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What does 'serial upvoting reversed' mean? If you're a victim then how can you find out what's happened?

I saw this in my reputation history but I can't find any details, or definition in the FAQ.

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    Does anyone know if this also applies to meta? If so, all the votes cast for on- or off-topic on ColeVAlleyGirl's answers must look awfully suspicious. – Fortiter Dec 6 '12 at 12:28
  • ACProctor, @Fortiter this has already been noticed here: meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/a/1439/104. I'm waiting for a moderator response... – user104 Dec 6 '12 at 13:32
  • Looks like almost all my meta votes from the past two days have been reversed as well, just from looking at my voting history. I don't see anything that says "serial upvoting reversed" though. I'm aware of the other thread, just adding another "me too" :) – efgen Dec 6 '12 at 15:32
  • Hmmmm, you know what, based on Grace Note's answer below, I think the serial upvoting reversal is different from what's happening here in meta. Or in addition. I just had 75 rep points removed on the main site due to serial upvoting. Someone had upvoted a bunch of my answers earlier today. It was probably someone who just joined Genealogy.SE as a result of my posting my census question on FB, and was just voting as he/she was reading through the questions :( Bummer. – efgen Dec 7 '12 at 3:06
  • @efgen There's two sides to serial upvoting reversal - there's the removal of all of the votes that the voter cast on a single individual (what happened to you and others on Meta from ColveValleyGirl's project) and the removal of all votes received from the individual by the voter (what happened to you on the main site). These are, of course, all the same votes in both sides, but being the recipient versus the voter gives a different perspective to it. – Grace Note Dec 7 '12 at 15:39
  • @GraceNote yep understood. But the reversal comment in my rep history relates to the main site, not meta (since we don't get rep here in meta). So while the reversals happened here, it also appears that I was affected by serial voting on the main board, and that's the one my rep history shows. – efgen Dec 7 '12 at 17:56
  • @efgen Ah, gotcha, sorry then. For upvotes, I believe we only show these for the recipient, since there is no reputation change from the voter and thus no place to show it on the reputation history. – Grace Note Dec 7 '12 at 17:58
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I'm Grace Note, a Community Coordinator at Stack Exchange.

The other answers have covered the primary question here, that is, "what is serial upvoting". It's when one user upvotes a specific user repeatedly and frequently. This, along with the related concept of "serial downvoting", basically are major indicators that someone is voting towards a person, rather than towards that person's contributions (or that there might be a fake account present). There are automated measures as well as manual means to detect potential instances of serial voting and consequently reverse them.

If you're a victim of it, then, wow this is awkward to actually say, there's not much more we can tell you about it than the given message. Voting information is private and we do not release this information to users, so we cannot tell someone that, say, "Your best friend, user13503, just upvoted all of your posts last night". The most that can be revealed is that the event did happen, which is what the event in your reputation history is meant to convey.

However, I can understand that the message "serial upvoting reversed" is, at heart, rather vague and there isn't even a hover tooltip to clarify what it means. Perhaps it should link to a better explanation, or at the very least, have some hover text to explain.

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Look at Serial upvoting reversed or How to act when you're being serial upvoted.

There is so that is much new and frightening in this place!

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  • Wow! Some scary stuff on those threads. All this blind automation is a bit worrying. I'm not so woried that I might flag it for moderator attention, but I had hoped to get more details of what happened. I guess I just have to shrug it off – ACProctor Dec 6 '12 at 13:06
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It looks to me like the system is designed to prevent a 'cabal' forming and a bunch of friends tyring to crank up one person's reputation. I think it means either vote slower - or more people should have helped with on-and-off-topic-questions-an-attempt-to-reach-consensus Q&A. Right now all the votes go to one person, so if you methodically walk thru the Q&A of above, your votes look serial no matter which one you vote for.

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  • Duncan, see meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/a/1439/104 -- I'm waiting for a moderator response. – user104 Dec 6 '12 at 13:32
  • I agree. I was just pointing out the nature of the way the Q&A's were formed (a bunch of polling questions with the q and all the a's written by one person) meant it would trip the algorithm. The algorithm has a valid use in both main (to avoid cranking rep) and meta (to avoid stacking the deck). I'm sure this was instituted to fix some real life issues. Recall this is a geek site so lots of skilled programmers who try to get around the rules (and other skilled programmers who put in algs like this to thwart them). We just need to recognize it's there and try not to trip it. – Duncan Dec 11 '12 at 1:54

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