What's wrong with the below picture?

Right! +100 but still only 1 rep, and not suspended.

This is very confusing, only those who happened to see the spam in action (10k only) will know.

Can the -100 be visible in the user's reputation tab?

  • I agree, that would make sense and we already do that for reputation "lost" on bounties. Jan 16, 2014 at 15:42
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    For some users whose only purpose is to post SPAM, I have no problem. But for a legit user who made 1 mistake or has a post mistakenly deleted as SPAM, it can be an unfair black mark on their history. (I'm assuming the -100 would be somehow labeled as SPAM, if it will just show an innocent -100 for another reason, I have less of an issue) Jan 16, 2014 at 15:44
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    @psubsee2003 I see what you mean, but so is having a post with 50 downvotes. Jan 16, 2014 at 15:46
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    @psubsee2003, how about "-100 youthful mistake" then? :) Jan 16, 2014 at 15:47
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    I don't think it's fair to say that we should show this event on a user's history just for purposes of getting a better understanding of how a user has a certain reputation. Unless there's a specific reason why you need to see this information, I think it's better kept private. This isn't any different than a user only having had one post that scored high and then got deleted after the 60 day mark. They'll have some weird amount of reputation and no record in their history because it's a deleted post. Should we show all those too, so users can better audit their history?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 16, 2014 at 15:48
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    @ShadowWizard I could reference all of Jeff's -100 posts here :-). The difference as I see it is a spammer will always be a spammer and users will see them differently. A bad post does not have the same stigma as a spam post. Jan 16, 2014 at 15:51
  • @animuson good point about deleted post but still... it doesn't look right when we see +100 but only 1 rep. No specific reason I need it, other than prevent questions or bug reports like "see the rep, something is wrong here". Jan 16, 2014 at 15:51
  • @psubsee2003 it's not like we add a symbol to his display name or show a banner... only if one is looking on his reputation tab on the specific day when he spammed he'll notice this. Jan 16, 2014 at 15:52
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    I'd much rather there be something more subtle like an asterisk next to the day with a tooltip saying something like "Other events occurred on this day but are not displayed." Get the point across that there are events you're not seeing without actually displaying those events.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 16, 2014 at 15:53
  • @animuson might work, there is after all a "0" showing sometimes without further details what caused it. Jan 16, 2014 at 15:54
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    AFAICT, most spammers don't bother to get more than the default 1 rep anyway. Jan 16, 2014 at 16:02
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    @S.L.Barth true, but high rep users can still decide to rage quit and start spamming all over the place. Jan 16, 2014 at 16:11
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    @S.L.Barth also, the rep bonus doesn't die unless the SE account is destroyed. So if they have (or had) a 200 rep account somewhere, they can keep getting the +100 when creating new accounts. Jan 16, 2014 at 16:15

2 Answers 2


There are 2 sides to this coin:

  1. A real spammer whose account serves no purpose other than to spam the site. I fail to see the value of adding this info. The account would most likely get destroyed soon, so the info would only be available for a brief period of time.
  2. A legit user who made an innocent mistake, or thought promoting his product on various posts was acceptable, but then learned we don't like it and started to play by the rules. Or even worse, a user who had a post mistakenly marked as spam. For this case, why unfairly burden this person with a black mark in their reputation history? I realize that this isn't a big banner that says "spammer", but it is information that is impossible to find now (presumably due to privacy concerns, so why does it need to be published).

In the end, you are looking to add it so you can have a full accounting of the user's reputation. However, this doesn't always add up anyway because many different reputation events are hidden from normal users, such as reputation lost from having a post deleted and reputation lost from downvoting an answer.

If something had to get done, I'd be much more in favor of something similar to animuson's suggestion of an indicator that there are hidden reputation events, but even then, it doesn't seem necessary.

I'd also have less of an issue if the -100 would have a more innocent labeling than "SPAM post removed". But again, still doesn't seem like a huge need.


Note that this is the opposite of this bug report, where some "-100"'s were accidentally shown to other users.

I happen to agree with Nick's view that;

... we are giving users the benefit of the doubt that they can be better here as we always do - we feel hiding it from the world (but still visible to the user and moderators) is the correct approach.

I don't see why you need to see it, apart from seeing the numbers add up. We purposefully hide bad activity on users profiles, and this should continue to be the case in this circumstance.

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    Wow, totally forgot about that! (I did see it before and even upvoted Nick's answer) guess status-declined here is close than ever then. :-) Jan 16, 2014 at 16:26

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