79

How'd this happen? I thought that these votes were old enough to not cause such a significant loss. Due to the daily rep cap of 200, I didn't even gain 8000 rep from that answer which was posted less than 15 days ago.

enter image description here

Note: I'm not questioning why the post was deleted. I'm questioning the number and the timing.

Here's another detail that I happened to notice while looking back at my chart:

enter image description here

The system believed that on a single day I had earned 2,600 rep. This is starting to smell more like a bug.

  • 1
    Huh, I don't see that when looking at your rep activity. Is this something that only shows for the user looking at their own page? – scohe001 Oct 23 at 16:00
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    60 days is the cutoff IIRC. That post isn't 60 days old. – Mysticial Oct 23 at 16:03
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    How did you get 8000 for it anyway? That FAQ isn't even 2 weeks old and the repcap limits you to 200/day. – Mysticial Oct 23 at 16:05
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    @Mysticial Might there have been bounties involved? Bounties are not counted against the daily rep cap. But >8000 is still a lot. – a CVn Oct 23 at 16:06
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    @Mysticial You've got a point. Did the system just count the votes? E.g., if there were 804 upvotes (or 805/-1?) it just deducted that from the total rep? – VLAZ Oct 23 at 16:07
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    @VLAZ Makoto's answer is 1036/-8. So that doesn't add up either. No bounties either. – Mysticial Oct 23 at 16:10
  • @Mysticial yes it does. 1036 * 10 == 10360 rep. Factor in the rep cap, a loss of 2000 isn't far-fetched. – Zoe Oct 23 at 16:12
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    @ChristineH.Richards: Typically negative drops are not reflected in a person's profile. To be fair I haven't seen it in the graph myself yet, which only adds another dimension of "WTF" to this equation. – Makoto Oct 23 at 16:15
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    Just imagine how much rep you would have lost if there wasn't a daily rep cap ... – rene Oct 23 at 16:15
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    @Zoethetransgirl Makoto's answer was posted Oct 10 16:32 UTC, and the question was deleted in the early hours UTC Oct 23. Let's call it Oct 10 through Oct 22, that's 13 days. 13 x 200 (the daily rep cap) = 2600. The answer shows no bounty in the Internet Archive copy, so that's about what you'd expect Makoto to lose if the votes were perfectly evenly spread out. Since much of the voting likely happened early, it's plausible many of those votes resulted in hitting the daily rep cap. So that math doesn't check out. – a CVn Oct 23 at 16:15
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    @aCVn - Yeah, the math doesn't check out. Why 8K when I don't think I earned that much at all? Very puzzling. – Makoto Oct 23 at 16:16
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    Worth noting that that archive of that question before it was deleted on 10/23 shows Makoto's rep at 22.8k and their current rep is 22.1k so it doesn't seem like they actually lost 8k rep despite what the notification would imply. I have no idea why that would be. – Rubiksmoose Oct 23 at 16:25
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    @Rubiksmoose good observation. This puts the lost rep at around 754 (post shows 22801, currently it's 22142 and this post has 27 upvotes) which seems a lot more like what that post might have earned Makoto and what might have actually been lost. The figure for the lost rep is still wrong in that case but it seems it has almost no basis in reality. – VLAZ Oct 23 at 16:31
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    For what it's worth, the 2610 and the 8048 do add up roughly to the total uncapped rep on your post on that question. I have a feeling that the +2610 wouldn't have been shown before the deletion (instead showing the correct capped value). It doesn't answer where the values come from, but looks like hitting an edge case in some "good enough" approximation – aerakin Oct 23 at 18:03
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    The accounting is correct, but the display is a disaster. Which is... about par for the course when it comes to deleted posts/deleted votes. I'd have to dig deeper (and unfortunately I have absolutely zero time right now) to see if we could fix this up. Long story short, once a post is deleted, trying to figure out what effect a vote would've had at the time when it wasn't deleted gets real complicated real fast. – Adam Lear Oct 23 at 18:12
35

Luckily, you lost "only" ~800 rep, not 8,000

The post was less than 60 days old, which is why any reputation was lost

From How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?:

reputation earned for posts with a score of 3 or higher, and where the post has been visible on the site for at least 60 days, is retained.

Also from How does "Reputation" work?

Deleting and undeleting posts may reverse reputation effects as well, if these posts have votes. Actions previously taken on deleted posts cease to affect reputation within five minutes (source), unless the post meets both the following criteria (in which case the reputation effects will be permanent) (source):

  • The post had a score of at least +3
  • The post has been visible on the site for at least 60 days

That question was posted on 10/10/2019 which was only about 13 days ago, so any reputation that came from that is permanently lost now that it is deleted.

Luckily, you don't seem to have actually lost 8k rep, only about 800

From the archive of the post in question it appears that you had 22.8k rep before the post was deleted and you had 22k rep before your rep gains today. So it doesn't seem like 8k rep was actually deducted from you from what I can see.

