Update (March, 2012): This has been rolled out to all sites in the network except Area 51.

Behind the scenes we've been hard at work making some changes to how we track reputation. Here are some of the issues we're aiming to address with these changes:

  • Reputation Skew (your actual reputation doesn't match what's shown)
  • Up/Down votes oddities (mostly with the daily rep cap, the magical +2)
  • Historical Deletes (not impacting rep immediately, contributing to skew)
  • Unaccepts (display issues in the profile)
  • User Deletion (magically missing rep, another skew contributor)

To be clear: reputation values are not changing, every action in the system is still worth the same amount. Here’s what will be different:

  • Your reputation will be correct at all times
  • Deletions will have a much more immediate effect on reputation, not waiting on a recalc (but reputation sync takes up to 5 minutes on a delete/undelete action; as to not block the user's response thread, it's offloaded to a background queue)
  • Recalcs will no longer be necessary
  • Up/Down vote reversals will restore the correct reputation amount
  • Up/Down vote reversals will correctly adjust to the reputation cap
  • The reputation history in your profile will be more detailed and accurate (e.g. when a post is deleted, you'll see that in the reputation tab of your profile)

This means your reputation will go up and down more than it has previously, but it will be in sync. To think of it more easily: imagine that a recalc will be done after every action in the system.

Probably the biggest impact many will be concerned with is that you may see your reputation drop in cases where it didn't seem like it did before This was effectively happening before, but the results of that change were not applied immediately, but on the next rep recalc. Post deletion is the biggest factor here, previously it didn't (immediately) account for the reputation impact...that will no longer be the case. Reputation changes from the deletion will now be applied within the hour, and most other changes will be instant.

Now the part that will make everyone throw vegetables our way: this will require a global recalc to get everything in sync. We'll be rolling it out first here on meta, then the rest of the network...the enabling of the detailed rep view and global recalc on each individual site will coincide. During the rollout you will see empty reputation tabs on profiles as we transition to the new storage behind the scenes, they'll be restored as the recalc rolls though each user. We’ll put up a blog post on https://stackoverflow.blog/ before the network-wide rollout.

If you have any questions about this change or details I may have left out, please do so in answers below so that we can clear up as much as possible before this rolls out.

  • 14
    Here's a feature request waiting for a (now) easy answer: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/115201/…
    – lockstep
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 22:53
  • 300
    My Rep! My ill-gotten rep! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 22:58
  • 89
    Now I'm going to have to spend all night bidding a tearful goodbye to each of those 538 points that you're senselessly slaughtering. You monster.
    – mmyers
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:06
  • 225
    So. It has come to this.
    – DavRob60
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 19:36
  • 21
    @DavRob60 very dramatic Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 19:44
  • 10
    WAAAAAAT!1! NOOO00OO I just got my 10k rep. :D
    – Kev
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 19:56
  • 9
    Good. I feel dirty when I have "unearned" rep after I have deleted upvoted content. The next recalc window can never happen soon enough. Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 20:17
  • 84
    @mmyers after extensive research and expense, we have invested in a robust reputation storage and nurturing facilty (adjacent to the colo). All reputation points not needed at the current time will be humanely relocated there and allowed to relax and mingle. When new reputation is required, we will use the reputation from this facility until exhausted. No reputation points will be slaughtered - not even harmed a little - in this exercise. "The Reputation Defence League" and the "Humane Treatment for Points Society" can call off their blockades. Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 12:55
  • 16
    Reputation changed unexpectedly? Don't know where to turn? We've moved heaven and earth to ensure your score is always correct! I feel the earth move under my feet I feel the sky come tumbling, tumbling down!
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 17:25
  • 35
    Why throw away all those perfectly good reputation points? They still need a home. I officially offer my profile as a storage facility for all rejected reputation points. I will give them a good home and make sure they are well cared for! :P Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 2:36
  • 21
    So how long will that notice banner be up on SO? Why couldn't you make it like the other notifications where we can close them?
    – j08691
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 3:40
  • 11
    I have been robbed!! Don't you think it is just wrong to delete a question that other people have spent their time answering them?
    – Ravi
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 5:05
  • 4
    Good thing you didn't touch the badges.
    – bioffe
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 6:48
  • 3
    Noooooooo. You should have granted amnesty for all past fake reputation.
    – DerVO
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:04
  • 17
    For anyone who was wondering, Jon Skeet lost only 13 points this time because he regularly recalculates his rep.
    – mmyers
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:12

29 Answers 29


All sounds nice, but you're still missing a point that I think should be addressed. Currently, when things get deleted, they just disappear from your history. That's not very helpful, especially concerning reputation. When my reputation randomly drops by 40, it would be nice to be able to see that in my history. Would it be possible to make this change show up in the history?

I think it should show as a negative amount applied with a simple 'deleted" message. It would be nice to list the title of the question, and those with 10k rep would still be able to view it. At least knowing the title, we know what post got deleted. Reputation lost for deleted posts should only affect the daily reputation cap if those posts were from the same day cycle (just a side note).


Of course this would also have the inverse effect for a post which was deleted that had downvotes and you actually gained reputation, showing a positive amount, with the same restrictions for the daily reputation cap.

