This happened recently: a user removed his account and some users (including me) lost some rep points from votes coming from that (ex-)user. Is this 'standard procedure'? Do the reps associated to the votes all go

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(source for poof: here)

  • 1
    Yes, it is standard procedure.
    – Pekka
    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:45

3 Answers 3


As the others said, all the votes ( upvote or downvote ) get reversed. You can see the proof in your reputation history. Just go to reputation tab and there will a option to select at the last just like below, just tick that mark,

enter image description here

when you will tick it, you can see the removed votes from your reputation ( in case the use who vote up/down your question/answer is get deleted ) just like below image.

enter image description here


Yes, any rep you earned by votes from a user that later deletes their account all goes poof.

Don't sweat it. It happens to the best of us. In the grand scheme of things, this happens very rarely and will be a very small percentage of your reputation (unless the only thing you ever did is get rep from that user!).

This is actually by design and for the best. The most frequent reason a user gets deleted is not because they decided to leave the system but because their account got identified as a duplicate or sock puppet created specifically to create forged votes. The fact that these votes are removed from the system is a GoodThing(tm).

  • 2
    Well whatever... The User giveth - the Deletion taketh :D
    – Count Zero
    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:55
  • There are other ways to deal with sock puppets, merging the users or having SE invalidate the votes directly. There is no need to couple the vote removal to account removal, as not always both is desirable. Aug 17, 2012 at 10:30
  • Of course the flipside is that any rep lost by downvoting a particular user is reinstated.
    – Widor
    Aug 17, 2012 at 11:34
  • 1
    @MadScientist - Invalidating votes requires intervention by the developers, and that takes the time of a couple of people. Merging can have serious consequences if done wrong, and we're only supposed to do that when the socks can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be from the same person. It's sometimes more efficient to just delete suspected socks that have posted one or two plagiarized or garbage answers or questions, then proceeded to vote exclusively for someone. No one will miss those accounts, and you don't run the risk of giving the wrong people access to accounts via merging. Aug 17, 2012 at 14:59
  • @BradLarson There is a lot of potential improvement in the sock puppet workflow, vote invalidation should be available to mods (with confirmation by a second mod or maybe only community team members). But I still think that users requesting self-deletion and dealing with vote fraud need entirely different tools, we shouldn't try to do those with the same one. Aug 17, 2012 at 15:40
  • 1
    @MadScientist - I'd definitely second a feature request for the ability to selectively invalidate votes between users. That would save a lot of dev harassment on my part, and could be an effective way of decoupling user deletion and vote fraud cleanup. Aug 17, 2012 at 15:52

All votes are currently deleted when a user is deleted, both upvotes and downvotes.

I don't think this is the right behaviour for users that request self-deletion and I posted a feature request to change this a while ago: Don't throw away all votes when a user is deleted.

  • 1
    That presupposes the idea that account deletion is something between themselves and SO. It's not. Deleting an account is something that should only be done in truly extreme circumstances. It's not something that should be at all encouraged. And removing votes is part of that. Deleting an account hurts the community, and people who ask for it are informed of that. Deleting an account means to become an unperson. And unpeople can't vote. Aug 17, 2012 at 10:38
  • 1
    @NicolBolas SE stops you from changing your votes after 5 minutes (as long as the post isn't edited), why should users suddenly be allowed to undo all their votes when they request deletion? The account removal hurts the community even more when you remove information (in the form of votes) along with the account. Aug 17, 2012 at 10:45

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