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If I downvote an answer, is the lost reputation visible to others in my profile?

I'm sure this has a potential of a chain of downvotes due to the title, but it's the best I could find,

Let me explain the use case

  1. User A writes an answer / question
  2. User B down-votes it
  3. User B has a -1 in their rep history view
  4. User A goes to the profile of User B (e.g. he/she has commented, added competing answer etc)
  5. User A sees -1 on the reputation history of user B, exposing him/her from anonymity

I do try to leave comments when I down vote, but sometimes I don't think a comment will be helpful..

(and it's completely ok to downvote without leaving a comment according to what I read here)

Is the downvoter's privacy somehow protected from this use case? Does SO "hide" the -1 from user A?

  • I did search first, had a feeling I was not the first to ask. didn't find this one, feel free to close as duplicate
    – Eran Medan
    May 10, 2012 at 6:24
  • User A could probably tell by deleting their answer, waiting a few minutes and seeing if User B's total rep score has an unaccounted for increase of +1 AFAIK May 10, 2012 at 11:24

4 Answers 4


In theory yes, it is hidden. When another user views your profile, only public reputation changes are included. Even if you downvote ten answers, no change will be displayed. For example, here's the latest day of my MSO rep history:

What I See

a view showing -19 reputation

What Others See

a view showing -20 repuation

However, your reputation scores of previous days are exposed in your global profile, so in some cases it's possible to work things out.

  • 1
    Aha, I knew it, it was you who downvoted my question this morning... :)
    – Eran Medan
    May 10, 2012 at 6:22
  • 1
    @EhrannMehdan I can't remember or check whose post I downvoted, but it would have been an answer. Question downvotes are free. :P
    – Jeremy
    May 10, 2012 at 6:28
  • You can check it for yourself. The "votes" tab has returned after a long hiatus. May 10, 2012 at 6:40
  • @TheEstablishment I thought he was talking about the now-removed post, which wouldn't be visible there.
    – Jeremy
    May 10, 2012 at 18:45

The downvotes you make aren't visible to others on your profile, only to you and the unicorns.

However, when you receive a downvote to one of your posts, those are visible to everyone. In other words, anyone can see downvotes that are cast upon you, but no one can see downvotes that you cast upon others.

  • 2
    "only to you and the unicorns" I can neither confirm nor deny this. May 10, 2012 at 8:50

Don't worry; your identity is safe. You can't see the -1s on anyone else's profile.


No, you can not see this information. Others have explained this. One thing that can be visible, and this is only if you are really paying attention, and the downvoter has been active on a certain post - maybe they made a comment or maybe posted a competing answer, is that you can simply see the reputation of the downvoter go down by 1.

This really would be an assumption, but if there is someone who has voiced their disapproval of your post (in a comment for example),

  • then you get a downvote
  • then you see that their reputation went down by one...

In this case it would be safe to say that they are the downvoters - but, it could be coincidence...

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