This is very very very unusual.

The question is surely interesting: what if government put a floor to the sell of houses?

However, it has 22 upvotes, and it is already, after just four days, among the most upvoted questions. In contrast, almost any other very popular question is at least 8 months to 2 years old.

Additionally, the question has 12k views, giving the asker a gold badge for a popular question. However, only the most popular question (about robots) has higher number of views! And that question is 17 months old. It seems impossible for a normal question to achieve 12k views in just 4 days!

Now, regarding the answers, most of them are given by "outsiders", by which I mean new users (to economics or SE), or highly inactive users.

One answer has 25 upvotes, accounting for all the user's reputation (discounting the 100 bonus for being a trusted user). Can you tell me who, in a very precise, even fortunate timing, joins a network and provides an answer with 25 upvotes? Seriously?

But worst of all, there is another answer with 65 upvotes! 65!! have you seen any answer in Econ.SE with that level of upvotes? And don't forget. All this happened in just 4 days! This answer was given just 30 minutes after the original question. Amazing timing too. Oh, and by the way, this answer is pretty mediocre. By no means it deserves 65 upvotes!

Notice also that answers (and the question itself) have a lot of comments. These comments are given mostly by new Econ users, all of them with 101 reputation, as many are already members of SE. They are probably those who provided the upvotes (as you need some reputation to do so). A lot of comments have many upvotes too. Some even ridiculous (32!). Can you explain how, one single question, suddenly and in a apparently coordinated fashion attracts so many new users, so much very interested in the topic? This is utterly insane.

All these seems to me a clear indication of fraud. Since some users are old SE users, this seems to be an elaborate type of fraud, and not a naive one. This is an attack to our network. I am thus calling to you to pay attention to this, and to escalate this up to those in SE who should investigate this.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's possible that the question became featured on the sidebar under "hot network questions." This would explain the popularity and the votes from outsiders. I believe something like that has happened before with another question on the site. I'm not sure this is the case here, but it's possible. Also, I can't seem to find any indication of any kind of cheating or such. $\endgroup$
    – jmbejara
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 2:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I am pretty sure the question become popular among a large SE subgroup - Scandinavian programers. This propelled it to the "hot network questions" for all programers. Most people are interested in housing prices (especially since 2008) and engineers like rules and systems, so they may find the government meddling in the market is an interesting thought experiment. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 7:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Have a look around other SE sites. 65 upvotes on an answer and 32 upvotes on a funny comment are by no means rare on sites with large populations. So please stop the witchhunt. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 7:06

1 Answer 1


It seems hard to pin this on anything suspicious. For example, there does not seem to be any connection between the IPs used to post the question and answers (apart from that a number of them are from Sweden, as Densep suggested).

The question has close to 13k views, so it;'s not absurd that there should be posts with 65 votes or many commments. If many people are coming to Econ.SE for the first time because they saw this question featured on the network then it is not implausible that an answer would get a lot of votes without conforming to the ideal that a professional economist would identify.

The most voted answer is by a user who has 27k reputation on Stack Overflow. If reputation counts for anything then that ought to make us feel at ease.


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