I know that if someone upvotes my question I get 5 points, if they like my answer 10 points, and if they get removed I'd loose 5 or 10 points this way.

I am puzzled though because I just found this on my Stack Overflow account:

-4  19 mins ago    removed User was removed

how can you lose 4 points? I.e. for what? I'm assuming that this is perhaps 2 × 2pts?

I get 2 points if I accept someone's answer, does this mean the user who provided two good answers to two separate questions to me was removed and I lost these points, or is there another explanation?

I looked here https://meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#reputation and it also mentioned +2 points for edits, but I don't recall getting points for editing, and would this mean I edited posts by the same user twice?

Just curious, still trying to understand the whole rep system.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I lost 4 points total. I assume — perhaps incorrectly — that this might be due to 2 × 2 points since I couldn't think of another way getting to 4 points.

(I don't mind the loss of 4 points, I just want to understand.)


Thanks everyone, it must have been the residual points from reaching the daily cap as I was rather active on SO over the summer so I consider the mystery solved (and now also aware of other ways this could have happended). Everyone got an upvote for their help.


4 Answers 4


On another day this user finished off your rep cap going from 196 to 200 from pure upvotes, contributing only 4 actual rep points from an upvote on an answer rather than the full 10 it would have been if you weren't capped.

Another vote has taken its place after the user was removed so it's impossible to show you this on a public reputation screen (we just happen to have a lot of developer reputation debug tools for testing the last re-write thoroughly)...but that's why you have a 4 point vote in there.

Note: You didn't actually lose 4 points total (since another vote stepped in), if you look at May 25th, 2012 you'll see it shows you as +4 over the cap there. I'll take a look at the display for this edge case next week, but I'm not sure we can show it any better without a huge effort/cost to do so.


It looks like one of three things happened.

  • You accepted an ansewr from a user, and that answer got deleted with the user, which would remove the +2 you received for accepting (as Servy pointed out, you don't have any questions without an accepted answer, so this is not the case)
  • You suggested an edit to a post, and it got approved, but the post was deleted when the user was removed
  • As Yannis suggested, the user may have upvoted you late in the day when you were 4 points short of the rep cap.

Another unlikely possibility is that the user upvoted one of your questions and you downvoted one of their answers (+5 and -1 makes for +4, so removal would be -4).

  • #1 can't be the case here, as the OP has no questions not marked as answered. In general though, it could be the case
    – Servy
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:19
  • Right. Just saw that part of your answer. Editing...
    – yoozer8
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:21

You probably edited two of a user's posts (when you had less than 2000 rep, so requiring a review) and when their account was deleted, the edited post was deleted, thus reversing the rep gain.

In theory it's possible that someone who answered two of your questions (which you marked as the accepted answer) deleted their account, but I see you currently have no questions that don't have accepted answers, so that couldn't be the case here.

  • Hm, the OP is claiming they lost 4 points, not that they got it back.
    – yannis
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:14
  • Could this happen with edits? Do questions disappear along with users? If they do, so should edits. And they're worth +2 each (unless you've already scored 1000 on them) Aug 22, 2012 at 14:14
  • @YannisRizos Yeah, noticed that. New guess now.
    – Servy
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:15
  • 2
    It could be that the user removed had approved a couple of the OP's edit suggestions - but I'm not sure the 2 rep bonus for suggested edits goes away when the approver goes away... Another guess would be that the +4 was an actual upvote on one of the OP's questions or answers, but it didn't fully count as they had hit the rep cap for the day.
    – yannis
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:16
  • @YannisRizos It wouldn't go away if the approver deleted, but it would go away if the owner of the edited post went away.
    – Servy
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:17
  • Ah, yes, that's right.
    – yannis
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:18

OK, think I cracked it.

You have plenty of questions on Stack Overflow, the removed user has probably upvoted two of your questions and downvoted three others.

2 upvotes = 10 rep
3 downvotes = -6 rep

When removed, reverse:

-10 + 6 = -4 points.


  • There are 10 quesitons
    – yoozer8
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:58
  • @Jim he means his Meta profile as far as I can tell. Aug 22, 2012 at 15:01
  • 1
    He linked to the Meta FAQ about reputation (likely because he was on Meta while posting this question), but at the beginning of the question "SO account" is specified (I've since expanded that to "Stack Overflow"). Additionally, there is a -4 on Stack Overflow, but not Meta.
    – yoozer8
    Aug 22, 2012 at 15:02
  • @Jim Yes, you are right on all accounts - I thought that meta was the place for these sort of questions, and I did look for the FAQ here. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
    – Levon
    Aug 22, 2012 at 15:08
  • @Jim correct, but my assumption stands still - upvoting two questions and downvoting three results in losing 4 reputation when the user was removed. Aug 22, 2012 at 18:40
  • @Levon - you have any new lead? Aug 22, 2012 at 18:41
  • @ShaWizDowArd Right, you'r answer is a completely valid explanation of how this could happen. However, as it turns out, it was a rep cap issue in this particular situation.
    – yoozer8
    Aug 22, 2012 at 18:59
  • @Jim yeah, can't beat Nick.. ;) Aug 22, 2012 at 20:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .