Ever since I downvoted one of DVK's questions and voted to close I've been harassed pretty much non stop.

First it was serial downvoting in an attempt to get me to retaliate. (see reputation changes for myself and DVK on Feb 19)

Now, every answer I make gets either a bunch of rude comments or starts a debate on meta:

Is there a canon explanation for why Star Trek ships bank when turning?

How to comment on "There is no in-universe answer"/"plot hole" answers lacking any evidence?

Are clear-consensus meta discussions completely irrelevant unless they are in FAQ?

If this was a workplace I'd be talking to the HR department at this point because this is unacceptable.

The only option on Stack sites is to inform moderators - which doesn't work because DVK is a high rep user and thus my opinion is irrelevant

Or I can start a meta discussion

Or I can just delete my account.

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    "The only option on Stack sites is to inform moderators - which doesn't work because DVK is a high rep user and thus my opinion is irrelevant" Absolutely not true. Having high reputation does not exempt users from basic behavior guidelines, particularly the play nice rule.
    – Beofett
    Feb 24, 2013 at 14:19
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    Let's actually be honest here. Q2 you linked to resulted from YOU complaining to the mods that my comment was somehow "rude" and the mod agreeing with you and attacking me, despite the fact that the comment was to inform you that you violated meta-established policy. The question #2 explicitly asked how to phrase comments like the one I posted to NOT be "rude". It arose out of my disussion with a moderator and had nothing to do with you aside from your post sparking that discussion originally. Feb 24, 2013 at 18:25
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    Q3 was posted when you took Q2 (asking - without naming you or any of your questions or being related to you - how to politely word in a comment that someone violates a meta policy) - and you posted an "answer" that not only amounted to "don't speak up and do not tell people about it" without answering the question, but also entirely premised it on what I consider to be wrong information (YOU stated that without being marked as FAQ, I can't refer to a meta discussion when informing people about policy). Feb 24, 2013 at 18:25
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    Therefore, I posted Q#3 (again, NOT pointing to you until asked) to confirm whether mine was a correct sentiment, or whether FAQ tag was not required for meta discussion to be policy (since I was not 100% sure you were wrong, and not want to rebut your "answer" to Q#2 without being 100% sure what the rules on FAQ are). Feb 24, 2013 at 18:27
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    In short - when someone points out to you - twice - that your answer violates a well established rules of the site, an appropriate response is to say "hmm... may be I should consider not violating the rules" instead of attacking the messenger and rejecting the rules because you don't like them. Feb 24, 2013 at 18:33
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    @DVK My disagreeing with you isn't an attack. If you have issues with moderator behavior, bring them up as meta questions or emails to Stack Exchange. Gossip helps no one.
    – user1027
    Feb 24, 2013 at 19:10
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    @Keen - you totally ignored his repeated rude behavior (calling my question "useless"; comment stating "simply about garnering reputation by asking about each and every conceivable combination of characters and backstory"; as well as his rude answer to Q#2) and chastised me twice, in public - and when I reasonably asked what wording I could have used in my comment that was more to your liking, you refuesed to answer - both in comments and when I asked in meta - the latter leading me to believe you were less interesting in the quality of my comment and more about chastizing me for it. Feb 24, 2013 at 19:22
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    @DVK Did you flag any of these posts you're mentioning? Does the meta post I made have 2 examples of how to request references?
    – user1027
    Feb 24, 2013 at 19:44
  • @Keen - I think I flagged some comments. I don't think that flagging a question that you yourself commented on makes any sense since you already read it, so I didn't. Your meta post was considerably (or rather dramatically) different from what I was talking about - as you yourself stated in comments under it. One is based on overall desire for better info and not a policy; another on discussed policy, in 2 different situations. Feb 24, 2013 at 21:42
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    I understand where APaleShadow is coming from, I wouldn't personally consider myself "harassed" by @DVK but he certainly does seem to throw his considerable weight around a lot especially to get his way. It does seem rather self serving to reference his own answer to a meta question as "policy", even with another answer that has a slightly less pro-active approach (i.e. it depends) garnering the same number of votes. Personally I don't agree that 12 votes on a meta answer means that the site should adopt it as "policy". I would guess that 12 people is much less than a majority (and again...
    – NominSim
    Feb 25, 2013 at 1:59
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    @NominSim - you may have missed that this guy decided to DV and close my question BEFORE he even bothered asking on meta if such a question is OK. You seem to be fine with that, for some reason. (and the community answer was that it was OK). Also, if you doubt that meta is not policy, go read Gilles' answer to my question today. I wasn't sure so I asked. Feb 25, 2013 at 2:24
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    @NominSim - also, specifically, in which way did I throw my non-existant weight around (aside from disagreeing with you, especially when you were harrassing other people with undeserved VTCs and downvotes? Or is disagreeing with you not allowed?) Feb 25, 2013 at 2:26
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    Don't delete your account
    – user12232
    Feb 26, 2013 at 22:22
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    I see nothing wrong with DVK's initial comment, to be honest. Picking out terms like "zero details", "mere guess" and "shred of evidence" as somehow not gentle enough seems odd to me - they're totally neutral, commonly used phrases for the message he wanted to get across. Feb 26, 2013 at 22:26
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    I've decided to delete. There's no point participating in a community where there's constant conflict.
    – user11295
    Mar 5, 2013 at 15:04

3 Answers 3


I'm going to answer this in generalities, to avoid sharing any confidential information.

