I've got yet another downvote on my this, ancient, closed question. This question is around a half year old, closed, and has an extremely low view number.

I think I can suspect, the real reason to this downvote was this.

This downvote doesn't really embarrass me - if I post to meta, normally I get 10-20 downs here and further 1-2 downs on the main site. I accepted this long ago. Of course I could compensate this with sockpuppets or by taking part in a voting circle, but now I want to stay "legal".

So, what to do with this "legally"?

P.s. No, this post is not about a single downvote. This post is about the phenomenon.

  • 1
    peterh: maybe you're reading too much into it. While the possibility exists that these down votes are personal it's also possible that these are from people who are just now finding the question. I've had plenty of "drive by" down votes on questions and answers that are 1, 2, 3 or more years old.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 18:33
  • 6
    Being very vocal with your opinions, and often going directly against the common consensus you can expect a lot of profile views. Which you have, 312 views over about a years time! That's a view nearly every day. And let's be honest, that question is bad. It doesn't show much research and doesn't really scream professional either. I'm sure if you posted this question as it is today, it would get the same treatment. If you want to be more vocal than most people, act like a politician and clean up your past? I'm pretty sure most meta visitors are voting based on the content, not the poster.
    – Reaces
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 19:15
  • @Reaces Next to my "vocality" I give a lot of upvoted answers as well. My reputation is coming mainly from answers, and my reputation/visit ratio is not exceptional. Your argumentation about my behavior is only explaining the personal revenge, but is not an excuse.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:41
  • 1
    @joeqwerty Then I would get upvotes too. But my experience is that if I post anything into the meta, I get exclusively downvotes.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:43
  • 3
    RE: meta, experience tells me that most of the people are voting based on topic and attitude, not who you are personally. That's certainly where my downvote comes from.
    – Andrew B
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:46
  • 1
    @peterh My argumentation is trying to explain the added attention. The more you yell and shout, the more people will take notice of you. And because of this your bad questions / answers will see more downvotes, and your good ones more upvotes. Why do you immediately assume malice? Is it so hard to think that perhaps some of your content is not that good? Nobody disputes that you give a lot of answers. So why do you feel the need to defend yourself before anyone even mentions your reputation? It's really not helping your case if you get emotional about everything all the time on meta.
    – Reaces
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 7:41
  • @Reaces I didn't "shout" and "yell". Thank you.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 7:43

4 Answers 4


Nothing really. If someone is targeting you with a pattern of downvotes, moderators get notified and can act upon this, but unless that detector triggers, there is nothing you (or anyone, including mods and even admins) can do. Also, the downvote might be completely coincidental or the result of someone who looked you up further, saw this question and honestly felt it needed a downvote.

Trying to game the system yourself with sock puppets or "voting circles" is a good method to get suspended, so please don't try it.

On a side note: You have really controversial views about a lot of things and voice those very vocal and sometimes agressively. It's an unfortunate but unavoidable fact that this can result in a backlash, with downvotes being a natural result on the SE network. If you are not prepared to handle this, the only advice I can give is to more often "silently disagree". Yes, this is not nice, but we are not some paradise were normal social behaviour is not valid.

  • 1
    Because of the way down votes have a much smaller impact than up votes, it's quite likely that all the extra attention still ends up with a net positive result. I'm not sure silently disagreeing would be needed. Unless the content of his answers / questions is beyond horrible.
    – Reaces
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 19:34
  • 1
    Well, tolerating a big company logo in a question, only to be able to disapprove me... it is comic :-)
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:32
  • I think the "silent disagreement" behavior is reasonable only to avoid unneeded conflicts, and not to leave bad things as they are.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 1:36
  • 5
    @peterh It wasn't a logo, and it wasn't big. What it is, though, is a good example of an unneeded conflict.
    – Jenny D
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 9:42
  • @JennyD Yes, it wasn't, but it was very similar. The second half of your comment: exactly.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 9:45

Your complaint about being revenge downvoting sounds speculative. I have downvoted your question based on quality.

I have here a little bit uncommon system: its primary hard disk can't have an old, dos partition table, only an GPT type. It is an outer restriction, with what nothing can be done. It seems as if the firmware silently rejected the disk writes to a DOS partition table.

The premise of the question sounds bizarre, speculative, and implausible. The hardware somehow won't let you write certain bytes to a disk? Does that mean that if you were to do a byte-for-byte copy of a disk image using dd, FOG, or Clonezilla, that somehow something different would get written? Why do you blame the firmware? Who makes this weird motherboard, and what version of the firmware are you running?

If, indeed, the hardware behaves as unusually as you describe, please provide details!

