If Community is a background process and not a real person then why does its profile show that it has votes cast, and how does it cast them?

How can it decide which answers to upvote or downvote?

See the massive number of upvotes and downvotes cast in its profile:

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  • 4
    It uses advanced artifical intelligence. As you can see it's learnt to become very critical. – PeterJ Apr 28 '14 at 7:17
  • well those answers not give the technical explanation. – Pratik Bhiyani Apr 28 '14 at 7:24
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    Though upvotes are not officially explained, most likely they belong to deleted users. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Apr 28 '14 at 7:24
  • @iPhoneDev technical reason is to preserve history of the votes. Deleted posts still got a score visible to 10k users and mods so the score needs some record somewhere. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Apr 28 '14 at 7:25
  • @Shadow Wizard Thanks for explain. – Pratik Bhiyani Apr 28 '14 at 7:26
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard Mind putting that answer in an answer? – doppelgreener Apr 28 '14 at 7:35
  • @JonathanHobbs too late, unless you think this is different enough to justify reopening? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Apr 28 '14 at 7:50
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    Perhaps it's better to appropriately update the duplicates @ShadowWizard. – Bart Apr 28 '14 at 7:58
  • @Bart but dupes don't really ask for the reason so it feels bit weird. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Apr 28 '14 at 8:00
  • Voting to reopen since the dupes don't call this out. The community user owns downvotes on posts, but that's not the votes that Community cast - it's the ones it received, which aren't tracked. – doppelgreener Apr 28 '14 at 8:31
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    @ShadowWizard - Though upvotes are not officially explained, most likely they belong to deleted users. Do you mean upvotes by deleted users belongs to the Community user? – Himanshu Jansari Apr 28 '14 at 9:24
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    @hims056 when a user with lots of activity is deleted, sometimes the team is manually transferring the important things to Community user to preserve them, most likely this includes upvotes so that it won't cause a big rep loss for many users. This is just a guess though, so prefer a dev to confirm before including in an answer. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Apr 28 '14 at 9:45
  • @ShadowWizard I know of at least one instance on SO where that was indeed the case. – Flexo Apr 28 '14 at 17:30
  • Cheers @Flexo, Kevin already gave the answer. +1 to him! :-) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Apr 28 '14 at 17:46

There are a few automatic downvotes, which get attributed to the community user.

  • Spam/offensive flags add a downvote
  • Questions closed for certain reasons used to get an auto-downvote. They no longer do, but the old ones are probably counted in the totals you see.
  • Very Low Quality flags that are dismissed as helpful trigger an automatic downvote.

Normally when a user is deleted, their votes are deleted as well. However, in exceptional cases, i.e. when removing all their votes would be disruptive to the community, their votes are transferred to the community user so they aren't deleted with the account. That most likely accounts for the upvotes.


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