Update: Here's a little preview of some of the things you can now find:

enter image description here

  • 72
    That's part of this change, when a post is deleted you'll see that in your reputation history tab. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:09
  • 8
    @NickCraver: that's nice! You should include it in your question!
    – Martin.
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:10
  • 1
    @Nick: Awesome! :) You stated The reputation history in your profile will be more detailed and accurate but I wanted to make sure this was included.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:11
  • @Martin - that was point #4, but added this as a specific example so it's much clearer :) Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:12
  • 6
    @NickCraver This doesn't align 100% with what you're doing, but... this almost lets users find any of their own deleted posts: as long as the post has been voted on its deletion will cause a rep change so it'll show up here. I'd be thrilled if this could also show when unvoted posts are deleted, providing the complete record of a user's deleted posts to them. (Maybe you already meant to do this, but I didn't want to risk not suggesting it.)
    – Jeremy
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:17
  • 2
    @JeremyBanksʬʬʬ - It will show when they're deleted, how much the rep delta was, and the title, but we won't link to them unless you're a moderator...it's just to give you an idea where the reputation was. We never link to lists of deleted content, it introduces a ton of trouble, and I can't see changing that behavior here. The title showing is flame bait enough for meta questions, I'm hoping even leaving that in won't be an issue. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:22
  • 2
    @Nick: Really? I'm pretty sure my flagging history is a list, and it links to deleted content. :o
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:27
  • @animuson - that's linking to other deleted content (not some you owned 99% of the time), but I'd consider that a bug none the less, will take a look tomorrow. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:28
  • 20
    @NickCraver I really think deleted posts should be linked (both rep and flagging history). If I want to review that deleted content, all you're doing is adding the necessity for me to plug the title into the search field (or browser history) and scroll down. For questions, I can kind of understand it, but they should be available to 10k users because we've earned it. Otherwise, I could just start favoriting every single one of my questions to keep track of them.
    – a cat
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 0:36
  • 1
    also, /tools?tab=delete, a list of deleted content that goes back up to 30 days.
    – a cat
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 0:47
  • 2
    Without a link the flagging history/reputation history entries will be mostly useless. I will usually not remember what I answered to a question with a certain title a year ago. Or what I flagged on a question with a certain title. If you remove the link you can also just remove the question title, since without a link it's useless.
    – sth
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 1:41
  • 6
    Something to note on your update, if you're a 10k user those post titles are linked. Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 16:36
  • 49 downvotes? Damn doesn't somebody hate you.
    – badp
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 18:52
  • 2
    I lost about 200 rep by recalculation, and I see nothing. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 5:28
  • 3
    So how should I find them between other, negative reputation changes? Ok - found some "unaccepted -15" and "deleted -30". But too much work and guessing, to find the justification for the loss. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 5:47

Fix all teh reputations!

I know we're kind of in the later stages of this, but can we update how tag wiki reputation is displayed in the reputation history? Currently, it looks like this:

Reputation history

This is, obviously, not very specific. You have to click through to see what tag wiki (or excerpt) it's talking about. Can we get the tag wiki's title and the "excerpt" keyword (for those it applies too) added to these lines as well, like how it's displayed in your suggestions activity:

Suggestions activity

Also, it displays in the preview, why not the tab?

Reputation preview

  • 1
    This seems off-topic -- but a good idea, have you posted a feature-request for it?) Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:30
  • 1
    I'll take a look at this today if time allows, as long as we can fetch the data in a reasonable way, that sounds like a fine suggestion (before we couldn't fetch it in a reasonable way). Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:08
  • 3
    I know you were probably writing/drawing with a mouse above, but I can't help but feel that you should have had a "FIX ALL THE REPUTATIONS" headline at the top :) Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 11:40
  • 4
    @edoloughlin: Like so?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 19:29
  • @animuson Nice! Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 17:48

I, personally, think it's completely irrational to LOSE reputation points just because a question you answered was deleted!

If the answer was deleted, or if a question you asked was deleted, then it makes sense.

However, if I answer a question, and it gets any votes (1 or 100 - doesn't matter), and then the question gets deleted, you're basically saying that all the effort that went into answering it was for naught. And if THAT is the case, then why bother answering?

Note - I'm not in this for the reputation, but it's a nice side-bonus, and randomly removing heretofore established bonuses is mean-spirited, at the least.