I am thinking on the a windows2008 server install into that system. Is it somehow possible?

Have you tried it before asking us? Do you have reason to believe that it won't work? If it so, in what way does it fail?

  • "Based on quality", while it had only 34 visits in a half year? What a surprising coincidence. No, it is not believable, I am sorry.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:21

In comments to the previous answers, you've indicated that you think that calling attention to yourself and your posts on meta should get you up/downvotes in a similar ratio as you get them normally.

This would be valid if the users spending time on meta had the same statistical composition as the users spending time on the main site. But this isn't the case. On the main site, you have a lot of "newbie" sysadmins and people who are new to the site. On meta, there are a lot of people who are experienced sysadmins and who have been on the site a long time and have strong opinions on what they want the site to look like, what a good question should look like and what questions belong on the site.

A new sysadmin might upvote a question or an answer that they like, without considering whether the question actually belongs on this site. A long-time user might downvote the same question or answer, for entirely non-personal reasons, because of their longer experience of the site. We've all seen the occasional wrong answer which still has been upvoted, by people who did not know or understand that the answer was wrong. (This does not mean any specific answer of yours; it's an explanation of how different people may judge an answer or a question differently.)

So, when you call attention to yourself by engaging in long debates and talking about how you feel persecuted by long-established members of the site, the people who will look at your posts are the ones more likely to be severe on bad questions. On the main site, you will also get people who won't bother to downvote a bad question because they don't really care about the quality of the site.

Of course, the meta users will also be the ones likely to spend the time to upvote a really good question of answer. As I've done to some of yours, while downvoting others.

  • 4
    Come to think of it, it also feels a little bit insulting to insinuate that the people who frequent meta and care about the health of the site would be the ones to abuse votes to enact some kind of petty revenge. This is even past the idea of them not voting similarly to newer users, this would imply that the users frequenting meta are at times toxic to the main site. This implied accusation is a large part of what puts me off in this question / thread (all though I was slow in realizing it).
    – Reaces
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 13:19
  • @Reaces Agreed.
    – Jenny D
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 13:20


There is nothing that can, or will be done about this downvote. If someone triggers the serial voting script, the votes will be reversed, and if you wish to flag a post of yours to have a moderator look into possible voting fraud, that's an option too... but getting a bad post downvoted once is not anything actionable... and now that you've brought attention to it on meta, you can probably expect more downvote(s) on it.

This is the nature of drawing attention to yourself and/or your posts. More eyeballs means more votes. For good contributions, those are upvotes, for bad ones, they're downvotes. This is largely by design and/or human nature, so it's not a situation where anything needs to be, or should be "done about it."

Personally, I'd recommend working on improving your contributions... you have a lot of heavily-downvoted posts that, frankly, deserve downvotes, but other than that, there's nothing to be done.

  • 1
    Based on your logic I should get the up/down votes in a similar ratio as I get them normally. But if I post in the meta, I get exclusivey downvotes in the main site. No, it is not "drawing attention", it is personal revenge. You know, I know, Sven knows (he explained even its reasoning), everybody knows. But these revenge downvotes are targeting mostly my questions. With time, they will be collected on my questions. I will have a lot of massively downvoted questions. I think, they will be deleted (as I know, questions below -3 don't need even a mod to be deleted).
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:48
  • 1
    No, it won't really impact my reputation (I make many times more repu by creating good answers), but the site will lost qualified content by its revenge downvotes. Well... congratulation.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:50
  • 2
    @peterh You're... very wrong, but I have neither the energy nor motivation to try to explain it to you at the moment. Instead, I'm going to drink 5 more fingers of Bushmills, watch some TV, and have a discussion with the brick wall I'm lying next to. Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 1:00
  • I am sorry, but I don't think I would have written any annoying here. I only explained, why are these revenge downvotes useless and contraproductive - for the site, and not for me.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 1:03
  • @peterh You are accusing the people on meta of voting based on personal issues rather than based on the merits of the questions/answers. "Annoying" may not be the term I'd use - it's rather insulting, though.
    – Jenny D
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 5:51
  • @JennyD Unfortunately, it is not the first similar situation. The correlation between my meta posts and my sudden, mysterious downvotes on the main site are very clear. The another explanations about the "attention" I've got, have the serious logic flaw, that these react votes contain mainly downvotes, despite I get on the site much more ups.
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 6:14
  • @JennyD Next to that, I didn't made any personal attack. I only asked, if some solution against the phenomenon exists, or not. And I've got the answer, despite nobody formulated it clearly: NO, there is NO solution for the problem. I must tolerate it (and I do).
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 6:18

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