I posted a question.

Seconds after I received the first answer: was incomplete and did not get the expected results, clearly detailed on the question. Even more: his own posting shows the error.

The poster, also ask if his answer was OK; I was not expecting to turn the question into an interactive session.

Another answer comes after a short time, complete and working and, after testing, I accepted as answer.

The first poster got upset, posted comments complaining why I did not tell him that his answer was incomplete and a) Downvote my question and b) Magically he starting receiving upvotes!!! (btw his answer was plain vanilla)

The accepted answer, shows knowledge and experience, complex and well documented, receive less upvotes than the wrong one (and my question... still in the red).

This smell rotten fish. (ref: 475922)

btw: as a courtesy to other, I removed all my comments from the referenced question.

  • 4
    I have noticed that often the first answer will have the most votes. One possible reason could be that the people who upvoted the first answer(s) do not necessarily revisit the question and new readers might still upvote the answer which got the most votes at that point. The reason some good answers will not get votes later on might simply be due lack of attention the question gets with the new answer.
    – sebasth
    Oct 18 '18 at 16:13
  • 1
    Even after the accepted answer was selected, the 'bad' answer keeps receiving upvotes. Also, is normal that more than 30% of the visitors gives upvote? Now is 14 votes 75 visitors, for a very specific and boring question.
    – fcm
    Oct 18 '18 at 16:54
  • 1
    I noticed the same that that user also getting reputation in very fast period of the times on his /her most answers, it's kind of abnormal at least to me Oct 18 '18 at 17:15
  • You upvote me and I upvote you? The looser is the community: the up/down vote have no real value.
    – fcm
    Oct 18 '18 at 20:11
  • 1
    The accepted answer is not always the best answer.
    – sebasth
    Oct 18 '18 at 20:19
  • 3
    You are right, but not in this case. The multiple upvotes are on a very trivial answer: how to delete a line using sed, that was not the question. I think we should put attention to the upvotes origin. They may be bot generated. Also, no correlation between the answer's quality posted by the user and the thousand upvotes received.
    – fcm
    Oct 18 '18 at 22:11
  • 2
    now that abnormal behavior is detected for that user. I like the development of these communities : ) Oct 19 '18 at 16:13
  • 3
    @fcm unfortunately, we normal users have no way to correlate the users with the votes; otherwise it would be very easy to identify bots or simply clusters of "friends" that upvote each other. (effusively laudatory comments on trivial answers however give a strong lead ;-)). As long as the system is that way, completely non-transparent, it will be abused -- it's not really the fault of this or that user.
    – mosvy
    Oct 19 '18 at 17:03
  • 2
    A lot of what you lot are discussing is well trodden ground. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8879 , meta.stackexchange.com/questions/18014 , meta.stackexchange.com/questions/222412 , meta.stackexchange.com/questions/137448 , and so on.
    – JdeBP
    Oct 19 '18 at 17:49
  • 3
    I, for one, just received -170 reputation yesterday with a "user was removed" message -- perhaps unrelated, perhaps resolution?
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Oct 20 '18 at 17:34
  • 9
    @JeffSchaller the user OP is taking about lost some 8k rep, with an alarmingly large number of users removed. Resolution more likely than not.
    – muru
    Oct 20 '18 at 20:32
  • @muru just out of curiosity, is there a way to see a list of recently removed users? I don't think there's any resolution, that's probably just a temporary suspension, after which he/she will be back with a vengeance.
    – qubert
    Oct 22 '18 at 9:35
  • @qubert no, you can't see which users were removed (to protect voting anonymity), but if you look at the user's reputation changes on mobile, you'll see individual entries with "User was removed" (500+; but I'm not sure if each entry means a unique user was removed). And if the user persists in this behaviour, they might get suspended, with lengthier suspensions for repeated offences.
    – muru
    Oct 22 '18 at 9:48
  • 2
    This sounds like Hot Network Questions at work
    – mattdm
    Oct 23 '18 at 22:04
  • 3
    HNQ does not provide +140 reputation on an answer that is today +1/-2, thirteen deleted users does that (take a look, right below the -4922). Oct 24 '18 at 7:49

There are many reasons that a sub-par answer can garner more attention that a answer that would appear superior.

  • Answer was first
  • Answer was well timed so that it was seen by more people that a later answer
  • A higher rep'ed user provided 1 answer vs. another
  • Sockpuppet voting rings
  • etc.

