As it is stated in community FAQ:

When a single user continually votes (up or down) on many of your posts within a short period of time, the system considers these votes to be invalid and removes them. This could happen for a variety of reasons, such as a user finding a user's great answer and visiting all of their posts to upvote them, or a user getting into an argument with another user and downvoting their posts indiscriminately in revenge. No matter the cause, this sort of systematic targeted voting is not considered normal behavior and the system will not allow it.

If such a voting pattern continues to happen between two users mutually or from one user towards another, or otherwise falls outside of normal voting patterns, moderators and/or developers may investigate the matter; intentionally voting merely to reduce or inflate another user's reputation is considered abuse.

But what if a user that has moderator role sees that there is systematic targeted upvoting towards them?

On one hand if a system does not correct the reputation then it might be a normal voting pattern, but on the other hand automated algorithm might not always be effective. More over the moderator role puts extended responsibility to a person to maintain community principles and watch the community rules.

So how do you, folks, think what should a hypothetical moderator do in that case from moderation ethic stand point?

1 Answer 1


Since community moderators don't see who cast which votes, it's actually not that simple.

Certainly, if I got a swag of targeted upvotes, I'd have no objection to the upvotes being cancelled by the Stack Exchange moderators or the system. That said, I can honestly say that I probably wouldn't recognize targeted upvoting until after the fact. It wouldn't occur to me to vote a question or answer on anything but its merits, and it wouldn't occur to me that someone else would do that either. I'm too honest...

  • 2
    To add to that, I personally (and I believe I've seen it from the other mods too, past and present) wouldn't take an action where there's a conflict of interest. I would ping the other mods or ask SE staff to step in. Whether I benefit from the votes, or if someone has caused a problem on one of my posts or something like that, I'd defer that.
    – corsiKa Mod
    Nov 21, 2018 at 20:01
  • 2
    @corsiKa - agreed. If I actually recognized a targeted voting pattern towards me, I certainly wouldn't try to judge it. I'd ask the other mods or SE staff. Of course, I probably wouldn't recognize it in the first place because I don't think that way.
    – Kate Paulk Mod
    Nov 23, 2018 at 12:32

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