate behavior. You are not finding these posts by accident (e. g. because the question interests you) or check all the answers to that question.

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It really depends on how fast/how many you downvoted. The algorithm is of course secret, but based on reasonable behaviour.

If you've seen this user collect a large number of downvotes over a long period of time, then you have to ask yourself whether you adding to the downvote tally will achieve anything positive. In this case, probably not - the user either doesn't understand why they're getting downvoted, or just doesn't care. You adding to the subtraction isn't likely to change that.

However, describing why there's a downvote and what is needed to turn the answer/question around could result in a positive outcome - if not for this user, then for other users who are reading. I realise that this is added effort (over just stabbing the down button), but putting the effort in to helping someone improve will hopefully result in a positive outcome.

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    Arguably, the positive thing for the site is to get the user getting automatic post ban to stop them from posting more bad posts, though some comments suggesting the user to improve are always welcome. – Andrew T. Nov 30 '18 at 9:30
  • I plotted such a thing once ever, when a really bad-actor had managed to steal a bounty and it looked like the moderators were powerless. But it turned out the community wasn't powerless even though the mods were. Ever see a -100? – Joshua Dec 4 '18 at 3:54
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I think, this should be Ok since you down-vote posts because of posts are bad. So at the end of the day, you downvote posts for legitimate reason.

-1

Now, I am evaluating each post on its own merits and then choosing how to act. I am not simply down-voting because this user posted it

The only problem here is your potential bias after specifically setting out to read their questions. But if you say you act based on the answer's merit, I believe you.

This is not blind downvoting, it's action taken after consideration, and, from a moderation perspective, I believe it should be indistinguishable from voting on any question you have come across.

In fact I consider it a net positive, since you're an engaged user who has identified a potentially troublesome area and are using the site's mechanisms to do something about it.

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Please don't do it. What you were doing would make yourself a troll. A troll intentionally breaking the rules. In fact, it'd sound more like a criminal.

This site is open for public discussion, everybody has different opinion. You shouldn't bias anyone just because you hate the person. You have to learn to control your emotion. If you have a bad day, head to the pub please stopping trolling an active user serially on this wonderful site.

Usually this results in me down-voting a number of their recent posts.

Bad. You should have upvoted the posts instead.

Who's the person you've targeting? I will judge if you are right.

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    The only statement I agree on this answer is "stop serial voting". The rest... if most of their posts are indeed bad/low-quality, why should I upvote them instead? And you (as everyone else, even mods) don't deserve to judge other users if their voting is "right" (unless it's deliberately harmful, like serial up/downvoting). – Andrew T. Nov 30 '18 at 9:23
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    "This site is open for public discussion, everybody has different opinion." The first is untrue and the latter irrelevant. This is a Q&A site. Not a discussion forum. – Mast Dec 10 '18 at 6:52

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