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 ).

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

  • Thanks for sharing this. I really hope a lot of new active users who are not aware of this or have seen this for the first time will find it useful. I'd like to ask a related question. I understand if a user delete their account themselves and they are not very high rep, it may cause other members to lose/gain rep points based on the users voting patterns. What I'm interested in knowing is what criterion is used by the mod team if the choose delete to delete an account(s) and if there is any criterion for deletion in the first place. I have observed substantial rep loses (~3.5k) in past as wel
    – Nimesh Neema Mod
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 3:55
  • @NimeshNeema no elected moderator gets to make any choice. It’s the employees. If you read the answers to this thread you can hear directly from an employee (they also have diamonds, but they are not elected - they are hired/appointed)
    – bmike Mod
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 14:07

4 Answers 4


While I got hit with a big -185, my overall rank or reputation didn't drop a lot (thankfully). enter image description here


Was not significant this time around, just lost a measly 85 rep points:

But I had a 'Month of Ouch' back in January:

  • 1
    Ouch indeed - I didn't realize we had another removal that causes a substantial drop
    – bmike Mod
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 19:18

Ok, here's mine - from 4th down to 1,120th!

enter image description here

I don't live for rep, but admit I was looking forward to breaking the 50K barrier. Guess I'll have to wait a bit longer for that now. :(

Oh well, patience is a virtue. LOL

  • Congratulations on 50k
    – bmike Mod
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 23:26

It's not, fortunately for me, a significant percentage - but ouch

Edit & add your own, for the 'Week of Ouch' posterity community wiki.

enter image description here

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