I wonder if there is any procedure to find and prohibit ways of potential "cheating" or system abuse. I see answers that collect (50+) votes when the average amount of votes in this site rarely goes above 10. Now 50 + votes are 500+ points so a user with just an answer gets the amount of votes other people gather when they reply to 30 answers. By my humble opinion i read here some well answered questions, that require great acquaintance in philosophy and notice that these get very few votes and answers to questions that are almost out of context like mathematics logic to get an excessive amount of votes. So Is there any way automatically or by moderator supervising to check the system for any abuse?

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    There's a high correlation between number of votes and number of views. My bet is that what you saw were unusually popular questions.
    – E...
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 18:35
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    This question already has an answer here: meta.stackexchange.com/a/126857/352175 Of the 522 pages of questions on philosophy.SE there is all of less than one page of questions with votes of 50+ - each of which by a different user. Considering that there are all of 25/522 pages of questions with votes of 10+ a cursory statistical analysis does not indicate that there is a problem or a pattern of abuse.
    – MmmHmm
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


Yes, there are several automatic measures in place to prevent this from happening and recalculate reputation when it occurs. Moderators have tools to get more information about irregular voting patterns, and SE, Inc. developers have even more information.

Since both voting up and voting down are privileges, gained at resp. 15 and 125 reputation points, it is difficult to create many 'sock puppet' accounts just to vote up one post. What is done usually is that few accounts are created to upvote a large number of posts by the user. Therefore, a high score is not really an indicator of voting fraud: to upvote your own answer 25 times, you would need to create 25 accounts and gain at least 15 reputation on all of them, then use those to upvote your answer. It is much easier to just write the posts that you would write with those sock puppets yourself, and gain the 15 reputation per account.

Also, some straightforward questions have a high number of views (and therefore votes), while some well-researched, niche questions may have very good answers but relatively low vote counts because they aren't viewed as often. This is the case on many if not all SE sites.

  • @JohnAm you only get those 100 points when you have one account with at least 200 reputation. And you can only do this once per SE account (after that, the two accounts will be linked). So it's still far more work to go this way than to just write good posts on your own account. I don't know if things like IP addresses are taken into account though.
    – user2953
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 12:53
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    @JohnAm there was a typo, I corrected it. I hope it makes sense now. The system may or may not look at IP addresses (I don't know), but it does look at how often user X votes for user Y. So changing your IP address does not help if you don't change account as well.
    – user2953
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 13:44
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    @JohnAm still, if these sock puppets vote a lot for the main user, this is detected. The reputation cap at 200 per day is for everyone, also high rep users.
    – user2953
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 13:55
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    @JohnAm of course SE employees can flip bits as they like, and hacking can never be ruled out. Buying reputation is not possible, or at least this is not publicly known. If you have serious suspicions about a certain user, you can always contact the community team (there is a 'contact us' link at the bottom of every page).
    – user2953
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 16:24

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