If it was noticed that a particular user rapidly lost reputation, it's likely they were either an innocent of willing "victim" in illegal voting. StackExchange sites as a whole simply deal with this as it comes up and is one of the more annoying aspects of participating in a community site where voting occurs.

If you're interested in sockpuppet voting it's been something that SE sites have been dealing with from pretty much their inception and there's some good blog posts about it linked off of this meta Q&A - How can you detect if users have created sock puppet accounts?

I would encourage you or anyone that suspects something like this to use the flags on questions and answers to bring it to the moderators' attention. SE sites have pretty good mechanisms to detect it and we try to be diligent about catching it, but the authenticity of voting is a cornerstone to making all the SE sites highly valuable content on the internet. Any attempts to "game the system" is an attack on our community and needs to be dealt with for the good of all who participate in making our community a great place.

  • 2
    What’s going on with this particular user’s rep? The reputation graph shows multiple days with over 200 points from upvotes only, which should be impossible given the cap, even accounting for the discrepancies in the graphs generally, and the corrections... Oct 26 '18 at 10:50
  • @StephenKitt - looks like a couple of those days have bounties, other days I would assume that may in fact be a bug or an inability to deal w/ the deleting that's going on as a result of actions that SE has taken.
    – slm Mod
    Oct 26 '18 at 13:37
  • Oh, OK, the view I get only shows one bounty, on Oct 17. The rep view is quite buggy, it’s probably safe to assume it’s that rather than some other failing in the rep system ;-). Oct 26 '18 at 13:41
  • 3
    I still find it very strange that the reputation increase is roughly linear (like most other users) until the 1st September when the rate abruptly changes to exponential (roughly) growth. Then, from the 18th September it hits the 200 daily cap but continues to consistently exceed this limit every day until the 18th October! That's a really bad bug in the reputation display system. :) Oct 26 '18 at 15:44
  • I see many users were hit by ricochet in this accident. Minus 6851 reputation is impressive result. Is this the the all time record lost on U&L? Or even record on all SE sites?
    – jimmij
    Oct 27 '18 at 14:44
  • 1
    @jimmij - yes this one was pretty bad, we've had others that were of similar size. I cannot say across the other SE sites, I would imagine there were likely ones larger.
    – slm Mod
    Oct 27 '18 at 21:12
  • 1
    I took a closer look at this and don't understand something. I see that a number of accounts have been banned/removed, and all answers were stripped from reputation points to that questions. That's reasonable. However there are still many questions whose authors were not banned, but only answers of this particular user were unaccepted. That's inconsistent - either the original authors were involved and should be banned or, if they are not guilty, their decision whose answer to accept should be respected.
    – jimmij
    Oct 28 '18 at 1:42
  • Another thing is reputation from editing posts; do I read it correctly that it was reverted also for this user?
    – jimmij
    Oct 28 '18 at 1:54
  • @jimmij - someone else said that, it's unclear with this much reverting which votes are from what.
    – slm Mod
    Oct 28 '18 at 3:52

You should not care much about what votes other posters get. In the end you asked a question to solve a specific question that you had, eventually you got an acceptable answer and this is all that should matter in the first place.

You were right to accept it (a widely neglected virtue).

As of the poster of the first answer questioning your acceptance decisions, you should know (and I mention this not for the first time) that you don't owe anyone any kind of justification. Specifically, you can up- or downvote without providing any reason (a custom that seems to upset particularly newcomers), and for your questions, you may accept whatever answer seems suitable to you. There is no obligation whatsoever to justify your decision (or even giving other posters recommendations on how to improve their answers) or to answer to comments.

Finally, as of suspicious upvotes, if you suspect fraud, flag it and leave it to the moderators. Otherwise just be happy to have received an acceptable answer. Just never let SE become your battle field - it takes the community and the moderators already some effort to keep this place clean.

  • 2
    I mostly agree, but in this case I believe that OP did right with pointing it out here. This is is a Q&A community, and many of the questions here help by far more people than just OP of the Q, so having good and accurate answers upvoted should be in favor of the entire community (and even those who are just stumbling upon the Q from googling a similar issue they have). When duckduckgoing a question that's on an SE network, the answer shown directly on the results page is always the most upvoted, by the way.
    – confetti
    Oct 30 '18 at 19:18

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