17

Ever seen this post? Read it carefully, if you didn't. Mysticial's explanation is great.

To summarize the problem:

  • You register, start with 1 rep.

  • You posted an answer that was up voted 10 times, so you are now at 101 rep.

  • You offer 100 rep bounty on some question.

  • You are now at 1 rep (but you have 10 times up voted answer).

  • You delete your +10 answer.

  • But you still at 1 rep, system understand that you couldn't offer a bounty if you hadn't rep to offer it. So it gives you rep change and you rep is 1 now (otherwise it would be -99).

  • Now you undelete your answer and have back 101 rep, as if you hadn't offer any bounty - you get rep back for undeleted answer, but rep change is still there, but it should be reversed so as you are back at 1 rep.

As you see, that is a small problem. If I'll undelete back my post, rep change that occurred doesn't get reversed. So this is feature-request before I get suspended (however it is a very important bug). Remove rep change events if post is undeleted.

21
  • 16
    So that's what you've been doing?.
    – Bart
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:19
  • @Bart you see, I said it.
    – nicael
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:19
  • Wow, this question is a bit popular!
    – nicael
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:26
  • But then we will not be able to catch users who game the system. Jun 19, 2014 at 13:26
  • @Sha My request prevents gaming the system. The thing is I delete post, get rep change, undelete it, but rep change isn't reversed, so I earn rep.
    – nicael
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:28
  • 2
    It can't be reversed because it means you'll have negative reputation. I think you are well aware of this and just trolling now. Not cool. Jun 19, 2014 at 13:31
  • @Sha Oh. Then how did I earn rep? A? Edited.
    – nicael
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:36
  • 3
    @nicael I'm not 100% sure about this, but I'm sure you're exploiting a possible bug in the system to earn "free bounties". Jun 19, 2014 at 13:41
  • @Sha Not really free. Especially 500 rep bounties. For 500 rep bounties I lose 50-100 reps. (if offer one). For 300-400 rep bounties I don't lose much rep and even gain it sometimes. For 50-150 rep bounties I gain rep 20-50 (but only when I have not much rep, otherwise I pay full bounty price, thats because I offer only 500 rep bounties last time - to minimize damage). And, btw, look at my rep tab in my account.
    – nicael
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:45
  • 3
    OK, so you are up to something. Point proven. You should really stop now and earn rep like everyone else. Jun 19, 2014 at 13:47
  • @Sha but I anyway get suspended (will be really surprised if not, however I immediately undeleting all my good posts, ok?). And when I look at /reputation, do you know what I see at the bottom? ** rep from bonuses: 4609. ))) Many bonuses had I earned, isn't it?
    – nicael
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:49
  • 1
    What can I say, you found the secret treasure. Jun 19, 2014 at 13:52
  • 1
    @nicael true. now that's cool. Jun 19, 2014 at 14:15
  • 19
    +1 for finding a loophole, -1 for exploiting it, +1 for reporting it
    – mhlester
    Jun 19, 2014 at 16:35
  • 1
    @Sha I am back to my 1,243 rep! Even more than I have before!
    – nicael
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:52

2 Answers 2

28
+500

Thanks for the report, a fix for this will be rolling out to the network shortly. The users affected by this will be recalculated to reflect the loophole fix.

We were adjusting rep adjustments for bounty compensation as a matter of fixing historical data before rep was real-time. However, we did not remove them.

We now no longer blindly apply reputation adjustments chronologically in the rep calculation just before the bounty where they occur in history. Instead, we now check the adjustment each time, make sure it matches what's already there, and update or insert the adjustment if it's not already correct.

