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I seem to have picked up a stalker in the past day or so, and (coincidentally) I received 4 downvotes in that same timespan. Now, it may indeed be entirely coincidental, but it sort of smells like a serial downvote. I think they're being spaced a bit so the system doesn't catch them automatically.

Do I let it slide, or should I reach out to a mod?

  • When you say spaced out, do you have any idea over how long? Are we talking minutes/hours? – Andrew Martin Aug 14 '14 at 13:43
  • Looks like a couple in one hour, one about 5 hours later, and one this morning. I'm not saying my answers are ever perfect, but they're usually pretty strong. And the downvotes just seemed suspect. – Johnny Bones Aug 14 '14 at 13:51
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As I am the person that downvoted I thought that I would justify the reason for it.

My first two times I had seen answers from you I noticed that they were both either based off of someone else's content or the same as someone else's content, which I don't think is good to do. So I had a quick look through and noticed they weren't the only ones like it.
Now for me I am of the opinion that it's fine to do this if you create a much better more expanded answer with a lot more to it, but on some of your answers you just reword it with the same meaning.

I will admit at one point I downvoted one because it was simply wrong, but if you were able to see my upvotes you would see that I have probably given more rep in upvotes to you than down.

Examples of using other peoples content to make a comment into an answer:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

My main point is that I would say if you think you can improve someone else's answer let them know how they can make it better, don't take it and try to get more rep from it. It just leads to duplicate answers and turns to a popularity contest. You can even edit answers if you wish to add to them and the author can decide if they agree with your points.

I am sorry to upset you but I do tend to look at other people's answers and questions and I upvote good ones and downvote bad ones. I don't do it based on the person.

Show that I also upvote your answers:

enter image description here

  • Would also like to point out that your picture is inapropriate and i would of flagged that – Flaunting Aug 14 '14 at 15:41
  • So I got a -1 on this answer, and the guy who basically agreed with my answer and expanded on it (which you just said is a no-no) didn't get downvoted? Why? movies.stackexchange.com/questions/19045/… If you're gonna do something, at least be consistent with it. – Johnny Bones Aug 14 '14 at 19:26
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    @JohnnyBones with that question in particular your answer was just low quality and seemed completely opinion based. you gave no facts and also no reasoning from the source material, i didn't vote his up but at least he tried – Flaunting Aug 15 '14 at 12:46
  • If you can say the same thing with 100 words as you can with 10, then you're wasting a lot of space. My answer was right on the money, actually, all that guy did was expand it a bit. Which, according to you, should have been a comment under my answer instead of his own separate answer. So, again, double standards are in play. – Johnny Bones Aug 15 '14 at 13:22
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    Flaunting - thanks for taking the time to write this. @JohnnyBones - I can understand you not agreeing, but people have the right to vote as they wish. – iandotkelly Aug 15 '14 at 14:05
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Well, that mentioned user has expressed genuine disapproval of your way of answering before. While he didn't provide any examples or explanations of what in particular he finds wrong with those answers (and without those I personally wouldn't subscribe to his assessment for now), it doesn't seem so much that he downvoted them because he doesn't like you, but because he just doesn't like those answers. And while an explanative comment for downvotes is encouraged, people are free to downvote answers they find bad.

I thus wouldn't call it serial downvoting yet, given that those are only 5 answers at the moment, stretched across 3 time periods, and with 3 of those 5 answers on currently active questions, and only 1 of those with a high number of countering upvotes (and thus objectively seen "pretty strong"). And that user already said himself that he looked at your other answers and found many of them inappropriate (even if not exactly saying in which way).

So while it stands to wait how this situation unfolds, I would not call this out as serial or abusive downvoting for now (be it only to calm down the situation). But I would strongly encourage that user to comment on the individual downvoted answers and explain what particular problems he sees with them in order to help improve the situation (if not done already).

(I don't want to say your complaints are completely ungrounded, but as a general advice in the spirit of mediation: As easy as it might seem to downvote in a personal and abusive way, as easy it is to take honest downvotes personal purely based on previous unfortunate encounters with the respective users.)

  • It may not be serial downvoting, but it is targeted downvoting. I've had this happen before, where a user disagreed with my downvote on their answer, and went through 15 different SE sites, voting down my answers. For the most part, you just have to let the system take care of it. If it gets excessive or out of control, the system should flag it and either reverse it and alert the appropriate mods. – JohnP Aug 14 '14 at 14:24
  • "went through 15 different SE sites, voting down my answers." - That indeed seems pretty heavy. But as pointed out, I don't think this applies here so much, as especially pointed out in the 2nd paragraph. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 14 '14 at 14:26
  • I think it's exactly targeted downvoting. He got a bee in his bonnet, and went through a bunch of answers expressing dissatisfaction. Were they legitimate downvotes? Possibly, but if he doesn't get ticked off in the first place, it likely doesn't happen. 5 or 6 legitimate downvotes triggered by a temper tantrum snit is no different than random downvotes for the same reason. – JohnP Aug 14 '14 at 14:28
  • @JohnP Well, if I happen to read a bunch of answers I don't approve of, simply because I'm browsing the profile of a particular user, I'm not sure it's that relevant how I stumbled across those answers. It also happened to me that I incidentally browsed through the contributions of some user and found various posts worth voting on (if up or down). The main problem that makes it look strange is probably the reluctance to comment on some of the downvotes and the reasons for them (and the existing history between the respective users). – Napoleon Wilson Aug 14 '14 at 14:33
  • Yet I also don't want to say it's completely ungrounded or that the other user's motives are absolutely pure, just that I for myself currently don't know and the situation isn't clear enough to judge anything. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 14 '14 at 14:36
  • @SonnyBurnett - Hopefully your little nudge lets him know that eyes are on him and the problem goes away. -8 isn't going to kill me. – Johnny Bones Aug 14 '14 at 15:02
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    As i know this is supposedly at me, i have downvoted where i have also commented on, which i believe is only a couple of times. so i wouldn't say that is downvoting. i will continue to give examples @SonnyBurnett – Flaunting Aug 14 '14 at 15:17

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