I am curious about the algorithm that determines serial voting. I realize that serial voting is a thing and that it's a form of collusion between people with intent to increase rep.

However, in two separate events, including tonight, I've lost a total of 135 points due to what is being called serial voting. 70 points last week, 55 points tonight.

But, I do question this particular action. In a small sample size such as our private beta, and knowing just how many answers I've given, it is not out of the realm of possibility for me to get consecutive voting, organically.

Are we subject to that same algorithm as a full site? I just wonder if it's being too sensitive.

Also, I assure everyone, I am not involved in any collusion or intentional activity to gain rep.


1 Answer 1


I assume you have read the meta post on serial upvoting and reversal, there's a lot of information on there as to the how and why votes are reversed:

Every night around 03:00 UTC, a voting fraud detection script is run that looks for patterns such as these. It basically looks for users who have upvoted another user many times. The number is fairly low within a given amount of time (the exact mechanics are kept secret).

The "issue" is not the number of votes a user has cast against your posts, but also the timeframe within which those votes have also been cast. The algorithm itself is not published for obvious reasons, but also interested to hear if the same algorithm as StackOverflow is applied to SE sites. It could also be argued that the algorithm from SO is more accurate since they have more data available though...

I've lost a total of X points due to what is being called serial voting

It's happened to me several times on StackOverflow as well. It happens, not much you can do about it, accept that it happens and move on. We can't control the actions of other users.

But you didn't lose any points, you never had them to start with. It's as if the votes had never been cast to begin with. It's worth noting that if you have hit the reputation cap for the day then after the serial votes have been reversed the points are recalculated:

Whenever serial voting gets reversed, all days involved in the serial voting will be recalculated as if the serial votes had never happened, and any reputation you might have lost due to those serial votes hitting the reputation cap will be given to you at that time. Serial voters will not prevent you from gaining reputation that you deserve.

For example:

  • current cap is 200 points, which you reach
  • if there was no cap you would have got 240 due to 24 upvotes
  • serial upvotes reversal = -80
  • after the re-calc you should have 160 for the day (240 - 80)
  • If you both write answers that are mediocre, that won't be upvoted you might be in a winning situation. As no one will look like they are serial upvoting everything you write.
    – Anicho
    Oct 13, 2016 at 10:34
  • @Anicho But then we run the risk of downvotes and we are in a losing situation :(
    – jammykam
    Oct 13, 2016 at 10:39
  • Nice that lets me catch up
    – Anicho
    Oct 13, 2016 at 11:03

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