Hi shadey buddy.
This is all from my position and opinion as a voter - not as a vote moderator.
There really 2.5 types of inherent vote influencing going on right now: I don’t think it’s inherently enough to call it tampering,
Firstly there is voter solicitation. One person repeatedly tagging or PMing individuals to vote on their debates. While this seems innocent enough the “vote for me” part of the solicitation is often implicit. The important thing, is that people are not generally going to ping individuals they think may vote against them. Unless everyone does it, it means that one side can stuff the ballot box with sympathetic people and not inherently break conduct terms.
I don’t think there’s much you can really do about that one
Secondly, there is tactical exclusion and voter intimidation. This was effectively how MagicAintReal operated. With both excluding people he didn’t like from his debate, and harassing those who voted against him with multiple PMs, or angrily lashing out in debate comments. No one wanted to deal with the BS of voting against him - even if he lost.
This is a pretty toxic maneuver as it both poisons the debate environment by letting someone freely bias the votes in their favour, but is also shitty for the kids to deal with - I’m fairly convinced that a histrionic angry user like MagicAintReal was repeatedly PMing mods, and tagging them in multiple places to get his own way. While I have no idea of what private actions the mods did or not take - for sure their reluctance to want to deal with such angry rants from him were a conscious concern - as they are human.
As an aside: doing it in public, and publicly complaining about people’s votes repeatedly whilst a debate is in progress helps poison the well. If an individual is berating another individual for a vote - but is also launching objectively untrue personal attacks like MagicAintReal did: it has an effect of trying to garner a sympathy vote. If people didn’t know the context and just saw Magic ranting - they may be more likely to ne
sympathetic to his argument too.
Someone voting against you can be particularly frustrating; as all debaters are the people who understand their arguments best. Many examples of people lashing out or complaining are not based on an attempt to influence votes - but frustration. I think votes should be challengable - though there is a right way and wrong way of doing that. (Bsh is a great example of a right way of doing that)
Its tricky to find the line between understandable objection and flat out intimidation. Saying that though, given I have around 420 + votes, I’ve had maybe 6-7 people strongly object; one was ethang5 (who accused me of voting for virtuouso, liberals and atheists - which was (and is) objectively untrue, Wylted - which should speak for itself, MagicAintReal, and maybe 3/4 other users who I will not name.
Whether some actions are so extreme as to warrant action: pass, I think a case could be made for that. I think the reality is that those that spend every day trying to poisoning the well always end up getting pretty stuffed when they get thirsty. It always ends up counter productive, as while fear has a large impact - in the long term it turns to eye-rolling.