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Today I answered a question, and the question's creator used my answer as the correct ones. I've earned my reputation points for a while (+15) but now seems like they are gone. The weird thing is that I can still see my +15 reputation on my reputation history.

What's wrong then?

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I can see a clear -15 User was removed at the top of your reputation history. Someone who gave you reputation is no longer part of the site, and the reputation went with them. –  Oded Jan 17 '13 at 14:32
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Not only that, the fact that there are 3 separate entries implies that they are probably from 3 different accounts - probably the result of some multiple account merge/deletion. –  Mysticial Jan 17 '13 at 14:33
    
Then why can't i see that too? –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 14:33
    
@Mysticial what do you mean? –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 14:34
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@abierto 3 different accounts, who each upvoted one of your questions, were deleted - all within a 1 minute interval. –  Mysticial Jan 17 '13 at 14:36
    
@abierto: stackoverflow.com/users/1285611/abierto?tab=reputation there are 3 -5 in a row here that probably explain this. –  JonW Jan 17 '13 at 14:46
    
Can you please say me what's the question you are talking about? Because I'm talking about "Button not being called by JSP?" and on thta I didn't get any upvote, just the acceptance. –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 14:48
    
@JonW now I can see them too, but I never recieved 15 points due to upvotes today! –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 14:51
    
@abierto no, but the users were deleted today, so the points come off at the point that the users were deleted. –  JonW Jan 17 '13 at 15:00
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

What has effected your rep

Have a look on your rep page showing posts rather than graph.

It says

+15  3 hours ago  accept Button not being called by JSP? 
+2  5 hours ago  edit how to insert in a date/time ms access field using java sql INSERT query 
-5  48 mins ago  removed User was removed 
-5  48 mins ago  removed User was removed 
-5  49 mins ago  removed User was removed 

You didn't loose the +15, you lost three +5 upvotes for your questions, because someone was removed from Stack Overflow. Their votes got deleted when their account did, so sadly you lost some rep they'd given you.

These upvotes weren't for the answer, they were for a completely different question/questions that you asked, and the votes were originally on a different day to today.


Where you lost the rep

I've done a little checking: The removed votes must have been for JSP not using servlets which has been upvoted four times according to your rep history, but only has one upvote left on it (and a downvote, so it's 0). That means it must have been three users who were removed, because each user can only vote once.

It suggests that these three users might have been a voting ring or the same person using multiple accounts to make their opinion count more, and that that's why they were removed. (There's no way for us to see who did the voting, so I can't tell you any more about who.)

Upvotes for JSP not using servlets happened on:

Tuesday   2013-01-15 05:40 
Friday    2013-01-11 15:04 
Thursday  2013-01-03 15:22 
Wednesday 2012-12-26 13:56 

Three of those have been undone.


No need to worry

Having rep removed can be a bit upsetting, and it can feel like you're taking the hit for something that's not your fault and that people will suspect your behaviour. Don't worry about this - the team are experienced at establishing what's happened. Blame doesn't attach to you at all. Even though I don't have access to the data the team are using I feel it's clear from that question that you are not involved in the voting irregularity.

It is possible that your rep for today would turn negative if more upvotes are removed. Don't worry about this either - experienced users are aware of how this comes to happen, and whilst it affects your rep score, it doesn't affect your reputation amongst users.

(Conversely, the person(s) actually involved in voting irregularity have got a very damaged reputation!)

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But it's possible that 3 different users can be removed at the same time? Or it's just a periodic check that SO usually do, so they figure at the same time? –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 14:54
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@abierto Yes it's possible. Perhaps a moderator busted up a vote-ring and deleted/merged all the accounts that were involved. That's why the 3 deletions didn't happen at exactly the same time, but offset by 20-some seconds each - typical of human clicking behavior. –  Mysticial Jan 17 '13 at 14:55
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It's possible that it's one user who voted three of your questions up, and it took more than a minute to delete all their votes, or it's possible that it's two or three users who were actually just one person, which breaks the rules, especially if they're voting for each other! –  AndrewC Jan 17 '13 at 14:57
    
Ok, I see. Thank you both for your explanations, I'm new in SO and I still don't know how those mechanics works. –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 14:59
    
@abierto Three users, as Mystical suggested - see my answer's update for why. –  AndrewC Jan 17 '13 at 15:03
    
@AndrewC Ok, now I understand more. But why other people should upvote ME in order to make THEIR opinion count more? –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 15:11
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Could be Rais Alam the one who messed up with upvotes? He was really active in that questions, from edit to answer, and now his account is temporarily suspended for voting irregularities –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 15:22
    
I'm not sure. I think this is more likely to be a single person with multiple accounts rather than a voting ring, because it seems a lot of effort to share data with each other about every vote, and certainly not worth the effort on questions they're not involved with, and certainly makes the ring easier to spot. If it's one person using multiple accounts, that makes more sense that they would have an opinion and express it multiple times on different days because they forgot what they'd voted for, or just felt you deserved more upvotes. I don't think you should take it personally or worry. –  AndrewC Jan 17 '13 at 15:29
    
@abierto Could be Rais is one of the accounts, yes, but there have to be three accounts involved - if they're all him, that's very well described as voting irregularity. –  AndrewC Jan 17 '13 at 15:37
    
@AndrewC thank you again, I was kinda worried about that... –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 15:40
    
@abierto It could be that Rais upvoted your question a lot because he really thought it was a good question, but potentially he was upvoting it to get more attention for his answer. I was looking at his answer and I'm utterly convinced it had a score of 9 when I loaded the page, but when I clicked to see how many up and down votes, it changed to just one upvote. If I'm not hallucinating, that suggests the voting irregularity includes 8 accounts or more. –  AndrewC Jan 17 '13 at 15:41
    
@AndrewC yeah, you're probably right. You should earn the "Sharlock" badge for this investigation I guess :) –  abierto Jan 17 '13 at 15:45
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@abierto :) But, my dear Watson, it was you that found the source of the problem. I've added a section explaining in more detail why I think you don't need to worry. –  AndrewC Jan 17 '13 at 15:57
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