When a user's rep gets bloated because of serial upvoting, and as result the user is given the association bonus, shouldn't that association bonus also be reversed in case of serial upvoting reversal?

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    Nah, like badges, they're something that are earned and not taken away, except in heinous cases. This must be such an edge case that it certainly won't happen automatically; if you know of a specific case, where the serial voting was definitely a sock puppet, probably better to let [email protected] know. If it wasn't a sock, I don't think a user should be punished because someone else serially up-voted them.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jan 9, 2014 at 13:46
  • The association bonus isn't even removed if the account that resulted in the bonus is deleted. Jan 9, 2014 at 13:52
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    @psubsee2003 Since the purpose of the association bonus is to confer privileges to people who have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the system, and account deletion doesn't wipe all declarative and procedural memory of the site from the user's brain, it makes sense that association bonuses survive deletion of the accounts that facilitated them. :) Jan 9, 2014 at 14:03
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    @EliahKagan that's certainly a fair argument, but I look at it from the perspective that if the account is deleted by a moderator, there was a good reason for it, so the user may not necessarily be deserving of those privileges Jan 9, 2014 at 14:05
  • @psubsee2003 Site-specific moderator actions never affect privileges on other sites; I think it wouldn't make sense for them to do so in this special case. What about someone who has accrued 100+ rep on a site where their bad behavior is not effectively recognized and stopped, and then tries the same tricks unsuccessfully on another SE site? In this situation, the moderators who noticed the problem can talk to moderators from the other site(s) and/or to the SE community managers. As far as I can tell, the situation you're describing is a special case of this scenario. Jan 9, 2014 at 14:08
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    @Eliah as a moderator of database administrators, I deal with activity and behavior I observe on my own site. I don't go and see if the user behaves the same way on any of the dozen or so other SE sites unless the behavior is particularly egregious (and even then I just mention them in the moderators' general chat room, I don't go and confer with moderators of specific other sites).
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jan 9, 2014 at 14:32
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    Should? Yes. Would? Unlikely. :( Jan 9, 2014 at 14:38
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    @Eliah and again, you're talking about a user who has potentially done absolutely nothing wrong, except be the "victim" of serial up-voting. While you might think this could only ever happen due to a sock-puppet, put your reverse psychology hat on for a moment - isn't it equally possible that a nefarious person could use their own account (or their own sock-puppet account) to serially up-vote someone else, to try to make them look bad? And finally, I don't know if this edge case is worth investing any resources in at all. Reaching the massive rep level of 100 does not allow them to rule SO.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jan 9, 2014 at 15:25
  • @AaronBertrand Your recent arguments for my position complement mine quite nicely, and I agree with them. :) In particular, since moderators probably don't check users' contributions on other sites, their actions should not have deleterious effects on users' accounts on other sites. It seems we agree that automatic removal of association bonuses would be too dangerous, especially if triggered by mere account deletion on another site. Jan 9, 2014 at 15:44
  • @AaronBertrand If a user was at 100 rep and then because of serial voting (s)he crossed the 200 rep mark which got him/her the Association Bonus. Now because that was received wholely and solely through serial upvoting then in case of reversal (at 300rep) shouldn't that too be reversed/taken away? It's not punishing it's just the right thing to do, and if that is pinishing then the reversal is too. Jan 10, 2014 at 6:39
  • @BleedingFingers I don't tend to agree. If I hit 10K and then blow 9,500 on bounties, should I lose my 10K privileges? What if I was the beneficiary of enough uncaught serial voting to push me over 10K? Anyway, it's a question of focus here - do we really need to spend time worrying about this edge case where some user got to 100 rep or 300 rep through serial up-voting? How often do you think this actually happens? I get plenty of suggestions rejected because of a low incident rate. And I think the consequences of this going unchanged are far less severe IMHO.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jan 10, 2014 at 18:36
  • @AaronBertrand If I hit 10K and then blow 9,500 on bounties, should I lose my 10K privileges? You actually do according to the privileges table (which I personally don't agree with). What if I was the beneficiary of enough uncaught serial voting to push me over 10K? Lucky you, you should have been caught and all the 10k taken away. The issue not about edge case, but about what is logically sound. I agree with you, that probability of this happening is most likely low, but the feature's deserving and should be expected. Feb 2, 2014 at 21:28
  • @BleedingFingers Leaving serial crap out of it for a moment, you don't lose 10K privileges after reaching that limit, even if you later dip below (through bounties, a ton of down-votes, etc). I'm not sure how you determine that from the privileges table; that wouldn't make any sense to me. If I've earned 10K privileges by reaching 10K, it's because I've demonstrated that I have the knowledge and experience that earns those privileges. If I later "lose" some of that reputation because I offer bounties, I haven't also given away the knowledge and experience that got me there.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Feb 2, 2014 at 21:40
  • @BleedingFingers the case we're talking about here (100 rep from the association bonus) is an even far less concern than flirting with 10K. Given how trivial it is to get 100 rep, undoing it will be inconsequential - either the user is going to go away or they're going to earn that 100 rep back in short order anyway. In order to change the current behavior, you're going to have to come up with a pretty compelling case about how this change will make the site better (and probably concrete examples where it might have made a difference to specific users).
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Feb 2, 2014 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Yes! The associate bonus which was acquired wholly and solely through serial upvoting should be revoked when the serial upvotings are reversed. Provided after the reversal the rep drops below 200.

When the cause itself was not legit and was curbed/reversed there's no point in letting the event/association bonus be left standing. It should be taken away.

Ok let the badges (if acquired as a direct result) be an exception. After all badges don't earn you any privileges and/or extra benefits.

Bit extreme but worth considering:

The votes given on other sites using the benefits of that association bonus should also be reversed.

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    sounds like way too much work for something that rarely happens. Apr 17, 2015 at 12:40

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