  • 7
    Yeah, I'm not sure you should lose rep if the SO gods later decide a question you answered should be deleted. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:38
  • 20
    Of course you should. The question was deleted for a reason. Why should you get reputation for answering a question that's not a good fit for Stack Overflow? I think this encourages users to actually analyze the question for its value and rather than submitting an answer, vote to close it (or flag it) if it doesn't belong here.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 18:02
  • 7
    It's even more annoying to lose a gold medal from an answer that was turned to wiki after you got the medal :((
    – wildpeaks
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 18:11
  • 8
    I am not so much bothered by the reputation loss (since I have little to start with), but the content loss is lamentable and I would really like to see some of those deleted good answers.
    – prusswan
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 18:45
  • 7
    What if I answer a question, it gets a lot of upvotes, gets accepted as the answer, then two years later the OP deletes it because he thinks it makes him look stupid? That's not being removed due to poor fit with the site, and I lose a bunch of reputation. (Which I just did)
    – Stephen P
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 19:03
  • 6
    @Stephen: Question owners can't delete if there are any upvoted answers.
    – jscs
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 19:38
  • 5
    @animuson - you're missing the point, I think: there are several questions that MONTHS or YEARS later have been deleted because they're no longer viewed as "a good fit". Retroactively applying today's rules to yesterday's content is at the very least rude!
    – warren
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 3:30
  • 5
    I agree. There ought to be a statue of limitations on this. It's absurd that months or even years after you've answered a question, you can have the rep subtracted because after that much time, someone's decided the question wasn't a good fit.
    – user142148
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 3:28
  • @Kyralessa - now if only the SE gods would grace us with their response :)
    – warren
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 21:04
  • 3
    And yet another issue on this - if a user is deleted, you lose rep associated from their question\answer\votes :|
    – warren
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 17:57
  • @warren, Doesn't the user's questions stay even after he has been deleted? I've seen many questions asked by "unlinked profile".
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 20:45
  • @Pacerier - so far as I know, yes
    – warren
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 17:24
  • @warren, Hmm, then why does your previous comment state that rep would be lost?
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 13:13
  • @Pacerier - it's difference from how it used to be to now
    – warren
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 4:31
  • 1
    I meant statute of limitations, of course.
    – user142148
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 11:08

One minor issue I found. The descriptions (titles) for unupvote/undownvote events are inconsistent.

answer was unupvoted
dwonvote was removed from a post

In my opinion, "unupvoted" sounds a bit awkward as a verb, so you might want to sync that up. Also, the typo in "downvote" isn't mine.

  • 14
    @lunboks Correct the dwonvote! Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 12:59
  • 15
    I find the awkwardness of "unupvoted" and "undownvoted" to be rather charming.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 3:59
  • @downvoter Listen to what jmendeth just said. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 4:00
  • 5
    @NickCraver I don't want to post another nit-pick answer, but currently, it's "upvote was removed from a answer". I believe it should be "an answer".
    – a cat
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 12:57
  • 2
    @lunboks - thanks, will be fixed in the next build. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 1:23

Congratulations on the new system. Abolishing recalcs is a big and important step, and the new reputation tracker, showing all past changes, is awesome for accountability. I feel that this was quite a substantial improvement in terms of felt usability, even though it doesn’t actually affect the handling of the site at all.

EDIT And this feature is just awesome:

enter image description here

  • Additionally I wish there was a timer before a downvote or upvote was possible (as in did you read the question so you can vote?). Downvoting based on appearances can throw a question into obscurity, and it happens way too often.
    – oxygen
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 18:07

What happened to the SO league ranking that was display in the profile's rep summary, does it also need a recalc or something? this was one of my favorite things to watch:

Old: Old rep summary

New: New rep summary

On the plus side I only lost 15 rep cause of the recalc :D

Also, it would be nice to have upvotes that have are partially(or fully) lost rep due to the rep cap displaying something to that effect (I assume this is the magical +2 rep?): enter image description here

  • I didn't notice the league ranking disappearing! As for the reputation cap thing, it's always been like that and I don't see why that should change. Everyone who's read the FAQ knows there's a 200 reputation daily cap, and any logical person can figure out why an upvote would show as +2 instead of +10 when they've gained 260 reputation for the day. What's to be so confused about?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 7:48
  • @animuson: seeing as everything else was being demystified, it seemed natural to have this added.
    – Necrolis
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 7:56
  • As for the league percentages, it looks like those are still being updated. They appear here on meta and on other sites, so I'd expect to see them showing back up at some point.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 8:00
  • 4
    The leagues need a massive backfill, which we've written code for but couldn't run last night due to us pushing our database servers to their limits running recalcs as fast as possible. The reputation leagues will be fixed today. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:06
  • @NickCraver: Great to know it hasn't disappeared :)
    – Necrolis
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:15
  • 2
    The rep tables have been backfilled and the links have returned :) Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:40
  • @NickCraver: awesome! now I can gloat over my league standings in percentages again :D
    – Necrolis
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:49

Do I need to change my mental model of how the rep cap works?

The behavior I'm used to: Suppose that on Monday I get 20 upvotes on question A, and then one upvote on question B. The upvote on question B is eaten by the cap. Further suppose that on Tuesday one of the upvoters on A retract their upvote. My rep total immediately decreases by 10, but I can regain it by triggering a recalc, because now the upvote on B can fit in under Monday's rep cap.

Is this still the case? The annoncement seems to say that the retraction of the upvote on A now counts as a separate reputation delta occurring on Tuesday, so my rep movements would be

Monday: 21 upvotes ~ 210 points, capped to 200
Tuesday: 1 unupvote

thus the net effect would be that I've gained 190 rep, in contrast to 200 rep in the old system.

Or am I misunderstanding either the old or the new system?

