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I wrote this response and was proud to get 200+ upvotes:

What is node.js?

At some point, additional upvotes stop adding reputation, which is fine. (false!) However, today, someone apparently decided to retract one of the upvotes, and I was surprised to find myself docked 10 reputation points.

It seems to work like this:

upvote +10 reputation
upvote +10 reputation
...
upvote +0 reputation
vote retraction -10 reputation
upvote +0 reputation
downvote -10 reputation
upvote +0 reputation

For a highly voted post, an upvote adds no reputation but a downvote or an upvote followed by a retraction will dock 10 points. In theory, with enough up and down votes, one could even lose more reputation than the post had originally gained ... Why should this be so? This seems like it can't be intentional.

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My guess is: When an upvote is retracted, it's as if it never existed. So if you weren't repcapped on the day when you got the upvote, you will lose that 10. –  Mysticial Apr 21 '12 at 4:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Oh okay, I think I see what happened. I'll expand on my comment.

When a vote is retracted, it's as if it never existed. So regardless of when it was retracted, if you weren't rep-capped on the day it was initially cast, you will lose the rep gained/lost on that vote.

In your case, your post is also a Community Wiki. That means that you don't gain/lose rep for any votes on it.

Here's the sequence of events:

  1. A user upvoted before it was made a wiki.
  2. 2 days ago, the user retracted the vote.
  3. The user immediately recast the vote.

(The user probably mis-clicked or something...)

Since the vote was retracted, you lose the 10 rep you gained on it when it was cast. Then when the user re-casted it, you gain nothing because the post is a wiki.


Note that this has nothing to do with how many votes the post has. Your post is a Community Wiki, that's why you don't get rep on it anymore.

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Oh! I've been cheated! I thought I wasn't getting reputation because reputation gain from a single question was capped. This "community wiki" stuff is a real bummer. I wrote 100% of that response. How do I get the community wiki status removed? –  Dave Dopson Apr 21 '12 at 4:45
    
In short, you usually can't. Your post was made wiki because it had too many edits. You can try to beg a moderator to un-wiki it for you. But seeing as you've posted this on meta, there will be plenty of mods seeing it. So let them decide. –  Mysticial Apr 21 '12 at 4:47
3  
The automatic wiki conversion is to prevent abuse by someone repeatedly editing to bump it to the front page. But that's not the case here and seeing how much work you've put into that answer, I'd say it's fair to unwiki it. Whether or not the mods agree is up to them. –  Mysticial Apr 21 '12 at 4:52

Your answer was made Community Wiki, since you edited it more than 10 times (link). That's why you don't earn any reputation when somebody upvotes it now.

However, if somebody that upvoted your question before it was made Community Wiki retracts his vote, you will lose the points you earned from that particular upvote.

At some point, additional upvotes stop adding reputation, which is fine.

This is only true on a per-day basis.

The is a reputation cap that prevents you from earning more than 200 rep per day from upvotes alone.

Unless your answer is made Community Wiki or you hit the per-day rep cap, every upvote will contribute to your reputation.

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Ewww. Community Wiki is no fun! That's like a penalty for spending time and effort maintaining your answer. Can I get it removed? –  Dave Dopson Apr 21 '12 at 4:48
    
Spending time and effort maintaining your answer is encouraged, but 19 edits is a lot! There's no automatic way to undo Community Wiki. All you can do is flag your answer for moderator attention and state your case. It will be up to the moderator. –  Dennis Apr 21 '12 at 4:53
    
It was 19 edits over the course of multiple months. Also, there were a few times where I would make an edit only to immediately notice a spelling mistake and fix it with a 2nd edit. –  Dave Dopson Apr 21 '12 at 4:59
    
I also made a number of minor edits to update a link or reword a sentence. I did not realize these edits had a "cost" associated or I would have been more frugal ... –  Dave Dopson Apr 21 '12 at 5:04
    
p.s., perhaps the most flattering response to my answer, besides the 215 upvotes, is the comment "+1 Great explanation" that itself has +8 upvotes. :) –  Dave Dopson Apr 21 '12 at 5:10
    
Your answer is obviously a masterpiece (217 votes speak for themselves), and pretty much all of your edits added useful information. Fixing spelling mistakes - if done immediately after the edit (I think the window is 5 minutes) - don't even add to the total count. Judging from the timeline, you could have saved 8 edits tough (e.g., there were 4 edits on Aug 30 '11), so your post would have been made Community Wiki on April, 16 (rather than last year's October, 7). I'm not saying that your answer should be CW because of your edits. I'm just poiting out that 10 edits is usually enough. –  Dennis Apr 21 '12 at 5:11
    
yeah, I get how that covers the 90% case. –  Dave Dopson Apr 21 '12 at 5:13

You can stop getting rep in two cases:

You make the post CW

If:

  • The question is CW
  • Your post is edited too often
  • You voluntarily convert to CW

then your post is made Community Wiki

In that case, you stop getting rep for it. You get to keep previously earned rep, however. Also you can earn most badges for it (except tagbadges)

Now, an "unupvote", in the system, means that "the upvote never happened" (from my previous experience). So, if this was an unupvote of a vote you recieved before conversion to CW, then you will lose rep for it.

You hit your repcap

This is not what happened in this case, but I'll list it anyway for future reference.

You are only able to get 200 rep in a day from votes. Accepts, bounties, and whatnot do not affect this repcap.

Now, if a post is deleted/unupvoted, the rep loss is listed under "today", but the system counts the loss on "the day you got the removed votes.. Which means that even if you've gone over your cap today, the extra waffle-votes{*} will not recompensate for this loss. On the other hand, if you had gone over your repcap the day these posts had gotten the votes, then the wafflevotes will kindly step in and recompensate.

*It is my firm belief that all upvotes recieved after hitting the repcap can be redeemed for free waffles. SE Inc, I'm waiting....

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