Massive number of random downvotes of my posts over the last 36 hours

This isn't the first time this has happened, to me or to other posters here. I realize there's probably not much that can be done about it, but I wonder if further contributions to this site, on my part, are warranted? I had hoped that spending a long time researching philosophy on an academic level would have made me a good candidate for a good contributor to this SE, esp. considering my propensity to cite my sources (including by extracting relevant quotes). However, I'm not sure a lot of newcomers to this SE realize that we're not a debate forum, although to be fair, considering the topic (philosophy), open-endedness is harder to avoid even if we try hard to post in good faith. Or worse, some newer contributors seem to think that the only legitimate answers (and even questions) are answers (questions) that they are predisposed to accept in some sense.

I've tried to couch my answers in pluralistic "state of the dialectic" format by the by, since consensus/conclusiveness is not available in the "normal" way for philosophy. Should I try to be more dogmatic, if I continue to post here?

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    First of all, your contributions are very welcome. Nothing wrong in thinking out-of-the-box. That being said, am on it, give me some days to pull some strings and (hopefully) get this sorted. Proper answer will follow when done.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Dec 20, 2022 at 19:57
  • I find your questions interesting, even though I don't understand all of them. I like to upvote questions and answers that have been downvoted for no obvious reason and with no comment.
    – Bumble
    Dec 21, 2022 at 18:43
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    @Bumble, but I know that you know your stuff, so when you express uncertainty about my posts, I know you're saying that in good faith. You have a really good score here, which means you've contributed a lot of good answers to this SE. There are other posters, though, mostly newcomers, who say, "I don't understand what you're talking about," who go on to make bold statements about various philosophical ideas that I myself know, usually from having read the SEP articles on those ideas, to be undeserving of such overconfident intellectual bravado. Those are the posters who dismay me. Dec 21, 2022 at 21:10
  • @KristianBerry Please do not leave :-)
    – Frank
    Jan 1, 2023 at 22:08
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    There will always be people who are struggling somehow, and who try to alleviate those feelings by 'taking it out' on others, but their inputs in all likelihood bear very little relevance to the quality of your contributions. Try to view it more as an inevitability of public forums rather any reflection on your efforts. Your work is interesting and your questions original. We can all do with more of that, not less. Jan 2, 2023 at 4:11

1 Answer 1



You have not been the first one to bring to our attention that there seems to be some so-called targeted voting under way, voting down every contribution of certain users.

After this post, I asked all StackExchange mods how they would proceed or what their experiences are and they ultimately helped me to get to the root cause, which involved misuse of system mechanics. Your and other peoples' reputation should have been or will be adjusted soon since many illegitimate votes have been invalidated.

So please do not be dismayed and always bring to our attention if there is something that seems to be unfair or fishy. That is the only way we can help our user base.

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    Thank you! I thought it was peculiar that so many random posts would be downvoted in a row, but I also am on the schizophrenia spectrum so I was trying to avoid interpreting the situation in a paranoid way. But it did get to the point where it seemed like I had provoked someone on the SE, or someone had managed to follow my Facebook profile from a different analysis site to the SE. Dec 23, 2022 at 21:08
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    @KristianBerry Happy to help. Be assured that it does not necessarily have to do much with you as a person. It seems several curious minds who ask questions and provide answers outside of very standardised ways and common lines of thinking were targeted because of that.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Dec 23, 2022 at 22:14
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    So my question now (and not a knock on this Questioner themselves, many of whose questions and answers I find interesting) is to ask how persistent low quality answering is to be addressed if not through downvotes?
    – Paul Ross
    Dec 29, 2022 at 13:25
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    @PaulRoss Downvotes are fine. In this case, though, it had been over thirty downvotes per user on multiple users in short order (on basically everything they posted), upvotes only on one single user, and a reinforcement of that by using sockpuppets to have even more downvotes cast. Also, these cases are carefully investigated as justified downvotes are to be distinguished from targeted voting due to personal disagreement/sympathy/whatever.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Dec 29, 2022 at 13:41

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