  • 4
    The old behavior remains here, you'd still get 200 rep on that day. think of it as when an upvote (that counted) from a capped day is reversed, you were instantly recacled...you'd get that 10 rep from another vote that was 0 previously because you were over the cap back then. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 2:08
  • @NickCraver: Okay, so in the reputation tab I would see +200 on Monday and a -0 entry on Tuesday for the unupvote? Or I'll only see the unupvote at all when it affects my total rep? Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 2:13
  • Honestly I've been looking at tens of thousands of numbers all day and the brain is fried...the 0 entry sounds right but I'll have to double check, will get to it maybe over the weekend. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 2:26
  • No sweat. I'll just see if I can get somebody on chat to conspire to upvote-and-retract the next time it seems like I'll cap. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 2:42
  • 1
    It turns out that such unupvotes get listed with no number next to them, like capped upvotes. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 6:15

Fix how deletions/reversals appear in history:

This has really confused some users, making it look like they've lost reputation for the day or that they are unable to "reach the rep cap" for the day. This is most thoroughly outlined by Greg Hewgill.

The problem is when content gets deleted or voting fraud gets reversed, it shows up for the day that occurs. This makes sense, because it allows users to quickly figure out why they lost reputation. However, it also confuses some users because the daily total is skewed by that event.

Original reputation history

Here, I lost 76 reputation because of voting fraud the previous day. I also received an upvote for an answer, which I later deleted for a net effect of 0 there, then got an upvote on a question and a downvote on another answer. My net gain for the day is actually +3, but it looks horrible because of that -76 which affects the +76 from the previous day.

A good fix would be to separate these reversal events into two separate counts. Whenever a deletion or reversal takes place on your account that affects reputation from a previous day, it should display as a separate number next to the number representing your gain (or loss) for the current day. Something like this:

Fixed reputation history

This would tell me that I've gained 3 reputation today, cool! It also tells me that I've lost 76 reputation from something, so I should probably look at it. Expanding would tell me that voting fraud was reversed which cost me 76 reputation, also cool! This should also be the case if you gained reputation (possible from serial downvotes). For example, if I had lost 76 reputation the previous day and that day has reversed those to gain me the 76 reputation back, it should display as +3 / +76 to show me that I'm sitting at +3 for today and I gained 76 from something else on a previous day.

  • I had to read your explanation to understand why the +3 did not match the total upvotes, and likewise why the -76 did not match all downvotes. I guess, to me, this means that such vote split is not very intuitive (especially given other places where such splits do split upvotes and downvotes).
    – Arjan
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 23:23
  • @Arjan: It's basically separating the values on the point of (what's happened today / things that affect other days).
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 23:25
  • I understand your explanation, but seeing it made me think you were reporting some bug. So, I kind of expect people to be confused by such vote split too. Of course, there could be a different rendering if people want such split.
    – Arjan
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 23:27
  • @Arjan: Perhaps there could be an additional separator between the votes that count for today's count and the events that count for the second value? That way the two sections are somewhat separated when the day is expanded.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 23:28
  • 3
    Word is that there are a number of changes coming shortly. Stay tuned.
    – mmyers
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 23:39

There seems to have been no distinction made between deletes and migrations. Migrated questions have been marked as deleted in the reputation tab, which is a little confusing...

Is it possible to distinguish between them? Or are migrated questions just marked as deleted?

  • 1
    Migrated answers on the source site are deleted, there's no plan to distinguish them at this time, that may change later. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:03
  • That explains that then, thanks @NickCraver... I know it's petty but my inner data wonk wants to distinguish between the two if possible. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:13

I'm sorry, but this makes me very angry.

Here is my issue: I worked really hard to build up my SO reputation. Like many things on SO, what you do on day x can be altered many days into the future, in ways that you cannot anticipate or expect.

For my account, my reputation suddenly went down by hundreds of points. Checking the "log", it appears to be for items where were deleted. But the deleted items were valid questions when I asked them.

Most troubling about this is that SO users are encouraged to display their reputation on others sites, and I do this with my blog. To have a sudden downgrade in my reputation, which is part of my blog public profile, is equivalent to slander and defamation, in my opinion [just imagine if you put your credit score on your website, and suddenly the credit agency changed the formula and downgraded you].

I've been suspicious of SO for awhile because of these changes, and my current thinking is that it is time to say goodbye. I've been a member since 2007 or early 2008 [I don't remember off hand], and it will be sad to leave...but the actions of the site are the problem, not anything that I have done as an active member of the SO community.

Does anyone else share this sentiment?

IMPORTANT UPDATE: My reputation was reduced by 380 points, the vast amount being for old questions which were deleted. These old questions were perfectly fine when first asked, but as SO (evolved/devolved), they were no longer valid and were closed...sometimes YEARS after they were opened. And now deleted. That's amazin[ly bad].

