Here is a theoretical sequence of events. Which one is incorrect?

  1. A user with about 80 rep finds an answer which is wrong. It might do damage to someone following its advice, etc. and is generally a good candidate for a downvote (and comment).
  2. The user clicks downvote, once or more times (does this later cause multiple downvotes to be cast?). To simplify discussion, the user will only downvote an answer, not a question.
  3. Each time the user clicks downvote, s/he gets a popup box saying "Thanks for the feedback! Once you earn a total of 125 reputation, your votes will change the publicly displayed post score." (That should probably specify "downvotes" rather than "votes" as the upvote privilege has a much lower threshold.)
  4. Through other actions on other questions, the user's rep reaches >= 125 but < (125+number of downvotes previously entered).
  5. The user's pending downvotes are cast.
  6. The user loses 1 rep for each downvote.
  7. The user is back under the threshold for the downvote privilege.
  8. The downvotes cast are reversed because the user no longer has that privilege. (The bounty page notes that privileges are lost when rep drops below the privilege threshold.)
  9. As described on the reputation page, in the event of undoing a vote, "the corresponding reputation loss or gain will be reversed as well."
  10. Loop back to step 5.

Which of these steps is not a reflection of what actually happens, or is there an infinite loop here?

Edit to reflect comments/answer: It's the italicized ones.

  • 3
    Pretty sure Step 5 doesn't actually happen, although I think it probably should. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 4 '15 at 16:38
  • 1
    Yeah, it doesn't. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 4 '15 at 16:54
  • Well, that takes care of the follow-up question on how many of them would be cast if any. – WBT Sep 4 '15 at 19:26

Step 5 and 8 are incorrect.

  • Votes aren't "queued up". They are cast if you have the rep, or they turn into anonymous feedback if you lack the rep or are logged out.
  • Votes are not reversed if the user loses the privilege to cast them. So even if you drop below 125 rep, all the downvotes you've already cast will stay.

Either of these will break the cycle.

Also, if votes were removed when the user lost the ability to cast them, then it would wreck havoc when an established user with a lot of votes gets suspended since their rep is temporarily set to 1.

  • But, when an account is deleted, the votes that were cast by that account (usually?) disappear, right? – Scott Aug 25 '17 at 19:41
  • @Scott Correct. When the votes are deleted, they disappear completely as far rep calculations go. But they'll still up as "user removed" events in the rep history. – Mysticial Aug 25 '17 at 20:04

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