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I recently came across old question (several months old) that was edited by 1 rep user. Curious, I dived deeper and was amazed to see that 1 rep user had several gold badges, over 10 silver badges and dozens of bronze.

Entering his profile page, I finally saw the reason.... penalty box.

While I do understand and agree with the concept (equivalent of temporary ban in forums) I don't understand why reduce the reputation to 1?

I do agree that reputation should be locked, but why not lock it at the current amount the user had when sent to the box?

Alternatively, if taking away all reputation, why not take away all the badges?

Note, I don't ask for any change, just want to discuss and understand the reasons for this design. :)

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

One of the ideas of the penalty box is to prevent the user from engaging in what ever activity it was that put them in the box in the first place.

As virtually all abilities are dependent on reputation (save asking and answering questions and now proposing edits) then the easiest way to achieve this is by temporarily reducing the reputation to 1.

The user's reputation is restored upon completion of the ban.

Most badges are independent of reputation - you can get Nice Answer without earning any rep (Community Wiki) for example - so removing badges makes no sense.

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Thanks, but as those users can't ask/answer at all it means there exists a flag telling "this user is locked" - so it should be simple to check for that flag in all other actions as well.. isn't it? – Shadow Wizard Mar 8 '11 at 11:54
@Shadow - That might be a more recent change as boxed users could (at one time) comment here on Meta where the reputation requirement is only 1. – ChrisF Mar 8 '11 at 11:56

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