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What can cause a user to suddenly lose a lot of reputation? I had 4415 reputation one day, and the next day I was suddenly at 2585. How is that possible?

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Do you have an example user for this? –  Time Traveling Bobby Dec 16 '10 at 15:40
    
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Check the email associated with your Stack Overflow account. –  Bill the Lizard Dec 16 '10 at 17:37
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I wonder what @bill's mail said (and why his comment has 6 upvotes)? –  jmfsg Dec 17 '10 at 12:42
    
I rolled back to @Michael's revision because it contained some corrections (It's normal to do this on SO). If you really want your original version, feel free to roll back again –  Pëkka Dec 17 '10 at 13:09
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2 Answers

Well, your reputation graph is suspicious

alt text

Are you sure you haven't been upvoting your stuff with another account (that also belongs to you?)

Alternatively, what does this link report to you?

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@Juan: My graph looks the same, but that's because I've only recently started answering a lot of questions. –  AgentConundrum Dec 16 '10 at 15:57
    
This is a hockey stick graph. He is blowing up! –  bobobobo Dec 16 '10 at 16:13
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Wow. Almost every single answer he's given in the last two weeks has received 3-4 upvotes. Not a single one has 0 or 1 vote. –  Brad Larson Dec 16 '10 at 16:36
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At least something fishy has to go on here, otherwise SO wouldn't have kicked in and removed the votes. –  Time Traveling Bobby Dec 16 '10 at 16:53
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While I agree something was obviously happening here, like a puppet account being deleted etc...don't go by just the graph. For example, mine has a similar pattern: stackoverflow.com/users/13249?tab=reputation –  Nick Craver Dec 16 '10 at 17:02
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@Nick: Okay, what the heck happened last January? Did you finish school and free up a bunch of time? New diet? New Year's resolution? Discover a bunch of +1 INT potions? WHAT THE HECK??? –  Bill the Lizard Dec 16 '10 at 17:32
    
i have been regular on the forum and its not see the answer acceptance ratings that also talk about more things –  Ashutosh Singh Dec 16 '10 at 17:36
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@Ashutosh: Please reword your previous comment - at the moment it's not at all clear what you mean. –  Jon Skeet Dec 16 '10 at 17:58
    
I have been a regular contributor on stackoverflow from past month or so and my answer acceptance rating would be around 35-40% that shows my most of the answers are correct. and if for that few users regularly upvote me is it against ethics of stackoverflow. if i have few admirers who upvote me regularly is it against ethics of stackoverflow. –  Ashutosh Singh Dec 16 '10 at 18:09
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the person who is commenting on fishy graph this graph is after point deductions not before that –  Ashutosh Singh Dec 16 '10 at 18:15
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Yes I know @ash, I was just pointing out that it's suspicious, I'm not accusing you of anything. At the very least, the graph before the deduction would be more steep -- When you say you have "a few admirers", is it possible they work with you and use SO from the same IP? –  jmfsg Dec 16 '10 at 18:18
    
do you mean to say that people in same organizations would have same IP? I am sure no body uses my workstation at work and my home no one uses SO except me –  Ashutosh Singh Dec 16 '10 at 18:20
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@Ashutosh: Yes, a whole organization might all have the same public IP. Your workstations might all have different internal IPs though. A common reason would be if your organization uses NAT (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_address_translation). –  ho1 Dec 16 '10 at 20:28
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@Bill, a lot of expert answerers became active around the Dec/Jan time frame. All with hockey-stick rep graphs. Bit of a watershed moment, that's when the fluff ended at SO afaict. Thanks btw, probably wasn't easy. –  Uphill Luge Dec 16 '10 at 22:38
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@Brad - I think you've hit the nail on the head - such a consistent pattern of votes especially in a tag like sharepoint where upvotes are given very sparingly. Oh, but thats down to "admirers" of course... –  Ryan Dec 17 '10 at 11:48
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I don't know what the moderators seized upon (they have hidden data like IP addresses, upvote/downvote by users etc) but these stats show clearly the effect of your Admirers.

http://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/s/730/find-sock-puppets-look-for-suspicious-upvote-patterns-in-a-particular-tag?tagname=sharepoint

Users like Rex and Michael Stum, Bjørn Furuknap, Lars Fastrup etc etc, get high avg scores but look at the variation (StdDev) - some get loads of upvotes, some not so much.

Your scores Standard Deviation is tiny in comparison - i.e. each and every answer gets a very consistent number of upvotes.

Totally against the usual stack overflow voting pattern.

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