I am Paulo.

I am the top voter of the entire StackExchange universe. And I believe I fit the description of being a serial upvoter. It is my OCD. I like to upvote, it is one of my favourite hobbies and the way I found to help this community.

First things first: reputation does not mean anything. In my particular case, the fact of me being close to 30k does not make me better or wiser or more significant than anybody in the world. Au contraire, little do I know about TeX and friends. But I do care about my TeX friends.

That is why I vote. That is why votes are important to me. I want to make people feel welcome. I would like to make our friends earn privileges and help build a better community. If a question shows effort, it deserves an upvote. If a question gets a answer, both deserve a token of gratitude. A gratitude for helping each and one of us discoverying a whole new world beyond our current knowledge and limitation.

TeX itself taught me a lot of things. But I could never learn such things if it weren't so many friends who dedicate a lot of their daily routine to be my mentors and help me overcome my own obstacles.

The very same way I feel welcome, I want to share it. That is why I upvote. That is why I serial upvote. I am the top voter for a reason. And this TeX community is my reason.

Sadly, the serial voting algorithm had reversed a lot of my friends' reputation. This has happening for quite some time. I am deeply sorry for such inconvenience. At the same time, from my perspective, it is unfair to also invalidate all my upvotes.

I haven't failed the Turing test yet. And I can guarantee I am not a robot beep beep. I don't want my friends to have so abrupt changes in their reputation (although we really don't care about these numbers, they are only useful for eccentric palindromic reasons), but at the same time, I don't want to see a newbie getting privileges revoked or dreams shattered because my votes were all invalidated in this odd system.

I took a defensive approach in the last three months, but I guess it is time to make things happen. Personally, I have nothing to lose: if my votes hold, the community gear keeps spinning, otherwise, I will annoy the living hell of this serial voting algorithm. And I will find out the logic behind it and crush it with the power of a million ducks. Quack. :)

Update: Let us add a question, so it looks like a meta thread: can my votes be valid, please? :) I don't think I should be considered a robot. Also, the other questions about voting reversals are not totally covered and explained by the SE staff, I think we need some clarification to both ends: serial voters and affected users.

  • 5
    You've to spread your daily voting well amongst posts ;-)
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:11
  • 9
    @ChristianHupfer: That's it, I gonna serial upvote you. :) Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:14
  • 2
    Reminds me of: I am sinner, I am a smoker ... ;-)
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:24
  • 1
    Top by votes on a single site; counting network-wide, Ward and Gilles are ahead. And unlike yours, their votes are meaningful.
    – user69318
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 18:57
  • 12
    @MiceElf: Thanks for the feedback. :) Could you expand a little on how their votes differ from mine? Do you believe I upvote wrong answers or is my method wrong? By the way, I also upvoted your answer to a question in this site (of course, other answers and the question itself). :) Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 19:41
  • 2
    @MiceElf: actually, don't bother. :) I think it's better to forget about this thread since it's opinion-based. I think it won't do any good to the community itself and I don't want to raise any mixed feelings. Still, the upvotes remain. :) Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 19:56
  • 10
    @MiceElf I would like to kindly ask you to get to understand the positive culture of this site before trying to destroy it. Thank you very much.
    – yo'
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 20:09
  • 1
    @MiceElf: You've got a clear point of view, being someone who has not contributed very much to TeX.SX or Meta.TeX.SX!
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 20:55
  • 16
    @MiceElf How do you tell whether a user's votes are meaningful or not? This isn't an objection: I'm genuinely curious about how somebody might make this judgement. When I look at a user's activity, I can see number of votes. But I have no idea how I would assess their meaningfulness or quality. But I'm sure that you would not make speculative statements about other users.
    – cfr
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 3:31
  • 4
    @cfr: Apparently MiceElf doesn't want to react to our critical comments ;-)
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 18:21
  • 6
    Please keep the lynching short and lethal. It is good once in a while to have some controversy.
    – percusse
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 20:57
  • 1
    @PauloCereda: If I compare the number of votes done by you and egreg, for example, they differ only by about 600. So you're regarded as a serial sinner and egreg isn't? ;-)
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 11:12
  • 5
    @ChristianHupfer egreg has a lot of other obsessive constructive behavior to work on: serial-answering, serial-achieving... There is still hope for him because he doesn't ask excessively many questions, though.
    – T. Verron
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 12:47
  • 2
    Alright positive community, but unfortunately, all I see up there is taking a bite off NormalHuman (MiceElf) because he disagreed with you. I'm not saying his assumptions are correct, but @Chris please reread the comment thread and realize why he didn't answer. (Sorry if I came off harsh, but the comments after his comments are shocking)
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 21:01
  • 2
    @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M My thoughts exactly. Don't know why this overzealous stuff happened here.
    – percusse
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 8:34