  • 2
    I don't think you were a member in 2007. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:33
  • It's not really new. You could have been 'recalculated' and lost those points too, maybe after being the victim of some serial downvoting. The plus here is that you will now have less (and smaller) sudden surprises. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:35
  • @Henk: my start date was an estimate, as I indicated. My reputation was displayed publicly on multiple websites for years [apparently artifically inflated]...what is worse: to artifically inflate, or to suddenly downgrade people like me? [either way, not anything which I did through my use of SO].
    – pearcewg
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:52
  • 8
    This isn't the first global rep recalc in history, there have been several -- there was one less than a year ago. So it's not like being a member forever means you took more of a hit; it's still only going to apply to stuff that happened since the last recalc. And it looks like you didn't even notice the others, so ragequitting now that they've finally fixed this behavior and it will never happen again seems kind of insane. Particularly over 380 rep, which you can literally recover in two days Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 15:37
  • 8
    Um, honestly, I don't consider gathering 3,648 rep points over the course of three years and five months to be "working hard." Now, if you were Jon Skeet and your rep got halved, I'd say you had a point...
    – user1228
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:04
  • 1
    Just realized I linked to the recalc that happened two years ago; here's the one that was last year Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:09
  • Joined Oct 1 '08, last seen 1 hour ago
    – ale
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:25
  • You’ve lost ~1% of your reputation. No big deal, right? Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 17:28
  • @Konrad - I wouldn't be commenting over 1%
    – pearcewg
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 17:31
  • @Al - Something isn't right with my start date. I took a new job in June 2008, and on the job before that I know I was a member of SO and had posted questions. I think my start date has been altered by SO at some point.
    – pearcewg
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 17:32
  • 1
    @pearcewg Sorry, I can’t count. But while I can empathise with your pain (the first rep recalc in history hit me even more (much more) severely!) remember that this change doesn’t actually come out of the blue. The new reputation is actually the real, legitimate score. The displayed score before was never the right one, it was merely out of sync with reality. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 18:54
  • 10
    This is THE MOST HYPERBOLIC ARGUMENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. equivalent to slander and defamation is pretty over the top. It's a bunch of fake points that don't mean anything and can't be used for anything, and are FREE TO GIVE. Huh?
    – JNK
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 19:42
  • 2
    Here is why my argument is valid: imgur.com/VrCN8 The vast majority of my downgrade in reputation is because the questions I commented on were deleted! That wasn't anything I did, but I'm being penalized for it. Bye bye SO.
    – pearcewg
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 21:50
  • 5
    Bye bye pearcewg Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:39
  • 2
    @pearcewg you aren't being penalized. It's a correction. You didn't LOSE anything, something was removed that should never have been granted in the first place. It sucks that you got so much rep from off-topic questions in the first place, but if that's your only contribution then don't let the screen door hit you on the way out.
    – JNK
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 17:06

Showing rep-changed due to removed up/down-votes and accepted answers could generate confusing noise:

A couple of days/weeks ago a colleague of mine (~10 rep) who apparently didn't quite understand votes or the general idea of SO, was repeatedly clicking the accept-answer button of an answer to his question (or up-vote, I don't recall which) in pure confusion. I tried to explain to him what this meant and what he was causing with this random clicking (I'm not sure if I managed to communicate the idea to him in the end).

Anyway, if all these actions would have been shown to the user who posted the answer, that could have caused even more confusion, but certainly some unwanted noise. Maybe this should be given some thought when implementing the new system (perhaps a one-minute undo-block, or something).

  • 1
    All of these events would be collapsed into a single title in the default view, which could then be expanded to see the separate events (all the accepts and unaccepts). This is a very edge case, so it's not really something they're worried about. See this related topic.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:21
  • 6
    I think your colleague may have been confused about how clicks work in general.
    – user154510
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:57
  • 1
    @MatthewRead: As far as I could tell it was a combination of not understanding the concept of reputation and the behaviour of the interface. If you catch users off-guard they will forget how to apply the most basic stuff.
    – bitmask
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 6:33
  • It seems like an edge case, but I was a bit surprised to see exactly this on my recent activity rep page today. A user accepted, unaccepted, and accepted the answer, within seconds. On the one hand, if that's what they did, showing it isn't wrong. On the other hand, we add hysteresis to systems sometimes for a reason. :-) Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:34
  • Actually, twice just today: i.imgur.com/o6TkV.png I suspect this accept/unaccept/accept is more common than we thought (presumably folks with direct access to the data can readily check). Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:40
  • It would appear that this accept/unaccept/accept and upvote/un-upvote/upvote thing really is very common; I've done a feature request to mute it a bit. Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 11:25

That 'Image thumbnail view/editor in JFrame' should show a 'correct' marking like threads 'How to use ProgressMonitor..' and 'Is there any way..', shouldn't it? Is that part of the new changes? Is it intended?

Rep. image

[Also: (grumbles) lost 176 rep. in these maneuverings. But that is just a comment, it seems it was part of the general re-calc.]

  • hmmm for example
    – mKorbel
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 7:30
  • 1
    Yup, this was a bug, thanks! A fix is in the next build and will roll out today. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:29
  • @Nick Craver please can you check my twice -15 (answer accepted) userProfile and with first from 01/march/2012 and second from 29/february/2012, errrhgt what's really happens with accepted answers,
    – mKorbel
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 12:42
  • 3
    @NickCraver Some things I especially like about SE sites. 1) Feed-back. 2) The proactive attitude of the folks who create and maintain them. :) Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 13:03

How does unaccept and accept works?

enter image description here

why they differs?

