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Community user shouldn't always be online?

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Do you mean "Shouldn't they always be online"? If so, I'm guessing no, because they're not actually interacting with the system, they're interacting directly in the back-end. –  Mark Henderson Mar 28 '11 at 1:55
    
Why does the Community user have reputation? That seems odd. –  jmort253 Mar 28 '11 at 4:19
    
@jmort252, see “Community” user got sudden rep boost.. how come? –  Arjan Mar 28 '11 at 7:02
    
Community can even assign a bounty without being online! –  Arjan Mar 28 '11 at 7:04
    
@Arjan, interesting, and looks like there was a time, community user earn reps on CW posts, max 1713 reps on single day (Sep 24 2008), probably more than jon skeet - stackoverflow.com/users/-1/… –  YOU Mar 28 '11 at 7:22

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Actually, this whole "Community user" is a nice example of Technical Workarounds/Implementation seeping through the front-end.

I'm guessing the sites need a community user to assume reputation for certain votes, to close questions or wikify them, in short wherever an ID is needed.

The decision to implement this as Yet Another User was probably taken because it was the easiest, even though it might confuse users. That's why the probably added following explanation in the community user profile field:

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I'm not really a fan of these kind of hacks, but imho they should be the lowest points on the "to fix" list, it's just an esthetic's issue.

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Other uses of Community: owns edits proposed by anonymous users. –  Arjan Mar 28 '11 at 7:08

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