Hi, I have noticed this concept prevalent in other forums where people create multiple id / account and upvote their own answers/questions.

Sometimes we see a lot of answers with lot up votes even when the question in concern doesn't get any vote.

or similar situations where you are lead to believe the person answering might be gaming the system by using 4-5 alternate id's.

is there any existing system i am unaware of that checks for things like this?

  • belongs on meta
    – user281377
    Mar 8, 2011 at 10:12
  • 3
    Is this a cynical ploy to gain more rep? ;)
    – Armand
    Mar 8, 2011 at 19:27
  • No!! i actually have seen lot of up votes on answers that haven't really been helpful to the person who asked the question. its like they are forced to accept what ever one gets the highest vote. we read about rep being gamed ... and that its not a magic bullet... and such
    – Aditya P
    Mar 9, 2011 at 5:26

1 Answer 1


Yes there are systems in place that will detect vote fraud.

They look out for:

  • Lots of votes from one user to another in a short period of time
  • Votes from accounts sharing the same IP address (which could be innocent - people from universities or companies, but they need to be manually verified).

I don't know the exact details of these (nor should I), but they seem to work as fraud is detected.

We also rely on other users flagging up potential abuse.

  • flagging up potential up vote abuse seems like a good idea.
    – Aditya P
    Mar 8, 2011 at 10:38
  • 2
    +1 I was interested in the same topic so I created two fake accounts and tried anything I could think of to game the system. SO devs did a great job of stopping fraud.
    – user7007
    Mar 8, 2011 at 11:38
  • They do a great job of keeping on top of this, but the community also does a fantastic job of self-policing. There are occasional abusers, but for the most part SE works very well as a community run platform.
    – BBlake
    Mar 8, 2011 at 12:53
  • 1
    @Glenn - And you're still here? How did you avoid being kicked off SE?
    – jmort253
    Mar 9, 2011 at 1:42
  • 1
    @jmort253 Well I just created dupe accounts to test out everything. Each time they reset the scores back to pre-fraud levels.
    – user7007
    Mar 9, 2011 at 2:19
  • just observing the behavior of few new accounts you are bound to get suspicious regarding this.
    – Aditya P
    Mar 9, 2011 at 5:28
  • 1
    @Glenn - It's interesting that no one contacted you about that. I guess they figure that since it's actually impossible to commit the crime, there is no need to do the time :)
    – jmort253
    Mar 9, 2011 at 6:15
  • @jmort - it shows that the automatic systems are working. The moderators and devs only tend to see the more "creative" abuses.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Mar 9, 2011 at 8:37

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