Say someone gets a Mortarboard due to serial up-voting. I know that badges can't be reversed. But, votes can. This case is somewhat interesting and I'm curious. Today (over Physics.SE), this user got a load of up-votes. In fact, we were discussing about the upvoter & the reversing scheme (see the whole transcript). Within a few minutes, the guy cleverly used this 200 rep. to offer a bounty over this question

What I'm wondering is: The engine has recorded the pattern of votes. It will definitely do the reversing. Now, this guy only has 25 rep. The minimum rep. score that a SE user can have is 1. So, the score can't go negative (neither zero).

So to be clear, what would happen tomorrow? Can the system be cheated this way?

To future viewers: The problem has been resolved and the bounty has been revoked. See his profile. I think the rule has been implemented that Bounty shouldn't be awarded if one experiences serial upvoting

  • Barring moderator intervention, the votes would get reversed and the user will get a "rep change" entry in his history.
    – Mysticial
    May 25, 2013 at 17:48
  • @Mysticial: So, you agree with me. OP loses only 25 rep..! Let's see tomorrow ;-) May 25, 2013 at 17:51
  • Add this in transcript: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/71/conversation/nonagon
    – ABC
    May 25, 2013 at 17:51
  • 5
    Correct, the OP's rep used for the bounty is essentially free.
    – Mysticial
    May 25, 2013 at 17:53
  • This little thing caught my eye. :D
    – hjpotter92
    May 25, 2013 at 17:57
  • @hjpotter92: Yep... Well, we can't understand that big-number. Actually, I can't digest that -1049..! Any questions explaining that? :D May 25, 2013 at 18:04
  • 5
    This situation has been brought to the attention of the team. Human intervention will be necessary to prevent the system being gamed in this way. May 25, 2013 at 18:06
  • so he has two accounts or his friend upvoted him... May 25, 2013 at 18:47
  • 3
    Pffft physicists... always looking to bend the rules of the system.
    – slugster
    May 26, 2013 at 3:48
  • @slugster: Hah..! Declared as "physicist" before completing my undergrad course :P May 26, 2013 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


When a deletion or a reversal event causes a bounty to make a user's rep go negative, a "rep change" event is added to the user's history to "give" the user enough rep to place the bounty.

So barring moderator intervention, the upvotes will be reversed and a "rep change" event will be registered to give the user enough rep to leave him with 1 rep after the bounty.

In such a case, yes the rep used for the bounty is essentially free.

  • I don't quite agree with your last line. Poor guy doesn't know whether some cruel scheme like serial-upvoting actually exist in SE..! Moreover, he's a new user... Mystical - Be merciful. BTW, I'll select this answer based on tomorrow's result ;-) May 25, 2013 at 18:06
  • 4
    That's kinda what mod messages are for - to give the user a polite warning that some behavior isn't allowed.
    – Mysticial
    May 25, 2013 at 18:08
  • Mod messages are totally Okay. But, Isn't suspension cruel for a newbie..? Anyways, it's totally upto the team. I'll check it out tomorrow..! ;-) May 25, 2013 at 18:10
  • @ϚѓăʑɏβµԂԃϔ: No. also when newbie was himself once interested in it.chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/9477267#9477267
    – ABC
    May 25, 2013 at 18:12
  • @007: Like I've said already, if he really wants to, he should include it in the about-me ;-) May 25, 2013 at 18:13
  • Us non-mods don't know if this is truely a new user. If it not the first time, then a suspension is possible. That said I'm not a mod so I don't know what the policies are.
    – Mysticial
    May 25, 2013 at 18:13
  • 1
    @Mysticial: BTW, non-mods can check out the user profile. It shows 33 days. Isn't that a good evidence for new user? May 25, 2013 at 18:18
  • 5
    I hate to sound negative but non-mods can't tell if a user has other accounts. I'm not trying to imply that's the case here, but I'm just suggesting another possibility.
    – Mysticial
    May 25, 2013 at 18:25
  • @Mysticial: Ahh... I see your point. BTW, You being a non-mod had actually guessed the truth ;-) May 26, 2013 at 4:49
  • @ϚѓăʑɏβµԂԃϔ I've seen enough of these cases where I can instantly identify them with a low chance of false-positive. But nevertheless, I usually hesitate to jump to conclusions since I can't see anywhere near as much information as mods can. :)
    – Mysticial
    May 26, 2013 at 4:55

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