Recently, there was a global recalculation of reputation across StackExchange. People lost reputation points if one of their upvoted posts was subsequently deleted. Another reason that has affected a few people is that rapid runs of upvotes by the same user are reversed. The rationale for this second adjustment is that such runs of votes are tantamount to "block voting" or "voter fraud".

This has affected one of our highest-rep users and moderator, Mr.Wizard. He lost 420 points, and it is pretty obvious that there is a string of serial upvotes the previous day, so that is probably what the system picked up.

Just now, there has been another string of single upvotes on older questions, presumably to "compensate" for the earlier loss of points.

Mr.Wizard posts a lot of really good answers and yes, they are deserving of upvoting. But please, restrain yourselves. A couple of votes from an individual user to an indvidual user per day is plenty. Maybe leave ten minutes between them. Don't turn your accolade into an unwitting accusation directed at the target of your upvotes.

Whoever is serial upvoting him (or any other user) just to give them rep, please stop or at least slow down. It won't help them in the end.

  • I think the system is wrong; if you upvote a few answers in a kind of batch operation at the end of your reading, then that's immediately suspected of being fraud? really? And to what end anyway? This is quite a good way to deter new users from voting altogether if they can so easily be open to accusations of fraud...
    – cormullion
    Mar 2, 2012 at 16:40
  • @R.M well shucks, I thought the two were one on the Beta Meta. Pardon me, cormullion! <:-o
    – Mr.Wizard
    Mar 2, 2012 at 20:32
  • @cormullion: nah, the system is more sophisticated than that. You have to repeatedly upvote (or downvote) the same user for it to trigger.
    – David Z
    Mar 2, 2012 at 23:22
  • 2
    For what it's worth, the script that tracks voting patterns has been in place for a long time now and would've kicked in even without the recent recalc and changes taking place.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Mar 4, 2012 at 1:54
  • @AnnaLear thanks, I am aware of this. I think the recalc made it obvious that serial voting gets reversed. I have no problem with the policy, but wanted to avoid people trying to "compensate" for the rep "lost" by doing it all over again.
    – Verbeia
    Mar 4, 2012 at 2:01
  • @Verbeia I'm definitely not objecting to your post here. :) Just saying that this reversal is one of the things that used to take effect immediately before, too. You're right - it's a lot more visible now that it appears in the rep history as well.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Mar 4, 2012 at 2:02

1 Answer 1


This has been resolved. The voter was not voting to artificially boost reputation or to mess with the system. Rather, the voter was merely reading through all of my posts and voting for any that he liked. He intended to move on and do the same for the posts of other users, one after another.

I do not fault this, and I have done it myself in a more reserved fashion. Nevertheless the system will see this a "voting fraud" and remove the votes, not only from the short period which triggered the reversal, but remove all votes from that user for the vote recipient's posts.

I think there is distinct value in sequentially reading through one user's answers as you get a feel for the user's programming style and the thinking behind it. However, one should refrain from voting during this process. Rather, when you wish to vote, work chronologically through all questions that are of interest to you, voting for all answers you feel are worthy. Even if a large number of votes are placed in a short period of time, if they are reasonably distributed among different user there should not be a problem.

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