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In user profiles it's very common to see:

This user has no recent positive reputation changes

Question is: how recent is this recent? My best guess is one month, can anyone confirm this or come with the actual time span?

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6 to 8 weeks (sorry). – ben is uǝq backwards Nov 8 '12 at 15:10

My initial guess was 6 months based on:

  • Exhibit A - Profile summary shows recent rep changes.
    • Last positive rep change - 10th May (182 days)
    • Last post - 4th Feb (278 days)
    • Last seen - 4th Feb (278 days)
  • Exhibit B - Profile summary shows "This user has no recent positive reputation changes"
    • Last positive rep change - 5th May (187 days)
    • Last post - 1st April (221 days)
    • Last seen - 28th Sept (41 days)

However, it turned out to be a lot more complicated. Here are some counter examples:

  • Exhibit C: - Profile summary shows recent rep changes.
    • Last positive rep change - 23rd Nov 2011 (351 days)
    • Last post - 22 Oct (17 days)
    • Last seen - 4th Nov (4 days)
  • Exhibit D: - "This user has no recent positive reputation changes" (rep now shown)
    • Last positive rep change - 1st August. (99 days)
    • Last post - 1st August. (99 days)
    • Last seen - today (0 days)

It does appears that last postive rep change isn't the only metric used to determine whether recent rep changes are shown. Or, more likely, the patterns are being skewed by cached results.

In the case of exhibit C, considering his recent activity the profile owner may have viewed his own profile. I don't believe the "no recent positive changes" message is shown to the profile owner so that would have triggered a cache refresh with actual rep data.

In the case of exhibit D, I'm not sure if the cache excuse will wash since that would mean a 3-month old cache fragment. Perhaps SO uses a different time span from MSO?

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Dang! Would it happen to be different for different sites? – Shawn Chin Nov 8 '12 at 15:36
Well, it appears to be more and more complicated! Hope a dev will come by and shed some light over this. – Shadow Wizard Nov 8 '12 at 16:12
Won't be surprised if the cache has a part to play as well. – Shawn Chin Nov 8 '12 at 16:13

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