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Most of us have seen on the profile page a loss of reputation citing as a reason "User was removed". This reason comes with the useful link: learn more which explains (emphasis mine):

This message means that a user who voted for one of your posts had their account deleted (either by request or due to violating the network's terms of service). As a result, all of their votes were removed, and the reputation you gained or lost from them was undone. The resultant reputation change could be any amount; it could even be a reputation gain if enough of the removed votes were downvotes. All the reputation changes from a single user's deletion are rolled into a single event in the reputation page labelled "User was removed".

This removal occurs whenever a user is deleted, unless that user had a very high reputation score. Because high-reputation users have usually cast a great many votes, removing all of them could be that much more disruptive to other users. In such cases, the staff use a special deletion that preserves the votes, resulting in no reputation change for those who had been voted on by that user.

However, I have got recently such a message on one of beta sites, where I have no posts. Here is my reputation tab on that site. As you can see, I have only got points from association bonus, one suggested edit and the last event in my reputation history is the reputation loss with the message 'User was removed'. (Notice that the post, where I made suggested edit, was not deleted. And the users who approved the posts are Community♦ and one another user, who did not delete their account.)

You can also see from my profile on that particular site that I have posted no questions/answers there so far. Which means there are no votes on my posts which could have been removed.

Why this did happen? How can I lose reputation points in this way if I have never made a post on that site?

I am not sure if this is a . (Feel free to remove the tag if it does not fit the question.) (EDIT: The answer and the comments posted so far indicate, that it is not a bug, so I have removed the tag from the question.) But if there is some reason why reputation posts can be lost even without having some posts and actual votes on the posts, then the description of "User was removed" seems to be a bit imprecise. (Of course, if it is a very rare edge case, it is probably not that important to have it included in the explanation.)


Just a short disclaimer: I do not care that much for the 2 points I lost. (Obviously, it would be very silly to make a fuss just for 2 points, and even more on a site which I do not frequent that much.) But if this could be indication of some hidden bug, it might be interesting to know more about this.


I have also noticed two related questions

In both cases in some answers or in comments as a possible explanation was given that probably a post, where a suggested edit was made, has been deleted. As you can see from the links I, this is not the case here.

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In this case, the user who approved your edit was removed (his approve vote was assigned to Community). It means you couldn't get rep because of approved edit (but your edit still exist because at that time it was considered to be good and therefore approved).

  • That would certainly explain it. I would expect to see the username greyed out, similarly as on posts from deleted accounts. I wonder whether such behavior is documented somewhere. The only related thing I see in the faq is that Community user becomes the second acceptance vote on an edited suggested edit. I did not notice there mention of Community user taking votes of deleted users. – Martin Dec 5 '14 at 7:52
  • According to this faq post, another situation when Community♦ appears to approve edits is if someone chose improve in the review queue. But in that case I would not be listed as the last person having edited the post. – Martin Dec 5 '14 at 7:57
  • @Martin I can't find it anywhere now, but if a user who completed any review is removed, his name in review is replaced with "Community", thats 100%. – nicael Dec 5 '14 at 7:59
  • @Martin Greyed out appearance is associated with posts formerly owned by user. Votes cannot be without an owner, even deleted votes -- so their owner is changed to Community. For example, bounties (also a type of a vote) are transferred to Community if the user is deleted prior to expiration of bounty. Approval of suggested edits is also a kind of a vote. – user259867 Dec 5 '14 at 8:02
  • That seems to make sense @WarmFuzzies, I did not know the thing about bounties or deleted votes. Since you both are experienced users and you write that you are sure that this is the case, I'll take your word for it. I'll wait some time whether somebody will add something more to this discussion. I will try to remember to come back here and accept an answer - so far at least +1 from me. – Martin Dec 5 '14 at 8:07
  • @Martin Confirmed by SE developer here... or so I thought, but that discussion is quite muddled. – user259867 Dec 5 '14 at 8:16
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    @WarmFuzzies that is talking about editing a post that got deleted, which will roll back the +2. I don't think I have seen this instance (where an approver gets deleted) documented anywhere. – psubsee2003 Dec 5 '14 at 11:21

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