If you believe you are a victim of some form of abuse from any user, the correct thing to do is to bring it to a mod's attention. It doesn't matter what the reputation of the user is. There is a reason why moderators have some privileges that even the highest users don't have. This is one of such reasons. It has happened before that the highest-reputation user of a site was temporarily banned. It has happened before that a moderator was banned. So don't hesitate to flag rude behavior or rules violations, no matter who the user is (you might prefer to contact Stack Exchange staff if a moderator is involved, but other than such exceptional cases, such issues are handled by site moderators).

Serial downvoting is against Stack Exchange policy. Moderators have tools to detect such, and can bring it to the attention of the Stack Exchange employees, who can nullify the votes. In addition, there are scripts that can automatically detect serial downvoting.

Meta discussions on the subject might work, but for something like this, you are better off either catching a mod's attention in chat (They can open up a private room), or simply flag an example of what you believe is abuse, and mention that there are repeated examples. You can also contact the stack exchange staff directly via the "Contact Us" site.

I'll add this in for completion as well. If you ever have a major issue with a moderator, then your best bet is to contact stack exchange directly. This is only if you believe they are harassing you, or other similar, and should not be used for where you dispute a policy they are enforcing, which should be posted on meta.


Well, first off: you should delete your account if you want to relinquish control over everything you've posted, wish see it all anonymized and disassociated, and don't wish to have any of the privileges here that your reputation grants you. Because that's what deletion actually does. If you just want to stop using the site, closing this browser window is a much more expedient way to do that.

Moving on, I'm saddened to see this is still happening. Last I heard, you'd both been bickering here on Meta, resulting in moderators having to delete several nonconstructive comments and the invalidation of a fair number of down-votes. Votes which, I should note, went both directions.

"A bunch of rude comments" turns out to be about 7 comments out of 40 or so posted elsewhere. In one case DVK was chided publicly by a moderator for being rude, which seems to work against your argument that mods won't say anything to high-rep users.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with bringing a disagreement here to Meta for resolution; that's one of the purposes that Meta is here to serve. It's generally considered impolite to "call someone out", but if you feel your behavior is being discussed behind your back then that's a valid concern - meta discussions relevant to a specific post elsewhere should have a link in the comment discussion there.

Frankly, I think you've both been a bit too passive-aggressive about this whole thing. DVK didn't need to take offense in the first place, you didn't need to retaliate, both of you should've just dropped it after being warned the first time instead of swapping roles and starting over again.

I suggest you get a nice hot cup of tea, relax a bit, and then jump into chat and try to work out whatever's bugging you. Invite a moderator in to moderate if need-be.

And then get back to actually discussing these topics honestly instead of using them or interpreting them as thinly-veiled attacks.


When I was a new user I had some concerns about propriety and I didn't know what to do about it, hence my meta post. Gilles was able to talk to me privately about my concerns and I came out of that conversation feeling informed and ready to continue participating. It's not clear from your question whether you've tried to speak with a moderator or not.

Pearsonartphoto is correct -- moderators have privileges that users do not, no matter the reputation of a given user. At its core, reputation is merely a measurement of 1) participation, 2) knowledge of canon(s), and 3) the ability of a user to ask and answer questions.

Pearsonartphoto also makes an important point when he notes that some of the highest rep users have been duly disciplined.

Last summer I was concerned I had a serial downvoter. An SE community liaison looked into it for me, and guess what? I was totally wrong. I did not have a serial downvoter. The scripts SE runs, looking for serial downvoting, are pretty consistent -- they catch serial upvoting, too (and strip points accordingly):

Serial Upvoting - a Slytherin

(I don't have a screenshot of the reversal, sorry.)

I don't think there's anything wrong with a user's answer spawning a meta question. Surely not every answer you've ever given on SFF.se has resulted in a meta question? I mean, you've waded into meta with this very question, where you call out a specific user. If meta spawning from your questions isn't okay, do you think this is? I'm asking, not making a judgment statement. But I think it's important to think about what the purpose of meta is -- I do understand the feeling of not knowing where to go or who to ask about a problem -- I get that, I do.

A user always has the choice to delete their account, for whatever reason. Only you can decide whether that's the right decision for you. Personally, I tend to believe that things usually work themselves out in the end.

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    Actually, he FIRST waded on meta by posting a question calling a question of mine "useless". But I guess that's not rude or anything. Feb 24, 2013 at 18:16

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