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What does “user was removed” mean and why did my reputation change because of it?

Today I was downvoted by some user, but when I try to find what was the question on which I was downvoted, I see this message: "-20 User was removed"

Was the user a spam user who downvoted me multiple times and was removed by SO? Will I get -20 back if it was a spam?

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    See here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/126470/… :) – Rory May 16 '12 at 19:10
  • As Oded said, you lost it because someone up-voted your answer, but your answer was removed because the question was removed because the user was removed. The person who up-voted your answer may or may not have been the user that was removed. Even if they were the removed user, it’s not necessarily because they were bad; they may have simply chosen to delete their account. – Synetech Dec 8 '13 at 19:58

You got it backwards.

A user who upvoted some of your posts in the past was removed from the site and the reputation they gave you was removed with the account.

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  • 1
    Ouch! That hurts... – Holf May 16 '12 at 19:38
  • @Holf - Consider that some deleted users are sock puppets (not implying this is the case with the OP). – Oded May 16 '12 at 19:52
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    Haha, to be clear, I didn't create users to upvote me :P – zengr May 16 '12 at 19:53
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    @zengr - Wasn't trying to imply so, but to explain to Holf that though it is painful, sometimes the pain is self inflicted ;) – Oded May 16 '12 at 19:54
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    @Oded - Absolutely agree, it needs to be kept in check. Some might even go to the lengths of posting 'Ouch! That hurts...' in their devious desire to appear legitimate and play the system. Mwah-ha-ha-ha! – Holf May 16 '12 at 20:32

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