I received a message from a moderator today informing me that I have been penalized for some members voting up my answers:
We recently noticed a substantial number of votes on your account to or from specific users. While we encourage everyone to upvote great posts, the motivation for doing so needs to be anchored in the merits of the post, not the person who wrote it. This is just a reminder to please refrain from targeting specific users when voting.
Stack Exchange works by ensuring that the best information rises to the top. Voting specifically for content that benefits your friends, family or colleagues unfairly skews that system, and continuing to do so can result in a lengthy suspension for all involved.
Please note that the offending votes have been invalidated. The system has processes in place to detect various types of voting between groups of users, so if you know anyone who may be voting for your stuff in kind, please ask them to refrain before the system detects such activity and takes similar actions on their account. If by chance you created separate accounts for the purposes of voting for another, please send me a link to those profiles so I can merge them without further incident.
FYI, I replied:
Thank you for your message.
I have no idea who has been voting up my answers and I'm definitely not targeting specific users. If you could advise who has been doing this then I will follow up with them directly and request them to refrain from voting on any of my future answers.
Also, I certainly have not created (and never would create) separate accounts for voting for myself.
I'm extremely disappointed to see that my user account has been penalized by 2,000 votes. I can assure you that I'm not using StackExchange for any other purpose than it's designed for.
My activity has increased significantly over the past couple of months, but only because I have been devoting time each day to contribute to this valuable community. I take care and pride in providing accurate answers using tested code, sometimes spending several hours to provide valid answers.
What you need to be aware of is that all my answers are for
marketing-cloudtags. This tag specifically refers to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform. While there are a number of users posting questions with the
marketing-cloudtag, the vast majority of answers come from either myself or Adam Spriggs as we are both subject matter experts on Marketing Cloud and there are currently few individuals with extensive knowledge of this platform. This is currently a very small community of regular individual contributors; the majority of questions originate from India and based on the type of questions, the level of their knowledge is very limited.
Again, I have no idea who are the 'offenders' that have been voting for my posts, but I can only assume that it's based on the merit of my answers. Conversely, I regularly vote up answers for Adam Spriggs but that's only because he's a subject matter expert in the field of AMPscript and I believe his answers are correct and are worthy of a vote. I've just noticed that his answer count has also been reduced — if this is due to me voting on his posts then I can assure you this is not intentional either.
While I appreciate that have implemented automated measures to identify voting 'between groups of users', I think its unfair that you penalise users like myself who have legitimately been committed to contributing to this community — may I suggest that instead of penalising committed users like myself, you notify those who are regularly voting my answers to warn them.
In the meantime, I would urge you to reconsider the penalization of 2,000 votes on my user account, as I'm a genuinely committed user who is not knowingly abusing this platform. Please can you advise who I can contact to request my account to be assessed further and have my votes rightly reinstated.
Have other users experienced the same issue? It seems unfair that committed contributors like myself are being penalized for others voting on our answers, when the reality is that answers to
marketing-cloud tagged questions is from a relatively small group of users with extensive experience on the platform, and as a result naturally you will get the same users voting consistently for our answers.