The "Recent achievements" icon doesn't highlight when one only has recent reputation losses.

I'd like it to highlight whenever my reputation changes, positive or negative - in fact I'd suggest it's far more important for me to review posts that get a downvote than those that got an upvote.

Is there a reason negative reputation events don't cause it to highlight?

  • The graph icon shows a drop in the fourth position. Not that this implies anything of course... Feb 4, 2014 at 20:29
  • 1
    It is a long standing design decision - we don't give real time notification of negative things.
    – Oded
    Feb 4, 2014 at 21:16
  • 1
    @iStimple So then why are negative rep events still shown inside the Achievements dropdown? Aug 7, 2014 at 18:33
  • More discussion: Display lost/negative reputation in topbar achievements Aug 7, 2014 at 18:37
  • @Oded how come bounty is negative thing? Nov 13, 2014 at 10:20
  • 1
    You lose reputation, @Sha.
    – Oded
    Nov 13, 2014 at 10:23
  • 1
    @Oded true, but bounty is a positive action, not negative. Maybe have the counter ignore rep loss due to bounty, i.e. getting an upvote after starting a bounty will bring the +5/+10 even if I did not click the icon? Nov 13, 2014 at 10:25
  • 1
    Not a bad idea. feature-request? @Sha
    – Oded
    Nov 13, 2014 at 10:28
  • @Oded never too late, but turns out there is already such a feature request. If you can do anything about it (even just poking the team from the inside) it would be great. :-) Nov 26, 2014 at 14:55

2 Answers 2


We want to let you know about good things as soon as they happen - that's what our real-time notifications are for.

Negative reputation changes are... well... negative. So we are not in a hurry to let you know about them.

  • 25
    So for users interested in improving questions that receive downvotes, there's no notification for them, by design? Seems like a gap to me.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 4, 2014 at 21:30
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    @AdamDavis - What's the immediacy? The information is one click away, in the achievement dropdown, even if not highlighted in a notification.
    – Oded
    Feb 4, 2014 at 21:36
  • 27
    Your question suggests that reputation increases have more immediate value than decreases, but a little critical thinking should demonstrate the opposite. Posts receiving downvotes need more immediate attention than those receiving upvotes. I, in fact, want notices on all voting activity, but right now don't get such notice for reputation loss, nor community wiki upvotes/downvotes of any kind - those don't even show up in the box.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 4, 2014 at 23:00
  • 2
    But isn't the rep loss from posting a bounty a negative change with an inherently positive connotation? (Same with downvoting answers or deleting your own posts, but those aren't as confusing as the bounty issue) Dec 30, 2015 at 21:34
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    This is terrible logic because it's a change to our reputation, and we need to be notified of changes to our status immediately. Please revert that decision so that we are always notified of a reputation change @Oded
    – TylerH
    Dec 30, 2015 at 21:58
  • @TylerH - this was an early design decision - long before I started working at SO. I don't expect it will be changed, however unpopular it is (fact is - they rep change shows in the dropdown, it just isn't notified)
    – Oded
    Dec 30, 2015 at 22:02
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    I just find the reasoning of "we don't want you to know when bad stuff happens to you", well, basically indefensible. Were the implementers afraid of hurting our feelings or what? It's leading to some really confusing situations (that's 3 separate links, btw)
    – TylerH
    Dec 30, 2015 at 22:06
  • 3
    @Oded can it make configurable, so that the user can deside if he will see downvotes or not? Think that will be better design.
    – Jens
    Aug 17, 2016 at 9:10
  • @Jens - that would be an additional check on every single page load. And a setting that would be used by a very very very small number of people. It is not worth doing.
    – Oded
    Aug 17, 2016 at 9:21
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    This is terrible reasoning. Positive changes might make somebody happy but negative changes are more important because they indicate something that you might want to address. The purpose of the indicator shouldn't be some kind of pleasure-centre stimulant. It should be to notify you of important events. Negative events are at least as important, if not more so. Nov 14, 2018 at 15:32

I'd suggest it's far more important for me to review posts that get a downvote than those that got an upvote.

I quite agree. A downvote could mean there is something wrong with your post such as being off-topic, inappropriate, abusive etc. etc., that requires a bit more attention than the extra 10 rep an upvote gives you.

Oded said

Negative reputation changes are... well... negative. So we are not in a hurry to let you know about them.

I heartily disagree. You should know about them as soon as possible, for the same reasons I gave above.

So no, I don't think there is a reason, but there should be one. If this is by design, it really shouldn't be.

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