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Disruptive use of tooling policy

Content is curated on the site by community consensus and collaboration. Flags, editing, deleting, and reviewing are used to keep content clear, relevant, and up-to-date. It is vital for these tools to be used honestly and mindfully.

We do not allow any use of privileges in a targeted and disruptive manner that causes harm to the community or compromises the integrity of the content, or violates our Terms of Service.

Conduct that falls under this category includes (but is not limited to) the below definitions:

  • Misuse of flags – using flags to harass, target, or abuse other users, or misappropriate moderator attention
  • Vandalism of content – deliberate editing to destroy or sabotage content
Targeted Voting

When votes are cast improperly, it devalues the credibility of the network. We ask users to vote for the post, not the person who wrote it. As such, we do not allow targeted votes. Votes are considered targeted when cast in quick succession or in such a way that no longer looks organic, i.e., actions taken that otherwise fall outside of normal voting patterns. This could happen for a variety of reasons, such as when a user finds a great answer by another user and visits their profile to upvote many of their posts, when a user goes to their colleagues’ posts just to upvote them, or when a user gets into an argument with another user and downvotes their posts in revenge. No matter the cause, this sort of targeted voting is not permitted.

Conduct that falls under this category includes (but is not limited to) the below definitions:

  • Targeted votes – votes cast in succession that are non-organic in nature or not based on the quality of the content (e.g, going to a specific users’ profile and voting on their content with disregard to its quality)
  • Revenge downvoting – votes cast as a way to harass, target or abuse other users, so as to lower their reputation, and that are not based on the quality of the content
  • Mass downvoting – votes cast against a person or topic that are non-organic in nature or not based on the quality of the content (e.g, downvoting several posts in a tag because you don’t like the tag)
  • Misuse of close or delete votes – voting to close or delete a question with repeated disregard for community consensus, or as a way to harass, target or abuse other users, or misappropriate moderator attention

When bots or other tools are used to automate actions, the operator and/or user who authorized the use of their account is fully responsible for the bot's actions as if performed by themselves. For bots or tools created with the intent to violate the rules which apply to a user or account, the creator may also be held responsible. Where these tools co-ordinate votes or flags between multiple users, it should be with the express permission of Stack Exchange in writing by one of its employees.

Last update: 2023-05-31