This help page on Serial voting reversed states:

When a single user continually votes (up or down) on many of your posts within a short period of time, this is referred to as voting fraud. This could happen for a variety of reasons, such as a user finding a user's great answer and visiting all of their posts to upvote them, or a user getting into an argument with another user and downvoting their posts indiscriminately in revenge. No matter the cause, this sort of systematic targetting voting is not considered normal behavior and the system will not allow it.

This very suspicious string of upvotes was reversed a few minutes ago.

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However, a similar voting pattern occured the day before, which has not yet been reversed:

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And a few days earlier (also not yet reversed):

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Besides, the vote pattern on this particular answer has raised some eyebrows...

According to the same help page:

If it continues to happen between two users mutually or from one user towards another, or looks just plain suspicious in general, moderators and/or developers may investigate the matter. The votes involved will generally be invalidated as part of an automated process that runs every day and checks for signs of voting fraud. The votes may also be invalidated manually by the staff after an investigation. When the votes are invalidated, the reputation gain or loss from the votes is undone, which results in a record in the recipient's reputation history labelled "serial upvoting reversed" or "serial downvoting reversed".

Did the "automated process that runs every day and checks for signs of voting fraud" fail? Did the voting fraud escape the mods' attention?

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    We don't know the detail :-) The assumption is it runs once per day but that's based only on the outcomes we can see. – Joseph Wright Aug 12 '14 at 6:21
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    By the way, thanks for bring this to attention. – Joseph Wright Aug 12 '14 at 6:24
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    As @Joseph says, the Serial Voting Bot is run once a day basically. I would wait 48 hours and if nothing happens, consider other actions (probably calling one of the SE coders, but Joseph knows better) :) But in the end: remember that rep is just a number. Nothing less and nothing more... – yo' Aug 12 '14 at 8:26
  • @tohecz The mods have certain actions available for cases where sock-puppets seem to be in operation (it's quite a common mod task on some sites). The mod team will discuss this particular case. – Joseph Wright Aug 12 '14 at 8:27
  • suspicious sure but why obvious? Maybe friends piled up to vote this time? – percusse Aug 12 '14 at 18:02
  • Obvious in the sense that it qualifies as a "voting fraud" (according to the help page's definition); I'm not implying that the user in question is necessarily at fault, here. – jub0bs Aug 12 '14 at 18:56
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    Oddly enough we just had something similar happen on Physics. – David Z Aug 12 '14 at 21:40
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    Another reason for spontaneous up-voting is that the same person having multiple tex.SXX accounts, allowing them to vote for themselves. – Andrew Aug 14 '14 at 3:58
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    @tohecz bank account balances and Google Ranks are also just numbers =) – Ciro Santilli 新疆改造中心法轮功六四事件 Aug 15 '14 at 14:17
  • I glanced at the question title and, for one minute, I think I've been spotted. I mean, oh my, I am so shocked about this serial voting. /says the top voter of the entire SE universe :) – Paulo Cereda Aug 15 '14 at 18:17
  • @PauloCereda You'll be the community's scapegoat! Kick him out, folks :) – jub0bs Aug 15 '14 at 18:31
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    @Jubobs: Oh no! :) Beware, all my upvotes will be reverted and it will be a rep apocalypse. :) – Paulo Cereda Aug 15 '14 at 18:43
  • @CiroSantilli Yes nothing beats buying a toaster with 4 goats and a half cow. – percusse Aug 15 '14 at 20:16
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    @percusse No, you get a free toaster with every 4 goats you buy. USB toasters cost a half cow extra however. – Alan Munn Aug 15 '14 at 21:13
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    @percusse Toasted USBs are the gateway to harder interface combustion like Firewire and Thunderbolt. – Alan Munn Aug 15 '14 at 21:31

It's always possible that a given case of inappropriate voting you see might look just legitimate enough to the vote fraud algorithm that it doesn't get automatically reversed. It's also possible that a series of downvotes in quick succession really do come from all different and respected users at coincidental times. (I wouldn't have thought so before I joined the team, but I've seen it more than once in the past year.)

If you ever think you've spotted a situation where votes should be invalidated but haven't been after a day or two, feel free to let us know at team@stackexchange.com. We'll always be willing to check it out.

  • Great thanks, Pops! – jub0bs Aug 22 '14 at 21:16

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