4

I am told that votes are anonymous, and I think that's awesome.

But I can't help notice that downvotes are explicitly recorded in the form of -2's on our reputation pages, conveniently next to the question or answer they pertain to. And following that discovery, clicking over to a different user's reputation page shows all their -2's as well.

Doesn't this spoil the anonymity factor? Or is SE just shooting for anonymity through obfuscation?

  • 2
    +1, because I thought the same thing, but w.r.t. -1. However, you've got your "-2"s confused. You lose -1 for down voting (an answer), they lose -2 for being voted. Remember, down voting a question costs the voter nothing. :-) – Greenonline Mar 11 '15 at 5:42
18

The -2 you see on your own profile is for your reputation loss when someone downvotes one of your questions or answers.

Similarly, the -2s you see on other people's profiles are the rep lost when their Qs or As are downvoted.

You don't see anything in other peoples' profiles corresponding to when they cast downvotes. There is no rep lost when someone downvotes a question, so there's nothing recorded in their profile, and the -1 that people lose when they downvote answers is not shown to other people via reputation pages (as in your question).

  • ah, thanks for clearing that up. – erich Mar 11 '15 at 4:30
  • So if I downvote 237 posts (with my current reputation), people will still see that I have 357 reputation? While I'll have 120? – Tomáš Zato Mar 11 '15 at 11:35
  • @TomášZato No. The total reputation will be the same to everyone (up to some possible delay). On the other hand, the effects of downvotes you've cast won't show in your public rep breakdown or daily rep change numbers (for example here). If you downvote that many times relative to your rep as in your example, a sharp observer might notice the discrepancy. – epimorphic Mar 11 '15 at 20:01

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