To avoid confusion, let me start by saying that I believe I was awarded the correct amount of reputation. If anything in your response is about incorrect rewarding of reputation, you're not addressing this question.

In my reputation tab I see lists of individual reputation changes over a day with a larger number at the top, such as the "205" in this example:


This is not the number of reputation points I received that day. According to /reputation I received 27 upvotes that day (thus hitting the cap), 20 of which were worth 10 points each, as well as the one accept that added another 15 points beyond the cap. That totals 215, not 205, and the difference between the previous day's cumulative total of 18575 and that day's cumulative total of 18790 is also 215:

-- 2021-11-08 rep +200  = 18575
-- 2021-11-09 rep +215  = 18790 

Nor is it a bug that this is displaying 205 rather than 215; that this is correct behaviour was confirmed by SE staff member animuson in the comments when I reported it as a bug.

So what, precisely, is this number supposed to be?

  • @RobertLongson It doesn't appear to be "rep today - rep yesterday" unless what /reputation is reporting is not those figures. According to /reputation, I had 18575 the previous day and 18790 at the end of the day in question, a difference of 215. (I've added the relevant lines of /reputation output to the question.) Also, by "awarded on earlier days," what would this be in this case? My understanding was that the "unupvote" was the removal of a reward on an earlier day.
    – cjs
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 6:55
  • @RobertLongson I am not clear what point you're making about accepting the -10. Is it clear to you that I agree I was awarded the correct amount of reputation that day, 215 rather than the 205 shown? And perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but are you claiming that the cumulative total shown in /reputation (and in the top bar when browsing the site, I might add) is not actually the cumulative total?
    – cjs
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 7:00

1 Answer 1


Let's take a simpler example where you start from 1 rep.

  1. Day 1 let's assume you get one upvote so your rep is 11.

  2. Day 2, you get 50 upvotes and one unupvote which is yesterday's voter removing yesterday's upvote.

Your reputation is now 201. Day 1 got you nothing in the end and day 2 got you the repcap of 200. So how do we show that?

On the reputation tab we show it as +190 because that's the difference between today's total of 201 and yesterday's total of 11. We show you the -10 here rather than the day it actually counts against. Otherwise you'd have to look through every prior day to figure out what happened.

On the /reputation endpoint we can show yesterday as nothing and today as +200 because that's showing you all the days based on the votes that they have now.

Both ways give you the same answer in the end, they just count up the totals differently.

  • This is making some excellent progress towards answering my question. So can you clarify, after day 2 in your example, are the cumulative reputation totals Day1=1, Day2=201 (as shown by /reputation) or are they Day1=11, Day2=201, with the rep cap reduced to 190 for day 2? (Or do we perhaps have two separate cumulative reputation totals, the two being equal only for the current day? If so, how do we distinguish these two when we speak of them?)
    – cjs
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 7:17
  • The former, as my penultimate paragraph already says. It's rare for this to happen so we don't talk about it much at all. You have to be repcapped on a day and get an unupvote from a previous day's voting to see it at all. Unupvoting is rare because votes are locked in unless the post is edited. Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 7:20
  • 1
    Ok. So the cumulative totals listed in /reputation are the authoratative values, which I think is good, because that seems to keeps things simplest. So is this then a correct summary? "The user page shows the difference between the cumulative total for that day and what the previous day's cumulative total would have been had there not been any vote retractions on the day in question."
    – cjs
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 7:26

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