39
  • May I check? ;)
    – nicael
    Jun 20, 2014 at 16:23
  • You... I... Fixed, yeah?.. Uaaaaa!!!!!!! No. I'll break it again.
    – nicael
    Jun 20, 2014 at 17:12
  • 3
    @nicael good luck :) Jun 20, 2014 at 17:14
  • 2
    A hole.. certainly there is a hole... where is it?..
    – nicael
    Jun 20, 2014 at 17:15
  • Do you know how many reps I earned from bonuses? ** rep from bonuses: 4217. Hoho. Stack Exchange is generous. Wait. I just realized that I wasn't suspended.
    – nicael
    Jun 20, 2014 at 17:18
  • 1
    So this my post is historical now? No more "rep changes"? (Please don't delete it, simply close it or lock).
    – nicael
    Jun 20, 2014 at 17:22
  • @nicael: sounds like it still applies, but now the calculation is more accurate. Jun 20, 2014 at 17:47
  • Wait, stop! First bounty on meta.stackexchange.com/questions/231498/… is real and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/231060/… are real bounties!!!
    – nicael
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:08
  • @nicael I have removed all bounties which you couldn't have chronologically given without this exploit as part of the global cleanup for you and the one other user (whom this looks to have inadvertently happened to). The cleanup is now complete, you can issue any bounties with your current rep that you desire - no more cleanup to do. Jun 21, 2014 at 11:16
  • You forgot to return a bounty on meta.stackexchange.com/a/231289/259214. Make it anonymous like others.
    – nicael
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:40
  • @nicael There's no bounty left on that question, did you mean to link to something else? Jun 21, 2014 at 11:42
  • There was 350 rep bounty. In revisions of question I see only that I added notice without bounty. And, yes, I mean this question.
    – nicael
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:43
  • @nicael yes - which you weren't actually eligible to offer when it was offered, it was removed as part of the chronologically accurate cleanup. Jun 21, 2014 at 11:44
  • No. Look at comments. I had 371 reps and and only 21 left. It was the real bounty, my first bounty, I didn't know how to game bounties then.
    – nicael
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:46
  • 1
    Nick, is it expected behavior that unwitting participants would lose their earned bounties? this post of mine was a lot of work, and while it still says +500 next to it, the reputation has disappeared. If it's by design, no worries. Just checking.
    – mhlester
    Jun 21, 2014 at 16:10
7

I'd been giving this some thought, and came to the same conclusion you did: once your reputation exceeds the amount of the rep change, it should be reversed with a second, negative rep change


Furthermore, I think undeletion events should trigger a bump, to bring attention to the acts. You've been undeleting this answer every time you post a bounty, and I see this in my profile each time:

But only those who downvoted you see anything. A bump would bring a lot more accountability and exposure.

This has been requested here: Bump a deleted answer when it's undeleted, not when it's edited


Lastly, it seems like any rep change events might warrant an automatic moderator flag. These are supposed to be exceedingly rare, but I assume of the 5650 rep you've offered in bounties, about 80% of that was actually through this shady method. A moderator warning would probably have stopped you much sooner.


At least you're not using sock puppets like this guy who's had 14 user was removed events in his 7 months on Stack Overflow

7
  • 3
    @nicael It's not that person's fault or responsibility when you gave them ill-gained reputation, when they had no knowledge or participation in it. Which mhlester did not. Jun 19, 2014 at 17:14
  • 1
    The only potential 'irony' here would be if mhlester was saying what he did here after being a willing recipient of your exploit-gained reputation. That's the only way your comment above makes any sense. Except that's simply not true. Jun 19, 2014 at 17:28
  • The day I posted this answer was the day I learned of the stack overflow sock puppets and the prevalence of the rep change hack here. My answer was valuable information and an actual diagnosis of where SE's math is wrong, bounty or not. When I figured out what you were doing, I flagged your accounts for moderator review.
    – mhlester
    Jun 19, 2014 at 17:36
  • @nicael I know full well what irony is, what the timeline of events related to all of this is, and who "this guy" is. Your attempts to play smart aleck here are not helping you. Jun 19, 2014 at 17:39
  • 3
    @nicael, please keep in mind I've voted on your posts objectively both before and since. I upvoted your post here. And this one. And yes, this one. But feel free to continue unupvoting and downvoting my old posts if you think my flagging your account was inappropriate given what I'd learned from the information you made public.
    – mhlester
    Jun 19, 2014 at 17:45
  • 1
    I think it was plenty direct, with a sprinkling of humor in how I phrased it. Anyone clicking through knew I was talking about you. You called yourself out for the sock puppets when you posted that your graph was wrong (this one again), whether intentional or not.
    – mhlester
    Jun 19, 2014 at 17:56
  • Sorry for misunderstandings! Ok, now I understand the humor )). Sorry again.
    – nicael
    Jun 19, 2014 at 18:02

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