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Generally, if a user gains a reputation-based privilege, the user will lose it if they later fall below the required reputation.

I've found that this has one major exception in chat. Users without enough reputation to chat are not allowed to have a custom username or custom avatar; their chat username is their generic "userXXX" username, and their avatar is the standard one given to deleted or nonexistent users. However, if they later gain enough reputation in chat but later on lose it (including via suspension), their username and avatar are displayed permanently (or as long as their current chat profile exists); they are not reverted back to the generic ones. In other words, if at any point a given chat profile had 20 reputation at the time it was synced, it will permanently retain avatar and username rights. Here's an example chat profile.

Why was the decision made to implement it this way? Why not revoke their custom avatar and username privileges on chat if they later lose the reputation? This effectively allows suspended users to troll chat rooms with offensive avatars until a moderator deletes their chat profile. (Thankfully, if the user recreates their chat profile, it won't have those privileges.)

(I'm not reporting a bug or making a feature request to ask that it be changed; I just want to know why it's implemented this way.)

  • If there is something unclear about this question, please let me know so I can edit it to improve it or make clarifications. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 24 at 16:49
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Well, for one, it's not actually tied to a privilege. It's just a straight-up live check. You aren't "awarded" with the privilege at 20 reputation, rather it just checks to see if you have 20 reputation and, more importantly, whether you have zero chat activity. Both of those things need to be true to trigger anonymization.

Why? Because it would be extremely irritating to change a user's name and avatar on all their past chat activity simply because they've dropped below the reputation threshold. Even worse to have it bounce back and forth between real user and anonymous user if a user continually bounces back and forth between those thresholds. Imagine if we anonymized a user's posts on the site every time they were suspended.

  • But doesn't this setup allow users who get suspended to troll in chat with offensive avatars? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 24 at 17:05
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    @SonictheAnonymousWizHog Sure, and we have other means to deal with people who go out of their way to bypass suspensions to troll, but that doesn't happen anywhere near as often for people who've actually participated in chat in the past. That check was put into place to explicitly stop people who had never participated in chat before. – animuson Jul 24 at 17:09
  • Yeah, looking into it, stopping it is as simple as deleting the chat profile (if the user recreates it, it will have zero activity and thus be hidden again). – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 24 at 17:12

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