  • Same with me: meta.stackexchange.com/a/124207/180153
    – Andreas
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:28
  • See also the later What do the reputation values for unaccept and accept mean? by the same author.
    – Arjan
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:26
  • 1
    These are multiple events that were rolled up (the latest date is used for any rollup in the time view). But we can be a bit clearer here, I've added a tooltip in the next build that'll say "question was accepted 2 times" for example. In the post view you can expand to see each of these individual events. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:49
  • One interesting side effect I'm noticing (on SO specifically) is that there is a lot more volatility in the answers accepted, unaccepted, reaccepted, reunaccepted, and even rereaccepted - and that's just one answer for one question on one day (today). Ignorance was blissful. No harm done - it is interesting, that's all. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 18:25

I woke up to find that I'd taken a 3K+ hit. It's pretty shocking.

  • 4
    One thing this change accomplishes is that 3k hit will never happen again, instead your reputation will be kept in sync so you have no large surprises like this. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 15:51
  • This is the second time it's happened to me. I lost another 1K or so a year back. I suppose I'll just have to suck it up again.
    – duffymo
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 18:44

I can report a little sync problem. My rep on SO is currently reporting as 1 fewer than the true value. This has been so for an hour or so. I'm at the rep cap for the day and some post-cap downvoting followed by upvotes to return me to the cap level appear to have resulted in the discrepancy. Perhaps you had not intended that this behaviour (quite familiar of old) would be changed, but that 's how I read your post.

Anyway, as one SW dev to another, I thought I'd give you what may be a bug report.

  • Thanks David, there is indeed a very old problem here, but not one with an immediate fix...this is a core path used all over the place, so we need to analyze a bit before deploying a fix. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 1:30
  • I guess that means you need to leave the manual recalc code in place at least until you can tackle this. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 16:19
  • 2
    @Nick Ooh, the skew just fixed itself. Perhaps you've really got on top of this! Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 22:20

As for me, there's another issue behind these changes that is worth discussing.

As the FAQ says, reputation is a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you. That said, every person could go to a user's profile page and easily locate all his 'bad' questions or answers, because all of them were marked with catchy red color. That way, the reputation log served as a simple display of how often does this user make notable mistakes.

Of course, errare humanum est. But now, the profile page of an average user can get overwhelmed with red marks that immediately attract negative reaction. But the thing is, the user often has nothing to do with the fact that OP had changed his mind or pressed the wrong button. It has also become difficult to locate downvotes among all this new stuff.

I have been a member of StackOverflow only for a week, but I was kinda proud that my reputation log was almost completely 'green'. Until now.

What I'm trying to say is, maybe it's better to leave the detailed explanation of the reputation only for the user himself? Or at least provide some filters on the profile page that would allow to hide certain items if the person is not interested in them.

As an alternative solution, maybe there should be another color for 'unaccept'/'undownvote'/'unupvote' actions.

  • Why would it matter what color it is? If it was purple, would that be better? How about orange? Or pink? Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:27
  • 2
    @CodyGray: it would matter because it would separate failures from adjustments. A heavily downvoted question/answer is the user's fault (and should be red), but, for example, a "-30" for an answer to a deleted question is a system adjustment, and the user has nothing to do with it.
    – Yuriy Guts
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:30

This might be unrelated to the recent changes, but in case it is:

If a question is deleted by a moderator, a bounty is refunded. (And it might also refund the automatic downvote that occurs on closing?) Is that the expected/intended behavior?

And would the same apply when deleting one's own question? If so, then in theory, this might allow for: open a bounty on a bad question, still don't get any answers or get one answer but don't upvote that, delete the question, have the bounty refunded.


Yesterday I asked for deletion/migration of an off-topic October 2009 question of mine. It happened to have an old bounty (which was never awarded). And that bounty was refunded. Robert, who deleted it, confirmed he did not refund anything manually.

(I guess the +39 implies 50 bounty, 3 upvotes and 2 downvotes were reverted: 50 − 15 + 4. Google cache shows 2 net upvotes two weeks ago. So I guess Google cache actually shows +3/−1 and hence the 19:22 automatic downvote was the 2nd downvote, and was reverted too.)


Can we do/trigger recalculation by our own at https://stackoverflow.com/reputation or https://meta.stackoverflow.com/reputation (don't want to wait till automatic trigger or want automatic trigger but want to see how much reputation will be mine after recalc).

We can see there day by day votes,rep today, rep this week, rep this month, rep this quarter, rep this year,rep from bonuses, reputation from suggested edits. See below image.

enter image description here

  • 2
    I don't understand...are you asking something, or reporting a bug? Soon the recalc on that page will no longer be necessary, and will likely be removed (as it will have zero affect on anything...since you're always being kept in sync after these changes). Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 10:35
  • My query/ statement is that we can trigger recalculation by our own. But query is that button always there (every day)? Or it is kept only in this period(whenever recalculation is being done.) Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 10:54
  • Oh, that's been there for some time...that hasn't changed in recent history, but it will be going away, since the need for it to exist (reputation skew) is also going away. Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 10:56
  • Is there any problem if user trigger reputation recalc by own? Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 4:18
  • 1
    @NickCraver: I'd keep it for at least a couple of months, while the system shakes out, if only to give people a way to prove to themselves that it really works (you know what people are like). Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:29
  • @T.J.Crowder - oh we won't eliminate anything until we're sure it's rock solid, we'll be monitoring for any skews over actual for the next week at least. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:31

I don't think the new system is working properly on stackoverflow.

Your reputation will be correct at all times


This means your reputation will go up and down more than it has previously, but it will be in sync. To think of it more easily: imagine that a recalc will be done after every action in the system.

I take this to mean there can be no skew anymore. But I have ** total rep 8025 :) on the recalc page, and 8040 on the homepage (I tried a shift-refresh too). Anyway, just thought you might like to check it out.

enter image description here

  • Recently the rep calc changes have made the /reputation page and recalcs obsolete. My guess is that you got some added back for deleted posts which used to be removed, see here in the paragraph that starts with First about halfway down.
    – yhw42
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 3:56
  • thanks, you are probably right because i had some deleted post in the first question showing there in the supercollider
    – wim
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 14:02

Honestly, other than the benefit of everything being consistent in the back end - it seems a bit pointless to me. Thinking about the impact on the community, does it really matter that rep is reclaimed in such a manner?

For many people who have passed a landmark, or are approaching a landmark - you'll get an initial reaction of "why has my rep been stolen?" (sample size: 1 :)) - hey, I'm over it but its not a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

  • At some point in time, the same would have happened if for some other reason a global reputation recalc would be required. At that point, folks might lose even more reputation. And people did not complain when voting on questions became free.
    – Arjan
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:04
  • 3
    The benefit is being consistent in the front end. I agree that losing huge chunks of reputation sucks – but this already happened before, at every single rep recalc. From now on, it will never happen again (assuming there will be no change in the reputation algorithm). Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:07

Well, I managed to get my rep skewed again. Hooray!

Apparently the new system and the ghetto /reputation report disagree on how much rep I should have.

Today I hit the cap, took a 60 rep loss, and the new system put me at 3484 reputation.

/reputation said I should have 3499. So I recalced and apparently, this is now how much I have. I just received another question upvote that was lost to the cap, but still, /reputation now tells me I should have 3504.

  • 1
    Thanks, we'll take a look....we're seeing very, very rare skew cases now, we're tracking down where they're slipping through. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:30

If I look at my accounts tab here on this site:


I have a SO rep of 7181.

If I go over to SO, my rep is 6584.

I thought this was going to fix the rep to be updated everywhere instantly.

Guess not.

Anyway, I just lost 10% of my rep because some of the questions I answered got deleted. That doesn't seem right. I still answered the questions. People still liked the answers I gave. I'm assuming someone got some value out of them. But I lose out the benefit because someone comes along later and deletes the question? Bah!

The same thing happened the last time you guys did a global recalc. I lost ~10% of my rep then too. Do you ever consider how that will affect your users before you do something like that? This was one of the major reasons I don't come here and answer questions anymore. I figured, "what's the point? I'll just lose the rep later anyway."

  • The skew is due to the network aggregation needing a backfill, which will happen tomorrow. "Do you ever consider how that will affect your users before you do something like that?" yes, which is the entire reason for this change, reputation will now be in sync at all times, rather than global recalcs coming as a shock and a major rep change. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 1:36
  • @Nick Craver - my rep on SO today is 7696! But it doesn't show up here as that. Seriously, WTF? I think this system is broken.
    – BoltBait
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 17:40
  • We managed to break the aggregator again last night by recalcing 1.6 million users in a few hours...it's really not designed with this use case in mind. That being said, we hope to never do it again. Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 17:42
  • Have you considered hiring a Validation Team? Or, at least doing code reviews? ;)
    – BoltBait
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 17:45
  • 24 hours later and my rep is still not showing the same number on both sites.
    – BoltBait
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 19:14

Given the comment to another answer, there is a bug on the displaying of a link to a deleted question when it is upvoted. See the upvote on Jun 27 '11 to Games which can be helpful as a minor distraction in my reputation history.

  • FYI I can see the same issue here on meta.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 1:34
  • The links are only visible for 10k users, that's intentional behavior at the moment (and consistent with other places in the UI). Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 1:38
  • @NickCraver I'm only 928 here and 212 on Gaming, and the link is still there (on Gaming at least) when I'm logged out.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 1:42
  • @NickCraver NB I am referring to earlier upvotes not when the question is deleted.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 12:41
  • I assume this is now a known bug, but I'll just confirm it also happens for downvoted questions that are later deleted. That is the link to the question is still present for the downvote, although not for the deletion.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 3:32
  • In my comment above I meant "answer" not "question"!
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 10:18

It's not just deleted content whose points were lost! If you had upvotes on a question/answer that was later moved to a different Stack Exchange website...

...poof, the double-counted points are gone.


  • 4
    Yes, of course. They've always been gone, ever since the post was moved. Your displayed reputation score just hadn't been updated. Fortunately, that problem is solved for good now. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 7:13
  • 1
    Yup, this is by-design, because the content on the source site was deleted, immediately if not eventually (answers are immediate, questions later)...*but* you'll now get that reputation on the destination site within 5 minutes, rather than requiting a recalc. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:59

I don't unterstand why I have lost rep. Yesterday I had 1886 now 1825. Well I read that rep is decrised if I delete an answer. What's about an updated question where you see that your answer was horridly wrong, but not downvoted. Is that a reason to loose rep?

