I wanted to address what was raised in chat today where some reputation changes were made and many of the highest reputation people decreased substantial amounts of reputation (and by substantial - for our site I classify that as between 500 and 1000 reputation points).
If you haven't seen this or read the help page, you might still be confused or disappointed to realize that reputation here can are adjusted when an account is removed - the normal process is to reverse the votes that now deleted account has cast.
This removal of reputation on accounts that are new and don't vote much or don't affect people substantially is automatic and routine. What isn’t routine is if an account has voted on quite a few posts - the automatic deletion goes to a human employee to check if they want to over-ride the normal deletion for reasons. The main meta has several threads on this and why a human might choose to keep some or all of the votes rather than have them all revert.
What happened today was neither routine nor automatic and a human (currently the community managers / stack exchange employees) took affirmative action to approve an account deletion and approve that did adjust downward as this user did very few downvotes (those deductions were refunded - and people got rep gains) and very many upvotes ( which gave people rep losses ).
- Don't throw away all votes when a user is deleted (the old question) and Change the criteria for vote retention upon account removal (The new proposal to revisit the old decision)
- What does "user was removed" mean and why did my reputation change because of it?
- Massive user removal in one night?
The three links above are the best ones I have to illustrate how and why this happened. I personally don't see our current help system matching the reality of what happens when users that have voted quite a bit here then get deleted/removed, so please vote up my request on main meta to make the help more clear if you agree with more clarity on this.
Let me know if we want to make any other changes or you have more information / context on this in the answer section. Also, this isn't about whether we agree with removing votes or not, but this is about explaining what happened and why within the world view that it can and does happen to remove reputation.
We would want a new thread if people want to agitate / advocate to change this entirely