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I really thought that, when the reputation system was changed to update in near real-time, I would never ever scratch my head and ask myself how the heck SO arrived at the reputation I have. (Yeah, I know, half of you are probably now holding their sides. So I am naive. Nothing wrong with that. I have far worse suspicions about me.) But for a while now I have suspected that there were still problems with this. I just could never put a finger on it, because I have long since lost interest in the rep game, and do not follow my reputation very eagerly. So I put this down to old age, too many kids wanting too many things from me at the same time, and the general loss of sanity that correlates with the loss of hair.

However, last night I passed 71000 and that's a number even I can remember. If I remember correctly (I am not sure on this), at one point I had 71002 rep points. Then someone downvoted an answer of mine and I had (and I am absolutely sure I saw that number!) exactly 71k rep points. I got a few updates since then. I seem to remember seeing 71035, and do remember definitely seeing 71065. But just now, I saw that I have 71084, so I looked what happened. A -1 usually indicates that I downvoted someone's answer, after all, and I couldn't remember doing so.

Well, what happened is that I got two upvotes, which came with 10 rep each. Of course, I should have 71085 now then, not 71084. However, there is no indication at all on my reputation tab at which point that one reputation point got dropped and rolled under the fridge. So not only did I downvote someone, "they" also conspire to keep from me the knowledge of when I did this!

Worse, still, even the good old reliable reputation page at insists that I could never ever even have seen 71000, because it went to 71001 and to 70999 from there:

-- 2012-11-29 rep +50 = 70986
2 4421706 (5)
2 4172961 (10)
3 1574992 (-2)

What can I say? I am baffled. It's not that I am bemoaning the departure of that one rep point, but as a programmer I usually cling to the illusion that I could understand what's happening around me — at least when it involves adding a few damn numbers! I already called my psychiatrist about this, but he said I shouldn't worry about it. Obviously, he is part of the conspiracy.

So in the interest of the kids that I have to care for, and before I lose what little I believe to have left of my sanity, can someone come up with a reasonably sophisticated subterfuge that I can cling to instead of facing the sad truth?

share|improve this question
The system is not perfect and the very occasional discrepancy does still happen (normally around deleted posts). These tend to fix themselves within minutes, or hours at most. – Oded Dec 1 '12 at 21:28
Did you check for deleted posts? Tick the show removed posts box at the bottom. If you both suggested an edit (since accepted) and you downvoted a post, you'd end up at a net -1 if that post was deleted. There are more ways to loose 1 point from deleted posts. – Martijn Pieters Dec 1 '12 at 21:28
I have not been sneakily stealing single rep points from users to artificially inflate my own rep. So stop saying.....ah, you didn't. Never mind. Carry on. – Bart Dec 1 '12 at 21:29
Perhaps something you downvoted a long time ago was deleted. Then it got undeleted today. – Mysticial Dec 1 '12 at 21:29
@Mysticial: that'd be +1 point then, not -1.. – Martijn Pieters Dec 1 '12 at 21:29
@MartijnPieters Other way around. The -1 would have been inactive since it was deleted. Then when it was undeleted, it comes back. – Mysticial Dec 1 '12 at 21:30
@Mysticial: This is usually shown in the log. I am sure I saw this just the other day. – sbi Dec 1 '12 at 21:30
@Mysticial: ah, un deleted. Missed that there. – Martijn Pieters Dec 1 '12 at 21:31
@sbi Undeletions don't show up in your history page. It only reappears on the day the downvote was cast - which could have been a long time ago. – Mysticial Dec 1 '12 at 21:32
Jeff is your shrink? – R. Martinho Fernandes Dec 1 '12 at 21:34
@Pekka: What business do you have fixing my numbers? Now everybody will believe I get 5-digit numbers right and will take this thing serious! – sbi Dec 1 '12 at 21:35
@Bart - Makes me wonder if Jon Skeet has been collecting all the fractional rep. – Oded Dec 1 '12 at 21:36
@Mysticial: Oh, is that so? WTF? – sbi Dec 1 '12 at 21:37
You know, @Oded, everybody was sitting on their hands trying to not to write the obvious, and you burst through the door shouting it at the top of your lungs. – sbi Dec 1 '12 at 21:38
@sbi - Don't let Jeff know I messed up. – Oded Dec 1 '12 at 21:39
up vote 12 down vote accepted