Instead it seems that you only got knocked about 800 rep, which actually seems to make sense given your rep chart looks like:

enter image description here

(Complete with freehand circles)

You only did not repcap on about 5 days out of the 13 or so that elapsed since you posted the answer. So that's 5*200= 1,000 rep lost assuming you repcapped only from the now-deleted post each of those 5 days. However, it looks like you also got some rep from other posts those days. Estimating it to be an average of 50 non-deleted-post rep for each of those days gives us 1,000-250 = 750 rep lost.

This is pretty close to the actual value you seem to have lost which was a rounded 800 rep and given all the assuming, estimation, and rounding that I've done seems very reasonable to say this all working as we'd expect.

So where the heck did that -8,000 rep come from in the system?

Adam Lear has given the only lead I've seen yet:

The accounting is correct, but the display is a disaster. Which is... about par for the course when it comes to deleted posts/deleted votes. I'd have to dig deeper (and unfortunately I have absolutely zero time right now) to see if we could fix this up. Long story short, once a post is deleted, trying to figure out what effect a vote would've had at the time when it wasn't deleted gets real complicated real fast. – Adam Lear ↵♦ 10 mins ago

  • "While I can't access the deleted post" web.archive.org/web/20191023013715/https://… The question post was posted Oct 10 16:09 UTC, so no answer can have been more than 12-13 days old. – a CVn Oct 23 at 16:07
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    No question or answer on that post had 8k rep, plus or minus. – Chris E Oct 23 at 16:10
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    Well, that bites. – Makoto Oct 23 at 16:12
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    How did OP get 8k rep in 13 days? – dustytrash Oct 23 at 16:21
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    @ChrisE Yeah why that amount of rep was lost is something I'm not equipped to answer. Worth noting that that archive shows Makoto's rep at 22.8k and their current rep is 22.1k so it doesn't seem like they actually lost 8k rep despite what the notification would imply. I have no idea why that would be. – Rubiksmoose Oct 23 at 16:22
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    @Rubiksmoose perhaps a bug report is in order – KorvinStarmast Oct 23 at 16:42
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    @JJJ The answer wasn't awarded any bounties, so no. – Rand al'Thor Oct 23 at 17:00
  • Rubiksmoose, since you have <1k rep here, I'll tell you that the vote count on that answer is +1036 / -8. So the 8000 figure is still a real mystery. – Rand al'Thor Oct 23 at 17:01
8

It looks like the same bug has caused the monthly reputation league page to show incorrect numbers for the reputation earned this month. (I came across this because I happened to be scrolling through the page just as the UTC day was rolling over. I was going to post this as a new question, but as I explain below, I believe that this is an instance of the same bug reported here.)

As you can see, after I reloaded the page at 0:00 UTC today (when the page updates), there are several users (circled in red) that have apparently earned much more reputation this month than they actually have. Ordinarily, this isn't an extraordinary occurrence: the reputation change per time period displayed in the right column excludes reputation changes from "private" reputation events such as post deletions, so it's not uncommon to see cases from time to time where the reputation change is "higher" than the current reputation.

The oddity here is not merely that - it's the fact that all of a sudden, many users' reputation change this month increased drastically from what they were the previous day. In particular, the user depicted below as being in the #9 position was actually in the #1 position yesterday, with a similar amount of reputation change.

After some research, I determined that all the affected users had answered the now-deleted question, earned a very high score on their answers, and then had their answers erased as a result of the question's deletion. (The user in the #9 spot, whose right column hasn't really changed, had also posted an answer there, but their answer was deleted before the whole question was deleted.)

Additionally, I noticed that you (Makoto) were also one of the users whose rank also suddenly ballooned. Your right column was around 3,000 yesterday, but has risen by around 8,000 to 11,000. Coincidence? I think not.

enter image description here

In summary, while this overall bug may just seem like a minor accounting mistake in reputation history pages, it also affects the reputation league pages, giving people a highly inflated ranking.

3

This is only speculation, but could it simply be that this particular page shows gains or losses without considering the daily rep cap, and instead used the net rep gain (rep from upvotes - rep from downvotes).

This wouldn't be the first query is less accurate/simpler to reduce load.

(I am assuming that a question or answer that gets so many votes quickly AND gets deleted shortly after creation is a rare enough case that not taking into account rep cap wouldn't be a problem).

  • 1
    Then wouldn't that have shown them as being deducted ~10,300 since their post was at 1036/-8? – Rubiksmoose Oct 23 at 16:32
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    The post was (apparently) at 1036/-8, so it had to have "earned" 1036 * 10 - 8* 2 rep without the cap, which is still a lot higher than the figure shown. – VLAZ Oct 23 at 16:32
  • To be honest, this is an answer I'd love to have posted as a comment (as it is speculation). I can only imagine that it's somehow a simplified query for that particular page (as noted in other comments, the actual difference in reputation was not 8000) – aerakin Oct 23 at 16:37
  • The only figure I can think of that even comes close to -8018 would be (actual rep gain considering rep cap - total possible rep gain). Which would be a weird way to do things. – aerakin Oct 23 at 16:39

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