7 Answers 7


Here is a TeXnical broadcast in behalf of the Paulo Supporter Party

Paulo Cereda has definitely a lot of positive traits...


  • is one of the kindest users I met here (there are other kind users too, of course)
  • is the greatest Duck fan ever,ever,ever -- positively obsessed by ducks ;-)
  • knows a lot of Computer Science and TeX (as the whole bunch ...)
  • has a huge knowledge about Monty Python (and other important shows) ;-)
  • supports new users as well as older ones (We have some really old blokes here -- mummies -- say no more!)
  • knows German (a little bit ;-) -- don't mention the war!)

His votes are 'necessary' for all of us and if he is a serial upvoter, so his is one, but certainly no robot!

I should become a serial upvoter too....

If you like Paulo support his question -- vote for the Paulo Supporter Party

  • 2
    Yes, one up, for being one of the kindest users. Kindness is welcome! :-D Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 14:38

I really think that people who use more than 30 votes in a day should get the threshold for triggering the anti-voter bot increased by at least 30%.

So for instance, if for me, who votes only 20 times a day, I need to give 8 votes to E to trigger the bot, it should be at least 12 for Paulo who uses all his votes.

(Yes, this is a .)

  • 1
    ooooh I like this approach. :) Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:28
  • @PauloCereda: But isn't this off-topic here ... the voting system is globally on SE ... A proposition on Meta.TeX.SX will not shatter the SE system ;-)
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:30
  • 4
    @ChristianHupfer: we could argue that this feature is community-specific and keep the post here. I don't want to be shredded to pieces in the SO jungle. :) Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:32
  • 3
    @ChristianHupfer It's not a bad approach to first discuss it here before bringing it to the large wild big meta :-)
    – yo'
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:32
  • @yo': Agreed ...
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 20:58
  • @PauloCereda: Agreed as well
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 20:58
  • What about: as proportion of votes cast that day by that user? If you go mad and use 40 in a day, you'd get the increase for that day.
    – cfr
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 17:27
  • Just to remark one thing: I am willing to fight for such a feature on Meta.SE, but the experience is that it has to be a really well-thought and really good idea that solves a real problem for it to be accepted. Also, I won't be able to do anything for it in the next couple weeks.
    – yo'
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 21:29

I'm going to take a contrary view here. The serial voting algorithm, although probably imperfect, is enforcing a rule that for better or worse the SE people as a whole think is A Good Thing.

Now you have stated that your main purpose in voting is to help build community, and it's undeniable that such voting can probably help that. But this is expressly not what the SE powers want the voting system to be for. But at the same time you mention that "your friends' reputation" has been reversed. Now it's possible that you have used 'friend' here with a very broad interpretation, namely anyone and everyone on the site counts as a friend. But if that's not the case, then your voting pattern isn't actually building community, per se, but boosting the reputation of some subset of the community (even if that subset is quite large). Now I count myself as one of your friends in this smaller set, but I don't really want you to upvote my answers just because I'm (I hope) a good member of the community.

Now of course, you can argue that my (and other high-rep users') answers are independently worthy of upvoting, since we generally supply good answers, but I think that this still artificially inflates the score for some people over others. And certainly for high reputation users in particular, the last thing we really need is more reputation.

