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I was just browsing through a user's reputation history (45243) and noticed that there is a massive drop in reputation there, all for one question (-452 rep). How does this happen - did he really get down voted that much?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Considering the fact that that question has 7 up votes which exactly correspond to the amount of positives rep he got and considering the answer had a bounty associated with it (see the highlight round the accepted icon) [Due to recent changes in how bounties work you can see that a 500 rep bounty was paid out] I would say he paid out a bounty.


Nathan Koop asked in a comment:

Are we sure it was a bounty, the question was asked Mar 4, and the selected answer was also written that same day (minutes later) it seems strange to me that the user would wait for 48 hours and then place a bounty (almost all of his rep) on a question where he already had the correct answer?

My dear Watson Nathan, you're making the classic mistake of assuming other people share your motivations.

How do you mean?

Have a look at the user's (let's call him A) profile's recent tab, what was his last activity?

March 4th writing the question under discussion.

And if you check you'll see that the person who wrote the accepted answer (we'll call him B) gained 762 rep around the same time.

You mean B hacked A's account and awarded himself the bounty?

I see you've learned from me after all, no nothing so sinister, have a look at the question, it's regarding boolean operations, how to negate a boolean value. What kind of programmer would you expect to ask such a question?

A novice.

And A's highest ranking answer is about boost. Does that fit the profile of a novice programmer?

No, not at all, brings up boost::math which I doubt a novice would run across. This makes no sense, what do you think is going on here?

I think A got tired of using stackoverflow and decided to award his reputation to a friend (or just a random passer by).

Got tired of stack overflow?? But, but that's Blasphemy!

As I said not everyone shares your motivations, or mine for that matter, I'm sure some would say that we're spending way too much time on such a trivial matter.

Well to hell with them I say.

Amen.

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Okay, thanks, I didn't realise that the red outline around the tick meant that the question had had a bounty on it! –  a_m0d Jul 9 '09 at 7:36
    
Are we sure it was a bounty, the question was asked Mar 4, and the selected answer was also written that same day (minutes later) it seems strange to me that the user would wait for 48 hours and then place a bounty (almost all of his rep) on a question where he already had the correct answer. –  Nathan Koop Jul 9 '09 at 14:08

In this case, it was a bounty; however, other possible causes not in this case but in general:

  • rep recalc, perhaps following suspicion of "gaming"
  • posting a few really offensive/spammy posts (-100 each post if you get 6 such votes)
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