Just occasionally, I lose two rep as if I've been downvoted, but no downvote shows in either my own rep tracker or the one on Stack Overflow itself. It's just happened now — my reputation went up 13 since my last check, which was one accepted answer and one "invisible" downvote.

Would a downvote which was cancelled have this effect, which would then be erased on the next recalc? Or is there really a downvote out there, but I just can't see it for some reason? Is there any way a rep recalc could cost me just two points?

I guess this is likely to be a question only Jeff and the team can answer for certain, but I'd like to see some educated guesses too :)

(Obviously, the amount of rep involved is inconsequential — I'm just interested in the anomaly. Once I know why it happens, I probably won't even care much about whether it will be fixed....)

  • You have "your own rep tracker"? Could you elaborate? – balpha Jul 4 '09 at 21:33
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    @balpha: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/883/… – Kyle Cronin Jul 4 '09 at 21:37
  • I have seen this behavior a couple of times, too. – xmm0 Jul 4 '09 at 21:41
  • Rep recalc run; you clawed back 16 – Marc Gravell Jul 4 '09 at 23:56
  • Thanks Marc: it would have been easily worth it just to know what was going on, but it's even nicer to know that when it does happen, it'll only be temporary anyway. – Jon Skeet Jul 5 '09 at 7:47

If you were at your rep limit and was awarded 15 through an accepted answer, a downvote would take away 2, and then if it were removed you would still be unable to recoup that rep because you were technically over the limit and any further upvotes would not count.

I posted an example similar to this in my suggestion about banking reputation points.

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    I think this is probably it. I downvoted one of Jon's posts (sorry Jon!) then undid the downvote. It does not appear in his tracker (though I can't say if it appears on the one on SO) but he's still down 2 rep. – Kyle Cronin Jul 4 '09 at 22:30
  • Ah, that's probably it. I suspect the effect will be undone on the next recalc. – Jon Skeet Jul 4 '09 at 23:09
  • And it anyone's been testing it by downvoting me and undoing it several times - yes, that has had an effect! – Jon Skeet Jul 4 '09 at 23:11
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    Right - will accept this answer when TheTXI has hit the rep limit today. – Jon Skeet Jul 5 '09 at 7:46
  • Jon: If you wanted to go ahead and award it I wouldn't mine. I'm not sure if there is going to that much activity on the Meta today to give me a lot of opportunities to hit rep limit. – TheTXI Jul 5 '09 at 9:50
  • @TheTXI: You're on 110 for the day now, so I'll hold on. You never know :) – Jon Skeet Jul 5 '09 at 13:01
  • Jon: Looks like I am capped out today (even though it says 150). – TheTXI Jul 5 '09 at 21:58
  • The universe will Punish you for downvoting Jon Skeet. – devinb Jul 6 '09 at 20:51

I'm seeing a downvote now, if you look at your tracker: for this answer.
Maybe it didn't show up immediately?

  • Unfortunately no, that's not it - that one showed up as well. – Jon Skeet Jul 4 '09 at 23:09

Could just be latency, I've found the Recent page a bit slow or inconsistent at times (question related to this)

I've no idea how your reputation tracker gets it data, but if it's screen-scraping SO, the site being a bit slow would explain that..


Rats! You've caught on. Just think in 25 years at 2 points per day we could have gotten you back to a normal human's rep.


  • Actually I suspect you could quite possibly take rather large amounts of rep off me, if TheTXI's guess is correct. I doubt that anyone will though. – Jon Skeet Jul 4 '09 at 23:12
  • Although it seems someone thinks it's funny... – Jon Skeet Jul 4 '09 at 23:24
  • Jon -- all in good fun. It's probably not a big deal since it only kicks in if you've exceeded the daily rep quota. I suspect that you pretty frequently exceed the quota and may be affected by it more than the rest of us. – tvanfosson Jul 4 '09 at 23:31
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    The thing that bugs me is when I've exceeded the quota, then cast a downvote (losing 1 rep), then decide better of it. No getting that point back. Actually had a case where I changed my mind again later and re-cast the downvote so losing 2 points in the process. – tvanfosson Jul 4 '09 at 23:33

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