So the question is, could your voting penchant be directed in another way, perhaps to new users whose questions are well asked? (Forgive me if these kinds of votes are also being undone.)

Just some thoughts from a friend.

Addendum: Just so it's clear to others, I am in no way suggesting that Paulo just upvotes some (fairly large) set of his site friends to the exception of others with whom he has no connection at all. I know this is not the case. But I do think that if that group is the group subject to the cancelled votes, then my comments stand. Unfortunately it's difficult (if not impossible) to tell whether all of the votes are being undone or just some of them.

  • 3
    We didn't fit well into the 100k club apparently ;) Maybe serial bountying on random users santaexchange.com ?
    – percusse
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 21:01
  • 7
    I assumed 'friend' in the broad sense of 'members of this site': I don't want to see a newbie getting privileges revoked or dreams shattered. If somebody is new, it is hard to see how they could be part of a smaller subset. I read the question as saying that all of the votes were invalidated and that this was especially bad in the case of newer users where it might cause loss of privileges rather than just a drop in total number of beans. But maybe I'm mistaken - I don't know how the algorithm works at all.
    – cfr
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 21:50

SE algorithm thinks that Paulo Cereda is a robot?! Stupid algorithm, go to a corner and blush!



A rhai cwaciadau pellach i gadw'r system yn hapus.


Up vote for 'Cwac!'

Down vote for 'Na chwac!'

Abstain if you are not a hwyaden.

  • 1
    oooh you know how to make a hwyaden smile. :) Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:18
  • @PauloCereda ;).
    – cfr
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 16:20
  • 2
    what you want me to do, I don't understand :)
    – touhami
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 17:04
  • @touhami Cwac cwacio 'Cwac neu na chwac'! Nothing to it.
    – cfr
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 18:40

Even if you're a robot, I hope a you'll be able to read my post ;-).

On Meta.SE there is a post to explain everything about serial upvote: What is serial voting and how does it affect me? .

And in particular fore the reputation loss:

Why don't I get to keep the reputation?

The reputation was removed because it is not proper behavior and it is not allowed. The votes were completely invalidated by the system and thus the reputation gain from them was also invalidated. The only way you can gain this reputation back is to go post some more and get some legitimate upvotes on those posts.

Whatever, I think the vote limitation is needed on site like SO where some people use it to find a job (based on reputation...) but I don't think it's important on a site like TeX.SE where the community is smaller.

  • 10
    I think Paulo's problem is not with the vote cap, but the fact that his votes are now being classified by the system as invalid, and therefore what he sees as a positive contribution to the site is being unfairly taken away from him (and the people who he upvoted).
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 16:41
  • 1
    @AlanMunn I would say this limitation to vote on one user on daily basis Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 17:17

I stumbled into this post, and although I'm not active here, I thought I could contribute...

Although Gilles has probably passed me now, until recently I was the person who voted the most across all SE sites: over 40,000 votes on the site where I'm most active, 17,000 on the next most active, and over 100,000 across all SE sites.

So you're not even close to being the top voter in the whole SE universe. Sorry. :)

In all my voting, I've been reversed for serial voting maybe 3 times, resulting in a handful of votes being reversed. One reason it doesn't happen to me is that I mostly vote on questions as they come, I don't go looking for them. e.g. I read and vote on pretty much every question (and any answers) on some sites. On ServerFault there are too many questions for that (although I used to do it) , but I'm the most active close and re-open reviewer and I vote on almost all the questions (and often the answers) I review. Voting this way naturally spreads my votes over a lot of users, which seems to be enough to avoid triggering the serial vote reversal algorithm.

  • 3
    Congratulations. You win a virtual trophy.
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 20:03
  • 1
    he means per site. 40k is smaller than 52k last time I checked.
    – percusse
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 10:05
  • 3
    So you're basically saying that it's bad luck for @PauloCereda that our community is comparatively small, so that voting on questions as they come does not spread over enough users. [Maybe the powers that be at SE could think about modifying the algorithm to include the number of contributing users on the specific site?]
    – BMWurm
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 9:10

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