I think someone may have set the parameters controlling serial voting detection a little awry.

Today, I got a notification that 10 rep had been deducted because someone had been serially upvoting my posts. However, my current history here consists of:

  • Jul 12, 03:37, association bonus, +100.
  • Jul 12, 06:28, upvote on my first question, +10.
  • Oct 19, 19:06, reverse serial voting, -10.

Now I suppose you could technically argue that it's a suspicious pattern that 100% of all my upvotes came from a single account.

But I'm not sure you can intelligently call something serial behaviour when there's only been a single occurrence. Otherwise, every murderer would be a serial killer :-)

It'd be interesting to know the rationale behind the decision. I'm not asking for the rep to be reinstated, I don't really care about it other than having enough to do certain things on the site (which, on this site, is really just asking the occasional question).

I've tagged this bug as that seemed to be the most appropriate from the defaults given, but it may not actually be a bug (apologies in advance if that's the case), we'll have to wait and see.

  • 1
    I don't think it's right to call "Bug!" just yet. All the vote page says is "voting corrected" and that could be for a multitude of reasons — including even correcting a bug, perhaps. It is true that the most common form of vote abuse is targeted voting, and that's what the explanatory page focuses on; obviously serial targeted voting can't be the case here. I think calling in a community manager/staff would be the right thing to do here, and I have done that. Hopefully someone will be along in the next few days.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Oct 20, 2021 at 7:06
  • @Andrew, the options were discussion, support, feature request, and bug. Of the four, bug seemed more apt - the bug text description (containing "erroneous or unexpected behaviour") fitted - it was certainly unexpected that it would reverse serial voting on an account that only had one upvote ever :-) Still, it may not be a bug, hence my aside in the question.
    – paxdiablo
    Oct 20, 2021 at 10:54
  • In terms of actions, I just wanted to bring it to someone's intention since it may end up affecting someone who cares more about rep than me. I don't really need anything done to rectify this instance of the problem. Having said that, I appreciate the contact.
    – paxdiablo
    Oct 20, 2021 at 10:56
  • Did you get upvotes on other SE accounts in that same window? Were any of those reversed? Serial upvoting might be check across your entire network profile (I don’t know).
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 20, 2021 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


In order to get gold badges, some people write scripts to upvote 40 random posts across different sites every day. This is against the rules, so when it's discovered, the votes need to go. When the offending account can't be deleted (because the user has content on the site in question), then the votes are reversed. This is explained on the main meta: Non-serial voting corrected.

You're definitely not the only one who was affected by this. This is happening on other sites, and it has to be the same incident. See Why did I get serial voting only for a vote on a post?

To the best of my knowledge, this is only the second time this type of reversal has happened.

  • 2
    Who covets gold badges that much? Oct 22, 2021 at 15:31
  • 1
    @JohnLawler A fair question, though I'm sure it was rhetorical. On ELU it's not so bad, but across the network there have been some astonishing attempts to game the system (read: "cheat") in any number of sometimes remarkably clever ways. It's not completely surprising that this occurs given that the entire badge and reputation gamification system was put in to draw interest by rewarding various sorts of contributions. Add in how the members are often computer programmers, sometimes of no small talent, and you can see where it comes from. Still, it's just fake internet points, so a kid's game.
    – tchrist Mod
    Oct 23, 2021 at 2:15

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