When a post you have downvoted is undeleted, the corresponding "removed" entry for the date the post was deleted on blinks out of existence. "Removed" entries look like this (courtesy Jeff):

enter image description here

As you can see, they give you a point, and this point disappears when they do. There is no notification on the reputation tab etc, just a point that has stealthily slipped away from the others. This is what has happened. You are probably missing a "removed" point somewhere in your reputation history.

share|improve this answer
Um. I have already upvoted this answer. And I think that's Ok. I do believe you. (After all, Mysticial said the same. And if there's one guy here who keeps tabs on where his rep comes from/goes to, it's him.) – sbi Dec 1 '12 at 21:41
@sbi Alright, just thought it would be more authoritative if we could test it. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 1 '12 at 21:43
What about "a reasonably sophisticated subterfuge that I can cling to" did you fail to understand? :) – sbi Dec 1 '12 at 21:57
So I looked at my rep a bit closer for a few days, and was just about to bust in here telling that you got it all wrong. But now that I looked closer at the pic you posted, I see that you already knew what I wanted to hurl at you. (A deleted answer which you downvoted gains you 1rep the moment it's deleted.) So I tried to understand what you wrote, but you already lose me at "As you can see, they give you a point, and this point disappears when they do." Where am I supposed to see a point given there that later disappears? – sbi Dec 9 '12 at 22:18
@sbi "Removed" entries give you 1 rep. You can see three of them on Nov 20th in the image above. When a post is undeleted, it is no longer "removed". This means your "removed" entry disappears, and you lose the corresponding 1 point. So for example, if all the posts deleted on Nov 20th were undeleted, all three of those "removed" entries would disappear, and Jeff would lose 3 points. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 10 '12 at 6:05
So if an answer you downvoted gets deleted this gains you 1rep the moment it is deleted, but when it is undeleted it takes 1rep the moment it was deleted? Really, if I am the only one who finds this is a bug, I must be either mad or in a madhouse. – sbi Dec 10 '12 at 7:14
@sbi When it is undeleted the 1 rep you gained is reversed as if it never happened (the removed entry disappears, because the answer is no longer removed). Look at it this way, your downvote -1 was being canceled out by a removed +1, but now that the post is no longer removed your downvote applies again. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 10 '12 at 7:17
Oh c'mon! When the rep lost through downvoting is reverted by deleting the downvoted post, it's listed at the date of reverting, but when that in turn is reverted, it's listed at the date of what it is reverting. If that doesn't strike you as inconsistent, it's either me or you. – sbi Dec 10 '12 at 7:29
@sbi "but when that in turn is reverted, it's listed at the date of what it is reverting" This is what I'm trying to convey, it is not listed at all. In fact, it unlists something. Your reputation history dump gets 1 line shorter, not longer. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 10 '12 at 7:31
Yeah, well, whatever. That's just wrong. – sbi Dec 10 '12 at 7:33
@sbi Makes sense to me, because otherwise we would have removed, unremoved, un-unremoved, un-un-unremoved entries and so forth. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 10 '12 at 7:34
@sbi It is hilarious how mad you are about this. Why is it so important to unerringly track each rep point through the sands of time? – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 10 '12 at 7:38
@sbi when you downvote a post you lose 1 rep. When the post is deleted, you see "removed" and gain the 1 rep back. When the post is then undeleted you lose the point again, the "removed" is gone but you can still see your downvote in the "votes" tab of your profile page. It's all there, but you have to remember what has been removed. :) – Shadow Wizard Dec 10 '12 at 7:56
@Asad: I am not mad about this, and if you go back and read my question, you should learn that I don't care much about rep anymore. It's just that I consider this as Wrong™, counter-intuitive, and confusing. – sbi Dec 13 '12 at 12:35
@sbi Well, what would you propose as an alternative? Perhaps you could make a feature request to fix this. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 13 '12 at 12:36

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