Well the Update is funny I can see that a guy accepted and unaccepted an answer two times^^

  • Same here. The OP talks about rep being a few hours off d/t delayed recalc from deleted posts, but unless a huge amount of posts have been deleted in the last days, I don't see why my rep would go down? Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:14
  • 2
    @MarcMutz-mmutz - this being in sync is just now the case, before your reputation was indefinitely out of sync until a recalc was performed (which we ran for everyone last night). This change is to keep your reputation in sync at all times, rather than these extreme changes due to an approximately yearly global recalc. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:03
  • 2
    @NickCraver: ah, "approximately yearly recalc" was the missing piece of info - thanks! Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:05
  • 1
    Yesterday I had over 14K, today I have 13K. So mine went down over 1000. SO basically, some day that was going to happen, they've just hastened the inevitable. I had lots of questions that got deleted because Stack Overflow changed over the years and turned into a "No Bikeshed" zone. As a fan of bikeshed questions, I get hit by this hard. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:13

enter image description here

I am not sure if this is known. But, on other sites, english.stackexchange.com in this example, the reputation shown is the old value (on the profile page). So, the old value was 1563(shown on english.stackexchange.com for stackoverflow) and now it is 1471 (shown on stackoverflow).

  • This will be fixed in a backfill this weekend...it was such a massive change of scores for well over a million users that the normal mechanisms for keeping the accounts data in sync just can't handle it. The backfill was planned anyway to recover from a hiccup a week ago, so we felt it was fine for this to be out of line for about a day until that happens. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:26

On my answer of this question : How to read query parameter value from URL using perl command , I've got a score of 5 points. How is this possible, according to reputation tab, it should be 65 points?

10   today
+10  1 hour ago upvote  How to read query parameter value from URL using perl command
145  yesterday
+15  20:36  accept  PHP Phone Number Replace Regex
+10  17:27  upvote  Javascript string regex /.*/gm does not catch all line at once
+20  16:45  upvote  If statement in javascript regex
+10  15:26  upvote  How to read query parameter value from URL using perl command
+20  15:20  upvote  Javascript string regex /.*/gm does not catch all line at once
+15  15:06  accept  How to read query parameter value from URL using perl command
-15  15:06  unaccept    How to read query parameter value from URL using perl command
+10  14:24  upvote  function declaration to function pointer declaration using perl
+15  13:59  accept  Euro symbol in PHP ereg_replace
+10  13:36  upvote  How to read query parameter value from URL using perl command
+15  13:36  accept  How to read query parameter value from URL using perl command
+20  11:30  upvote  How to read query parameter value from URL using perl command
  • You have 5 upvotes (+50) and an accept (+15), so the +65 you see is correct...is there something obvious I'm missing? Honest question, I just woke up :) Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:00
  • @NickCraver: Sorry, I've made a confusion between upvote and reputation points. That just because I've got 60 points less than yesterday evening and I don't know why. The similarity of these 60 points confused me. Nevertheless why these 60 points have disapeared?
    – Toto
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:09
  • those points were from deleted posts, the whole problem in the question of "reputation skew" is that when a post was deleted it never took effect until a recalc (which was performed for everyone last night). Now that deletion change will happen within 5 minutes and you'll see it in your profile's reputation tab so you know exactly what happened. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:28

Probably asking really dumb right here will get rather get me another rep dip, but I still don't understand what happened. My rep dropped by ~70 over night. I have not been active very recently, but I realized it was headed south when I just checked droidstack which I rarely do. Because of a slow 3G network I just saw my old rep and then saw it diminished.

I checked my profile and found no downvotes, unacc. or whatsoever. Plus I checked the network profile graph time line (please bring that one back to SO) and SO wasn't there. I only found programmers and statistical analysis.

So the question is: Do I just have to be a little patient to get my rep back? Or should I mentally prepare for never getting it back because what I see now is my true rep?

  • The latter is the case, what you see now is your true rep, it will constantly be in sync from now on. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:57
  • 1
    I’m surprised you even noticed a 70 point dip at your reputation level. But SO has a reputation graph. Better yet, the timeline display shows you exactly where you lost the 70 reputation points. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:06

Well something is wrong with the new calculations I think. Possibly related to unawarded bounty points. If you open a bounty on a question and do not accept an answer you lose the the bounty points. I think after the new calculations you not only lose all the points but also lose another half of the bounty that is awarded to the first answered question (or the one with the most upvotes or whatever the rule is).

  • If you do not award a bounty, the bounty is lost. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 15:22
  • Yeah sorry I mean you lose the bounty plus you lose another half of the bounty.
    – NVM
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 15:24
  • I assume you mean this question. You set out a Bounty of 250, you did not award it, so it was awarded by the system (You lose 250, the awarded user gets 125). See the Bounty FAQ for further information. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 15:29
  • Do you have an example you can point me to? Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 15:30

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