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I am curious about reductions in reputation that are not due to removed posts, changes in accepted answers, or recalculations of reputation scores--in short, reductions in reputation that can be attributed more directly to the user who experienced a drop in reputation. An example might be flags for rudeness.

Is there any way to view such reputation changes and immediately identify their cause (e.g. type of flag)?

I realize that downvotes to questions/answers are easily accessible on a user's profile, but the reason for such downvotes are not immediately clear. One could go to the respective question/answer and hope for a comment that explains the downvote or otherwise try to figure out why a question might be downvoted, but such a strategy seems rather tiresome. Hence my search for a more immediate/direct way.

Some of my attempts:

  • I can find a history of my flags, but as far as I understand this history only contains flags that I assigned, not flags that others assigned to me. In addition, based on this feature-request I believe that even if there was a way to view flags assigned to me, this might not mean I can also see the flags assigned to other users.

  • I can view the reputation changes of users (myself and others) by replacing username and userid in http://stackoverflow.com/users/userid/username?tab=reputation. There I can see downvotes. As flags for rudeness result in a 100 point reduction in reputation, I should theoretically be able to infer from reductions in reputation whether a flag was assigned (although I might not be able to infer which flag has been assigned, so that would still not solve my problem).

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    Are there cases other than too many spam/abusive flags that cause reputation loss? How does that loss currently show in the user profile reputation tab? – Cai Sep 8 '16 at 15:29
  • Serial voting reversal is one that clearly shows why someone lost reputation (assuming they were the recipient of unlawful reputation through voting). – Werner Sep 8 '16 at 15:49
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    I'm not sure what you're asking. Downvotes are different from validated spam / offensive flags and the difference is pretty clearly indicated in reputation histories. If you're the recipient of a post being destroyed as spam or offensive, that 100-point penalty is clearly labeled. – Brad Larson Sep 8 '16 at 16:46
  • @Werner vote reversals show in the reputation tab though, if I remember correctly? – Cai Sep 8 '16 at 16:49
  • As for seeing flags cast against specific users other than yourself, that is a terrible idea. – Cai Sep 8 '16 at 16:54
  • @Cai: They do show in the reputation tab, yes. The question didn't seem to mention anything about invisible reputation loss though. – Werner Sep 8 '16 at 17:02
  • Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, I thought that is exactly what the question was asking... – Cai Sep 8 '16 at 17:04
  • @Cai, I might have phrased my question not well enough. I was wondering whether it was possible to study sanctions on SO quantitatively. While I would need to be able to track individual sanctions (and their reasons), ultimately I am not interested in individual users, but in (anonymized) averages. I realize now, however, that such an undertaking would not be possible. – Flo Sep 9 '16 at 8:16
  • @Werner, I did not know about vote reversal, although, if I understood correctly, in most cases vote reversal is attributable to a user other than the one who experienced the (incrase and) reduction in reputation. – Flo Sep 9 '16 at 8:20
  • @Flo Ok well if you're looking for data averages etc you didn't make that clear. The point is though, you can see the reason for reputation changes, I'm not aware of any that don't show a reason (assuming the -100 spam penalty is shown as is suggested by previous comments). Flags are a separate issue though that aren't and shouldn't be visible. – Cai Sep 9 '16 at 8:22
  • @Cai, apologies for the unclarity and thanks for bearing with me. I do not entirely follow when you say that "you can see the reason for reputation changes". I get that the reputation history shows whether a positive change in reputation was due to an accepted answer/upvotes, but I am unsure about how that works for negative changes in reputation. Do you think it would be best if I ask another question on meta in which I try to be more precise and also ask about what you mean when you say that reputation changes and their reasons are visible? – Flo Sep 9 '16 at 8:33
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    @Flo you get negative reputation changes from downvotes (either by or against yourself) or from vote reversals or from spam flag penalties, all of that is clearly stated next to the event in the reputation tab... I'm not sure that warrants another question, you can see just by looking at your profile. – Cai Sep 9 '16 at 8:40
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    You can see an example of how a vote reversal looks here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/181907/… – Cai Sep 9 '16 at 8:41
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After a lot of digging, I found an example of what the abusive flag looks like in a (another) user's reputation history:

15+10=-75

Note that the -100 rep penalty is NOT listed as an event. (I'm a normal user; I only know that it was an abusive flag because of the accompanying meta question/rant. I suspect mods may see something different... Can a mod confirm?)

I have no clue what it looks like to the person getting the penalty; I suspect it's obvious, however.


Once upon a time, people could see if there were flags on their posts. It lead to disaster. It was removed, and you're not going to get it back.


As for why people cast their votes, that's one of life's mysteries. Yes, there have been plenty of suggestions to require comments for down votes (and variations), but it's not happening.

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