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I recently had a moderator edit one of my posts, but the edit only changed a couple nit picky stylistic things and added nothing substantive. As a result, I rolled back the edit. Shortly thereafter, the same moderator edited and then downvoted a number of other questions in my post history. Clearly, he's being vindictive after receiving a completely legitimate rollback. The posts he downvoted are high quality, provided detailed explanations of the problem and what I've tried, included multiple screenshots, and were not asked anywhere else.

If he had a legitimate reason to downvote the post, I would be totally fine with that as long as he provided some constructive feedback. However, there is also no private messaging system on the site where I can ask why a downvote was received.

I don't want to name names, and have no interest in getting into a downvote war with one of the most active users on the site. However, I would like to know if there is any mechanism on Stack Exchange to report abuse of downvotes by other users?

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    I don't see that enough down votes in your history for it to be more than coincidence. Note even the mods can't see who actual down voted you. – Ian Turton Jun 7 '18 at 15:12
  • @lamberj you are also identified as 'Hurray! A model citizen!' according to the moderation history on your profile. Please keep up the good work. – Mapperz Jun 7 '18 at 17:03
  • Thanks, @Mapperz. I really value the interaction on the GIS Stack Exchange. I've been helped a ton by others on the site, and enjoy helping others in return. In general, it's a fairly positive community. This situation just irked me. – lambertj Jun 7 '18 at 17:38
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Any way to combat abuse of downvotes?

Yes, please take a careful read on What is serial voting and how does it affect me?

Is there any mechanism on Stack Exchange to report abuse of downvotes by other users?

Yes, hit the 'Contact' button in the bottom of the page and choose 'Other' in the dropdown. Explain the situation in details.


However, please take a moment to reflect.

Shortly thereafter, the same moderator edited and then downvoted a number of other questions in my post history

Are you sure about that? How can you know who downvoted you? I think it is hard to think an experienced moderator would do that (serial downvote and/or downvote without reason).

Anyway, everyone who has been in Stack Exchange for a while already received such 'unexplained downvotes' (yes, it can be annoying and frustrating) (I did not investigate the downvotes on your posts, I am generally assuming the situation when a downvote is applied apparently without any valid reason; despite voting is also somehow personnel, so it is difficult to guess people's motivation).

The 'however' part is trying to enlighten the discussion (to give you other perspectives), but answers to your question were provided in the top of the post.

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    Thanks for your thorough response. I read the post you linked about serial voting. It's good to hear that there are automated systems in place to detect voting anomalies. – lambertj Jun 7 '18 at 15:14
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    I imagine they are not infallible however, and it's not a stretch to think that a mod would know that "the threshold number is fairly low within a given amount of time" and stay underneath it intentionally. I know it's not possible for me to view who downvoted my other posts, but the fact that the same user whose edit I rolled back edited these posts at the exact same time they were downvoted is mighty suspicious. It's pretty clear he sees this as punishment for disagreeing with an edit. – lambertj Jun 7 '18 at 16:19
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    @lambertj " It's pretty clear" - no, nothing is clear when it comes to who has voted. You don't and can't know that the one who edited was the same one that down-voted. I can't even know that. – Midavalo Jun 7 '18 at 18:36
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    Since threads get bumped to the top of the list when they are edited, it is pretty standard that they receive up/down votes shortly after. These votes can be from any site visitors browsing the latest threads. – underdark Jun 11 '18 at 18:35
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I have not had time to review your post history, but some edits that I recall having made to some of your questions, which may seem like "a couple nit picky stylistic things", would have been based on the philosophy that You gotta get this to get us in Meta SE post We're working on a new stat to help convey the reach of your posts here

See, once you realize that it's not just about the one asker, or the four voters, but rather the fifteen thousand searchers with the same problem... Well, suddenly, a whole ton of things that seem prickly and self-important, like editing out "Thanks in advance!" aren't about being "a bunch of power-happy pedants," they're about helping all the people who will ever have that problem to find the best answers. And find 'em instant-like.

Several comments and another answer here have re-asserted the right of every user to vote how they feel is in the best interests of the site, and to do so confidentially.

I use most of my 40 votes most days, and I base my question votes on the voting guidelines (with my bolding) of:

  • upvote when a "question shows research effort; it is useful and clear"
  • downvote when a "question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful"

There are many questions that miss out on upvotes from me because they have included unnecessary thanks. I often edit out those thanks, and any other chit chat, hoping that next time the same user asks a question it will be more focused so that I will upvote. When editing I try to always improve the question in at least another couple of ways too, like making the title more succinct (to attract search engines and help visitors), fixing grammar and correcting product/company names to make the site more professional in appearance.

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