Is it possible to ask a user why intentionally he has been downvoting my answer without any reasons. Yesterday the same user not only downvoted my answer without any reason, but also he downvoted 3 questions within 2 to 3 mins without any reason. I never downvote any answer unless it is spam or rude and abusive. Can we ask him why is he doing that

  • 3
    How do you know it's the same user? You can't usually see who is downvoting. If you have a suspicion I can look into it.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 10:19
  • @MarkMayo these were the 3 questions downvoted within 3 mins. I believe this must be the same user who downvoted along with yesterday answer , all these occured at the same time
    – Ali Awan
    Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 10:36
  • @pnuts I agree with with those 2 answers just pointed I received -1 three to four times, because those user were not agreed with my answers. Again I am not complaining about them, it looks reasonably suspicious if you have been down voted in 3 questions simultaneously in abrupt manner. OK lets forget about it , if a user is happy with this manner let me do whatever he wants like mts answered, I am not loosing any thing here. I just use this site for fun because I love traveling and found this better than lonely planet and TripAdvisor.
    – Ali Awan
    Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 17:40
  • @MarkMayo can mods see who downvoted a post?
    – JonathanReez Mod
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 9:44
  • 2
    @JonathanReez and Ali - I've just gone through what is available to us as mods. If the system detects a systemic downvoting (or upvoting) pattern between two users, it shows it to us. Currently there's nothing untoward that it's highlighted, sorry :/ We also can't look at individual posts and see who up/downvoted (that I'm aware ofi).
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 10:11
  • 1
    @MarkMayo OK thanks, that's mean down voting coincidentally occurred at the same time and could be from different users. Also like mts answered we are not loosing anything here, also we are not gaining nothing here either besides reps. So chapter is closed and thanks for responding :)
    – Ali Awan
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 10:37
  • 1
    @AliAwan it's still possible it came from the same user, just not enough times to appear on the radar :/ If it happens again, feel free to flag a mod and we can check the logs again for any flagged activity.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 11:15

3 Answers 3


There is (almost) no way for you to know which user downvoted you, and even less to ask them about it.

Downvoting is there for a reason (when you hover over the downvote button on an answer it says "this answer is not useful" and similar for questions) and some of us are happy upvoters, some of us rarely vote and some of us are infamous for voting down much more than up.
It would be nice of said user to provide a comment explaining why they did downvote but they have no obligation to whatsoever.

Your questions seem well-received and useful to me and I would not worry to much about it, you are not loosing anything here, even though I can relate that it is frustrating.

Let me on the other hand voice my own experience from both points of view.

  • I have experienced serial downvotes or revenge downvotes (and have a suspicion on who from, but more on that below). Not much to do about it, be a good human and keep going. Sometimes you can leave a comment asking for an explanation for the downvote, which often gets good response.
  • I have in the past been upset with some users (for their lack of research, continuously providing bad answers or suspected trolling from my POV) and thus downvoted some of their contributions, and let me point this out, not serially, i.e. all of their stuff, but only where a downvote was warranted IMHO, checked on a case-by-case basis for each post.

The last is important because serial downvoting is frowned upon by the site and there are measures in place to prevent and auto-correct it.

Related reading:

I've just been downvoted. How should I react?
Why do you cast downvotes on answers?

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    This. It should be stressed that if the system detects serial voting, it will reverse it. Happened to my chemistry account yesterday: I logged in to find all but one of my questions (many of them months or years old) upvoted exactly once. I called the vote reversal was going to happen and sure thing, it did.
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 1:10

Is it possible to find out why a user continuously down voting my questions and answer?

Only what the user in question tells you, whether or not true. And you can't be sure who to ask since, other for one's own votes given or a hacked account, in general, only SE developers have access to exactly who voted on which post.

You mention downvoting my answer without any reasons which I take to mean without any reasons given. Each user only has one vote per question or answer so multiple downvotes on any one answer come from different users and hence are indication that there is something quite evident lacking in the answer.

