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I seem to be constantly confused by how the reputation system works - just when I think I've worked it out, something else crops up that confuses me further.

My understanding is that the following things do not count towards reputation cap:

  • Bounties
  • Accepts
  • Unaccepts

However, as you can see from this screenshot, I have capped at 235 reputation:

enter image description here

What happened here is I've had a bounty for +50, and an unaccept for -15, which fair enough, would under normal circumstances equal 235 reputation if I had already capped at 250 reputation - but I have received a bunch of upvotes afterwards which have not taken any effect against my reputation, and since unaccepts and bounties don't affect your reputation cap, I would have expected my reputation to have capped out at 250 again regardless.

My point: In the event that I had not received the bounty, I would have still been able to earn 200 rep regardless of the unaccept. If I hadn't received the bounty and I had received the unaccept would not have been capping at +185? If not, why does it behave this way when there is a bounty involved?

What am I getting wrong here? Do bounties and accepts/unaccepts actually factor into the reputation cap?

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Your cap never changes, you did not cap at 235, you caped at 200 then you got an additional 50 for the bounty and lost 15 points from that.

Remember, the cap is 200 not 235. You got bonus points.

If you had not gotten the bounty then you would have lost points unless you later got points putting you over 200.

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  • In the event that I had not received the bounty, I would have still been able to earn 200 rep regardless of the unaccept - that is my point – Flyk Dec 17 '13 at 16:49
  • The un-accept was taken from the bonus points not the rep cap as I said in my answer. – Hogan Dec 17 '13 at 16:51
  • I was not rep capped when I got the bounty, as it clearly shows in the screenshot, I got a bounty, I got an unaccept, and then I rep capped. – Flyk Dec 17 '13 at 16:52
  • I can't see the screen shot, (firewall), but this is what I would expect. The bounty does not count to the rep cap, so it looks like the rep cap happens later, but it doesn't. Bounty is just shown in the total but not part of the calculation to rep cap. – Hogan Dec 17 '13 at 16:54
  • No, it's not a case of "looking" like it happened later - I got upvotes 2 hours after the bounty was issued and got reputation from those upvotes – Flyk Dec 17 '13 at 16:55
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The cap only applies to question up- and downvotes, you get at most 200 points for those.

Accepts and un-accepts count separately, as do bounties. This applies to negative changes too. You gained 200 points from upvotes, you gained 50 points from a bonus, and you lost 15 points due to an un-accept:

200
 50  +
 15  -
------
235

The same logic applies to placing a bounty; the -50 for a 50 point bounty would not be recoverable by additional upvotes.

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  • So if I hadn't had the bounty, I would have rep capped at 185 reputation (considering I hadn't rep capped by the time I got the unaccept and got further upvotes which gave reputation after the unaccept)? – Flyk Dec 17 '13 at 16:59
  • You would have had 185 rep, yes. Again, the cap only applies to upvotes and downvotes; additional upvotes won't count even though you lost points due to an unaccept. – Martijn Pieters Dec 17 '13 at 17:00
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    Ok thanks - that's all the clarification I actually needed! – Flyk Dec 17 '13 at 17:01
  • Look at it this way: if you had capped on the day you gained that accept, you would have had 215 points. Together with this day, you'd have 400 points (2 times 200 for the capped upvotes, and +15 and -15 for the accept and unaccept). – Martijn Pieters Dec 17 '13 at 17:01
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Succinctly, the unaccept (as accepts) does not count toward your reputation cap for the day.

The cap takes effect at 200 positive reputation from votes, which excludes bounties and accepts. Let's start with that: +200 from upvotes. Then, the unaccept counts -15, bringing the total to +185. Then, you had a +50 bounty, totaling +235 reputation.

To separate it out: +200[votes](cap) - 15[accepts] + 50[bounties] = 235; they are separate in calculation.

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    I was not rep capped when I got the bounty, as it clearly shows in the screenshot, I got a bounty, I got an unaccept, and then I rep capped. – Flyk Dec 17 '13 at 16:53
  • @Flyk Please reread my answer; neither acceptances nor bounties count toward the rep cap. Only reputation from votes is capped. – user206222 Dec 17 '13 at 16:55
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    Since we're obviously talking about different things at this point, explain this to me: take the bounty out of the equation, would I have rep capped at 185? (200-15)? – Flyk Dec 17 '13 at 16:56
  • @Flyk Yes, that is correct. – user206222 Dec 17 '13 at 16:57

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