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I have been using Stack Overflow for 2 years and 9 months. I really like the way this site works. But I am totally amused by how someone else's wrong deeds cost me my hard-earned reputation points.

I many times check my reputation loss and find the message "-10 user was removed". Come on, why am I losing points for someone's wrongdoings? I just answered to help someone. I don't know personally whether he/she has the right intentions.

I have lost roughly 40-45 reputation points because of this. I have referred to all posts regarding this on Meta but didn't understand why this was required.

Is it time for policy change on Stack Exchange?

marked as duplicate by Josh Caswell, Caleb, Manishearth, Madara Uchiha, Danny Beckett Jul 6 '13 at 11:06

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    @animuson: Yes, I have seen that but I am still not clear on why is there no policy or process change on how the moderators delete accounts of users without affecting users who have gained points through rightful ways. I think this needs a change in process. The post you are referring to was posted in Mar 2012, It is more than 1 year now but everything still remains the same? – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 5:32
  • @animuson: You recently edited my question and added my answer in my question and deleted my answer. In post: stackoverflow.com/questions/3855000/… Can you please explain me where was I wrong, so that I can learn about it and keep that in mind from next time. – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 5:36
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    That answer was not an answer, it was further information on the errors you were receiving. – animuson Jul 6 '13 at 5:38
  • @animuson: Ok I really am thankful to you. I accept it. I was only 4 days old on Stack Overflow then and didn't have much knowledge about what was wrong and what was right. Thanks again. It would be great if you can give a proper explanation on my lost reputation when any user to whom I have answered is removed. – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 5:42
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    Consider voting rings - where people upvote each other not on the value of the content, but knowing each other. When a user from such a ring is deleted, do you think everyone they upvoted for should retain that reputation? – Oded Jul 6 '13 at 6:57
  • @Oded: I have a great respect for you because of your contribution. I understand what the situation is. You need to check the voting patterns or voting rings and only if it is found illegitimate or highly suspicious, then you can just undo the votes and revert the reputation of those particular members involved in that. But blindly doing it for all users who are in a way associated with that account has no point. Here as you are doing this, it is injustice to 95% active member and only 5% users are taken to justice by this process. Please improve it. You can consider this as a Feature-Request. – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:13
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    I get your point, Parth, but... this happens very rarely, and usually for a very small number of points. – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Jul 6 '13 at 7:16
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    Guys, Downvoting this post won't make any change. It is not a question where in I am asking or begging for any free points. I felt this is not right process to deduct reputation without any involvement in wrong deeds and hence I would request for an open healthy discussion and feature-request. If you feel that downvoting it would suffice the purpose. Go Ahead and do that – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:19
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    @ParthBhatt: Downvoting the post should affect you - because you should understand that it means that people disagree with you. Voting is different on meta – Jon Skeet Jul 6 '13 at 7:20
  • @JonSkeet: Yes Jon I understand that and I have high regards for all you big contributors to StackExchange but then this doesn't solve the issue. Why deduct points (of legitimate users) on any user account deletion? You can surely deduct all points if there are some illegitimate voting patterns found with that user. That is what I feel. What is your say? – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:27

Don't pay so much attention to rep. If losing 45 points means so much to you (when you have over 8000) then you should consider your reasons for contributing on Stack Overflow. Take comfort in the value you're providing people, not a meaningless figure next to your name.

Yes, rep is nice, and losing it can be a bit disappointing - but it's only a very small amount, very rarely, and not worth worrying about.

Given that in some cases the user removal is for voting irregularities, I wouldn't want to waste the developers' time making the system more complicated to allow some votes to be removed and not others. It's just not important enough for that.

  • Jon, I agree with you, particularly on that last point - but to be a devils advocate, how much coding would need to be done? It sounds like it would be complicated. – user226423 Jul 6 '13 at 7:32
  • Yes Jon I understand the value of contributing to people and that is why I love spending more time here. Very nice and precise explanation. I understand it and have considered that I am here to contribute to people and give my best from what I have, no matter what my rep is. – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:34
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    +1 for a nice and convincing answer. Thank you Jon Skeet :) – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:34
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    @Damien: Well it would require a UI to allow moderators to decide which votes should be maintained and which deleted, and the relevant logic behind the scenes. Then there's the moderator time required to make that call. – Jon Skeet Jul 6 '13 at 7:34
  • @JonSkeet ah yes, I can see that that would be a bit of a nightmare - not worth the hassle. – user226423 Jul 6 '13 at 7:36
  • @JonSkeet: Yes you are right. Its not required feature as it happens only sometimes and also it shouldn't bother or affect a real "CONTRIBUTER". – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:40
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    ROFL - reading Jon Skeet classifying rep as "a meaningless figure" feels a bit like Bill Gates saying "money isn't everything" ;-) – Roger Rowland Jul 6 '13 at 8:29
  • I don't know about you, but I ONLY care about the rep. – clickbait Jun 3 '16 at 21:55

I believe that yes, when a user is deleted, you lose any points they attributed to you - this happened to me on Biology.SE recently. I am not worried though, with good quality questions and answers - you'll be able to regain those points and more in no time.

Best bet, just keep on posting great, helpful and informative questions and answers.

  • Yes it is true what you just said. But the process needs to improve. As we spare quality time to earn each reputation point and help others and share our knowledge. So each point matters as it is hard earned. :) – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:16
  • @ParthBhatt true, but a balance needs to be maintained as some are deleted as known trolls or have caused trouble, or persistently write poor quality questions and answers. Also, some people just choose to no longer be a part of a site and opt for deletion. – user226423 Jul 6 '13 at 7:19
  • But then the deletion of accounts should not affect the user accounts who are associated with it (in a rightful manner). If the voting rings or patterns are found illegitimate then they may deduct reputation points, that is not a problem at all. – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:22
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    @ParthBhatt what if someone rage-quits or trolls, and decides to spam the site with deliberately incorrect votes? Even votes that show no suspicious pattern can have been cast with bad intentions. – John Dvorak Jul 6 '13 at 7:26
  • @JanDvorak: +1 for nice point. I understand that it is required. Thanks for bringing this point to my attention :] – Parth Bhatt Jul 6 '13 at 7:36
  • @ParthBhatt you're welcome, and +1 for you taking on people's viewpoints. – user226423 Jul 6 '13 at 7:40

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