Three questions from the same user downvoted within 2 to 3 mins is a sign that all three might well be from the one user. Though it still could be nothing but coincidence, given the number of users. However, if in the context of some differences of opinion with another user and downvotes on high scoring answers around the same time I would agree more likely sheer vindictiveness.

There is though one way to create a pattern on three downvotes to questions in rapid succession that I have admitted to in a Comment. That is where an A is so egregiously incorrect, misleading or dangerous I have looked to see whether the person posting it was responsible for similar pollution of the site. If they really should not have been allowed out of their mental institution, rather than a mere aberration, I may warn others with two or three (not more) downvotes in rapid succession. Naturally I consider this legitimate and not 'serial voting'. I am not suggesting this is what happened to you – I have never had cause for such a pattern on TSE nor seen any signs that anyone else has voted in such a way for that reason on TSE, nor had any cause to do so.

However, you also mention I never downvote any answer unless it is spam or rude and abusive. I would point out that downvotes are shown to be for "This answer is not useful". There is I think no further 'official' guidance anywhere other than:

the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information

The quote is from Why is voting important? and here by 'official' I am excluding blogs and meta posts, where voting has been discussed at length.

It may not be very nice to downvote the attempt by someone who, in good faith, has stirred themselves to try to help the person who asked, but it is also not as considerate as it might be to other users of the site if everybody is too squeamish to cast a downvote on an answer. There are some As on this site that are "not useful" and somebody needs to spare one of their votes to indicate to others that that is the case. And given the Community, 'somebody' means as much you and anyone else.

Votes are intended to be an indication of quality, and 0 for example does not differentiate 'barely acceptable' or 'too recent to have been seen by users with voting privileges' from 'bad'.

It is not a universal view, but I consider duplicate As are 'not helpful', even where both or more are intelligible and possibly expressed in slightly different words. Where there is a substantial time difference in the posting and the more recent posting offers no relevant addition of substance I may well downvote. If I am looking for a solution I don't want to waste my time reading many versions of the same answer and I appreciate users giving me indication of those that are mere repetition. And in addition, the 'gaming' aspect of the system, that contributes to its effectiveness, is challenged by plagiarism, even when disguised.

The "fun" part of I just use this site for fun is as intended (I think it was Joel himself who said so, though I can't now find where). I hope you can accept that even three downvotes in as many minutes from the one user is fun (though on a regular basis would not be). IF the one user, it is a child throwing a tantrum – when not your child, as long as your exposure is limited, is that not fun? When I see an obviously well-cared for child (not mine) going blue in the face, streaming tears and banging his fists on the floor because he has to eat lunch before he has sweets I don't spank the child (it's not mine anyway) but I do smile. I can't help doing so. There is just a touch of absurdity in making such a big issue out of something so trivial.


What a shame.

I remember reading on the main META site that the software will take note if someone votes on a question/answer that was immediately preceded by a view of the victim's profile page. And if there's a run of these, the software will reverse the votes.

When you get right down to it, it makes sense that people look at questions on the 'questions' page and and then vote off the answers they see. But when somebody is flipping back and forth from the person's profile page to their answers, it means they are looking for stuff that the victim wrote.

I don't know the details of what happens when the software detects a trigger threshold, I assume that the vengeance voter gets a bad mark in the database. And when bad marks reach a trigger threshold, something else bad happens to that person and something good happens to the victim.

All well and good, but if the vengeance voter stays beneath the detection threshold then nothing will happen unless you do something first. So you could write to the SO headquarters and ask them if somebody has been voting off your profile page. And if so can they do something about it.

I have no knowledge at all if writing to them works or not. I would guess that with all the wackos out there that they get an ungodly intake of emails. Maybe they will do something, or maybe not. But getting it off your chest may be valuable in its own right.

  • I can agree with ‘something bad’ happening to ‘that person’ — something like a temporary ban of some sort most likely. However, I don’t think ‘something good’ will happen ‘to the victim’ — unless you explicitly count the serial voting to be reverted.
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 16:47

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