Duplicate votes are being cleaned up
Duplicated votes are being cleaned up
This came in last weekend to us mods from some of the staff, as the first comment pointed out. It affected many of us, but hopefully not too much.
This issue was said to be a glitch in the system that allowed users to upvote twice in rare circumstances. And, the glitch was said to have been on the site since the very beginning.
This is generally not an incident of dishonesty, most of the dup votes seem to have been unintentional.
Will you get an apology?
When a user has been abusing the system, it is nearly unheard of for the person to come clean, let alone apologize. Deviants in their deviant behavior don't give a care in the world about anyone else, especially a request for them to fess-up to their deviance.
From the moderator's perspective, and staff all the more, it isn't just rude behavior that indicates a problem of any sort. There is a lot of IP information, lists of flagged posts, lists of what was clicked when, possible patterns that indicate an AI/bot algorithm or not... and I don't mean this specifically, but generally. There are all sorts of charts and graphs available the higher up it goes in any website administration. And, that is with any software or website. So, when decisions to take action are implemented, it is with a lot of insight and information and there isn't much room for guessing or speculation left. If a user is deemed to be breaking the rules, it's very clear. And, when that happens, the user usually doesn't feel very apologetic. You'll get an apology from a bank robber before you get an apology from a serial rule breaker on a web site.
And in truth, if you are worried that this might be you, then it probably isn't you. The people who get stiff action don't bother to wonder. It's almost like that question many Bible-Christians ask, teach, and discuss, "If you're worried that you'll go to Hell when you die, then you probably won't. Hell is for people who don't worry about Hell." ...or something like that.
Moderators' daily work is just to keep normal people going. If we delete your comment or move comments to chat, or ask users to stay on topic—that is all very different from a stiff action against some hacker. I write this so that the normal users aren't afraid just because of the thunder rumbling far off in the distance. This time around, it was an "original glitch" (or 'original sin' LOL) of the system. In other cases, it might be a hostile user that needed whatever action taken. They are very different from ordinary users who get ordinary nudging from moderators. When we moderators give a gentle nudge, it's love and friendship and all that apple pie.
How to deal with bad players?
Really, we need flags from users like you. Keep doing what you do. The system of rules and escalation works very well. We get normal flags from users, then we respond. We try to be gentle, we're not angry or judging, hoping the best for all. Sometimes, we mods think, "Wow, that user could be a moderator some day. This post needs improvement, but that user will probably learn and be doing my job some day. Wouldn't that be great." That's somewhere in the back of many moderators' minds.
As the normal flags roll in, sometimes we see something that is very strange. We don't think such thoughts at all, rather, "Is this a hacker? Is this someone intentionally trying to hurt the system? This isn't just a poor quality post from a beginner, this looks malicious..." Then, we discuss a little or notify staff... And, if a problem is serious, it gets dealt with. The system works, and it all begins with normal users flagging just as they do every day.
We moderators don't know what all went on in this specific case, beyond what was in the public post, linked. This was mostly a glitch, not any one rule breaker. Just know that with other situations where there are truly bad players, that's a whole new league. And, they probably won't apologize. They need stiff action with powers and information that we moderators know little about after we hand it off to staff. And, we don't expect an apology from the user that need stiff action from staff.
It's shameless. It's really sad, but still shameless. The people who should feel the most shame feel none at all.
So, when that happens, just stand up, move on in your life, keep giving good content in the world and your daily life, and be glad that you have this thing called a "conscience" that makes you care about other human beings.