I'm very puzzled by how the Stack Overflow reputation goes up and down.

I'm using the site a lot for reference; I posted few questions, I answered few - I don't really get involved in reputation gaining etc., just helped some people out and I did gain some points - good.

Then I asked a question with tag "marketing" and people voted to close it immediately (because even if there's a tag marketing, you cannot ask marketing questions) and left me offensive comments. Fine, I voted the answer for closing too, if no-one likes it - ok.

But then a guy with 10K rep or so left me intentionally offensive message (God, in the old times programmers were rather helpful than being such smug bastards!) and I apologized once more, but still voted his comment down, because it was offensive.

Than - next day - all my rep missing ...

So is Stack Overflow becoming a closed community ruled by some rep gaining smug self-esteem overlords or what?

  • One 10k user couldn't make your reputation gone, you might misunderstanding something. And could you specify your profile page on SO? – YOU Apr 9 '10 at 10:43
  • I too think this is a series of misunderstandings. No 10k user can do that, the technical means to do so simply aren't in place. Please post a link to the question in question. – Pekka Apr 9 '10 at 10:59
  • @Pekka, Here is his question - [How to promote my Rss feed ](stackoverflow.com/questions/2546747/how-to-promote-my-rss-feed) – YOU Apr 9 '10 at 11:06
  • ok I think it's clear now what happened, thanks for all the replies – Ican Zilb Apr 9 '10 at 11:19
  • Interestingly, Will came within a whisker of being elected a moderator in January. – mmyers Apr 9 '10 at 21:46

What's your stackoverflow account?

Anyways as you see from the list of questions tagged marketing all of them are very programming related or closed.

EDIT: it appears that one of your posts was flagged as offensive or spam by a large number of people, and that made you lose 100 reputation.

  • stackoverflow name:Ican Zilb – Ican Zilb Apr 9 '10 at 10:42
  • that's really weird ... I usually write very polite (unlike here, because what happend really pissed me off) and I definitely didn't want to spam ... Ah well ... can you have at least a look at my rep graph ? It still shows 125 instead of the current 14 – Ican Zilb Apr 9 '10 at 10:51
  • @user145 the 100 drop is indeed not visible in your graph, which is strange. At any rate, this was not the action of one user but at least (I think) five different users who flagged your post. – Pekka Apr 9 '10 at 11:03

The SO community does have a lot of power, but the with exception of the moderators, no one user has power to do more than downvote a question, flag it, and vote to close. Ignoring moderators, voting to close requires 5 people, flagging requires 5 people, downvoting takes off just 2 rep, and you need 3 10k users to vote to delete - but that can only happen after 3 days. Of these, only being flagged several times by the community can seriously affect your reputation - and no one person has the power to do that.

All the marketing tag meant was that questions there are based around marketing with respect to programming - like any question on SO, it has to be about programming. No exceptions, not even for the likes of Jon Skeet, he with more-rep-than-atoms-in-the-universe. The system tries it's best to not allow such elitism.

  • thanks for explanation, I guess I overreacted about the rep loss, but I was really hurt by that guy saying my articles gave him "skin rash" (if I remember well, since I can't see the exact comment anymore) – Ican Zilb Apr 9 '10 at 11:12
  • @user I agree that the comment is very harsh. Anyways, it was not that user (at least not alone) who caused the closing of the question and the rep loss which is probably an important point. – Pekka Apr 9 '10 at 11:16
  • @user145496: Indeed, some people are just jerks. Luckily for us, there are more non-jerks than jerks, which means that at least under SOFU-rule, where number of people counts more than their rep, we can overturn them when they're wrong :P – Phoshi Apr 9 '10 at 11:20

I have found yours (only 10k+ users can see now), which got deleted and you got -100 subtracted because there is spam or offensive flags by 6 people.


marketing tag does not mean, you can advertise your blog or site in SO.

I am agree with mmyers and Will too.

And also there is 8 downvotes, thats mean around 6 to 8 people disagree with you. Thats how SO community works.

  • Now, since you can see the text, you can see that it is clearly not a promotional post. It is about a free technical resource - clearly programming related, and since this is supposed to be a community of programmers I thought others can share their experience and ideas with me (and also others that have the same question) I really don't understand what was offensive in my question - however if the community considered it a spam, than of course I'll have to cope with that – Ican Zilb Apr 9 '10 at 11:09
  • 3
    @user145496 - I personally fine with that post, but most of the posts that just pointing to external site or blog got downvoted and when its not related to programming, its go more like getting flagged by many people, thats normal behavior here. Please just don't take seriously about downvotes that much, and when you see your post -3 or lower, you really need to rephrase or close or delete because it might be something wrong in the eye of community. please understand that. – YOU Apr 9 '10 at 11:13

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