I don't use this stack exchange much or at all, but I have experience over several years using other stack exchanges. I recently answered a several year old question with an answer. The OP commented that my answer was irrelevant to this question. Shortly after, that comment received 3 up-votes in quick succession, after years of being dormant. The relevant question is here.

I replied with a rationale why I thought the answer was still very much pertinent to the way the original question was phrased (there is an ambiguity in the phrasing of the original question.) Shortly after, my question received 2 down-votes, also in quick succession.

This matter is complicated by the fact that the OP in question appears to be a moderator of this stack exchange. Clearly, moderators can not investigate themselves, so I do not know what the correct place to report this.

All in all, I understand my reply to this question is downvoted, but I intend to keep it in place because of a few reasons

  1. That question shows up in a high rank in a google search for people who are interested in this question.
  2. The supplied answer is very much pertinent to this question, it answers it in a way that addresses how existing research approaches the problem in the question statement.

My core question is, how does one report a moderator in this stack exchange for suspected voter fraud (either through self promotion or other means?) I imagine if I have observed this behavior on this stack exchange, I am not the first one to, but I may be the first one to raise it.

  • $\begingroup$ FWIW, I for one held my votes until after you responded to my comment; I usually do, in case the poster (you, in this case) improves their post. You clearly stated that you don't intend to do so and I see your answer as, well, not even wrong, so a downvote it is. Others may think differently; that's what voting is for. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 22:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FWIW 2: if I, personally, wanted your post gone, I'd have flagged "not an answer" and/or deleted outright. Why would I bother creating sockpuppets to cast downvotes? $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 22:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Bottom line, I don't see what the hubbub is about. You posted an answer, at least three people thought it wasn't very good, you received downvotes. That's how the platform is supposed to work. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 22:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I would imagine main confusion comes from the fact that recently "active" posts will be bumped to the home page like DL says below. I, for one, have only been on the site a couple years and am clearly not going to go back in time and vote on all questions I think deserve upvotes. However, if an old question becomes active, I'll recognize it and upvote it if I think it's a good question. This is certainly what happened for those "3 quick upvotes". It's just how the site works shrug. $\endgroup$
    – ryan
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 21:37

2 Answers 2


First, let me clarify one point you made:

Shortly after, that comment received 3 up-votes in quick succession, after years of being dormant.

Questions that receive a new answer get bumped to the front page. While on large sites such as SO, this does not give a question much attention, on CS.SE, we get on the order of ~50 questions that are bumped to the frontpage daily. So, I do not find it surprising that at least 3 people have seen Raphael's comment.

I do not understand what part of what has happened you consider to be 'voter fraud'. On SE, voter fraud means that one purposefully up/down-votes questions not based on the merits of the post, but e.g. to 'hurt' the poster. There are automated systems in place to detect these practices, although these can only detect relatively 'large scale' fraud.

Voting fraud in general is also something moderators cannot do much with. Site moderators cannot see who voted what. I do not know who casted the downvotes on your answer. Only SE staff can see that.

That said, if you indeed believe a moderator has done voting fraud, or have any issue with the moderators of a particular site, you should contact SE staff and explain your issue to them.

  • $\begingroup$ Okay thanks for the information. Will investigate further. $\endgroup$
    – ldog
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 6:49

If you take a look at Tom van der Zanden answer, it follows setting given in the question. It looks like expected answer, so some people thought that it is not good enough to change rules ans answer to changed setting. (this is how downvotes work).

For once, you can imagine that result was given to you, and now question is could you use that information, explicitly stated that running anything else is not solution seeked. Question got bumped, explanation was given and due to that 2 downvotes appear (not mine, I do not do downvotes).

I beg to differ. From a practical perspective, you would never compute a min-cut without computing additional information (such as that in the PR algorithm.) From a theoretical perspective it might be nice to consider things in isolation as you say. Context is key here.

That is exactly the key point here, expected answer shall be in theoretical perspective in isolation and you have given practical one.

Voting fraud is something else, say someone creates multiple accounts to gather upvotes.


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