On one SE site I'm often in a situation where I've just started a +100 bounty. The -100 deduction stops those green and red +5 and -5notifications due to votes on my posts from appearing in the top bar until the bounty is "paid off".

I understand the underlying arithmetic, but I'm asking about the reason that those really helpful feedback indicators are inhibited, which means that I may miss an issue that needs quick attention.

Is this intentional, or just a bi-product of the current implementation? Since bounty-starting is usually infrequent, it may not impact most people much, but I miss them when I'm in my "bounty-deficit" periods.

There are other ways to view recent rep changes of course on one's activity page for example. But I'm just curious if the inhibition of the notifications is intentional and has a purpose or not.

enter image description here

note: display seems to be truncated at -50 at the bottom.

  • 1
    It does the same thing when you lose rep because a user was removed, I think...
    – Catija
    Mar 14, 2018 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


The question of showing negative rep changes in the achievement indicator (the green numbers in the top bar) comes up often. The reason for negative changes not being shown is, we've been told, that the achievement indicator should give good news, not bad news. Nobody wants to see a green (or red) "-100" in the top bar. The downside is that, as you've discovered, these rep decreases mask other rep increases, which can be frustrating.

They were, I believe, mainly thinking about received downvotes when they made that decision, and we've requested that self-inflicted rep losses not be treated the same way. Here is a feature request specifically about bounties.

To work around the problem, click on the indicator after you start the bounty. The red "-100" (or whatever) will show up as a new event, clicking on the indicator clears the event, and you'll then see rep increases as normal. I've trained myself to click that indicator when I start bounties or downvote. It's a hassle, but it's a workaround.

  • I see, this falls under the "hidden feature" heading ;-) Thanks for the explanation, handy workaround, and SE history lesson!
    – uhoh
    Mar 14, 2018 at 1:34
  • The workaround doesn't help with other rep decreases (downvotes, deleted users). SE says that people don't want to get bad news, but I actually do want to know if I'm getting downvoted so I can look to see if there's a correctable problem I missed on the first pass. Mar 14, 2018 at 1:36
  • Oh wait, now I'm confused. So the workaround does not make rep changes due to voting activity on my posts visible? I'm only asking about that (I'll make that more clear in the question).
    – uhoh
    Mar 14, 2018 at 1:40
  • 1
    If you offer a bounty, click on the indicator to clear the bounty from the achievements tally, and then receive upvotes, the indicator will light up green again. If somebody downvotes you, that -2 sits there silently until you click the indicator, just like your bounty. Fortunately, just about any rep gain out there will cancel that -2, so you'll see a +8 or +3 and get the details when you click on it. Bounties are a problem because they can hide a lot of other rep gains. And thus (I argue) should not be considered by that indicator. Mar 14, 2018 at 1:42
  • OK thank you for that, I'll start clicking. The linked feature request would be an excellent improvement in the site's functionality. I am surprised to see that it was made four years ago and hasn't been implemented.
    – uhoh
    Mar 14, 2018 at 1:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .