Yesterday I had 9200-ish reputation on Area 51. Today 7576. I don't see any dramatic changes for other users. The reputation link implies I've never had more than 7576 reputation.

What happened?

Edit: is @Lennart right? Can rep be lost when proposals are deleted? Seems strange that, e.g. the right to edit posts can be gained (when 1000 rep is achieved) and then lost simply because proposals are deleted. I thought you only lose rep when you "spend" it (by downvoting) or incur the wrath of moderators (by bad behaviour).

Follow up question: Should reputation on a failed proposal be retained?

  • Reputation privileges on Area 51 works the same as on the Q&A sites - any act that causes you to lose reputation will cause you to lose any privileges if you drop below. This includes self-instigated things like downvoting and adding bounties, but also from being downvoted or marked as spam.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 15:01
  • As far as deleted content, deleted content does not confer reputation - this includes votes on your own deleted posts, as well as votes you may have received from deleted users. For the normal Q&A, though, this does not affect your displayed reputation (which is used to determine your privileges) until a reputation recalculation is instigated. Assuming Area 51 operates the same way, reputation would not stay after a proposal deletion. As to why a recalc would be instigated, though, I can't say - these are usually manually requested.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 15:07
  • @Grace - regarding the recalculation and deleted rep, see David's answer below. Thanks for the response. Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


Our vote fraud detector triggered last night on some votes for you, which prompted an automatic rep recalc (as it does on all the sites). The resulting rep is your actual, current rep after rep for deleted proposals / answers is removed. I confirmed in the DB that you had 1985 rep from votes on deleted proposals / answers, so that seems to account for the ~2000 rep swing.

This behavior is inherited from the Q&A sites, where deletion is rare. However, I think it's still probably correct, since proposals are only deleted when they've truly failed (no activity for over a month), and it's hard to see why users should earn rep from failed proposals.

I'm open to more discussion on this, though, since deletion on Area 51 is different than deletion on the Q&A sites. Maybe proposals deleted due to inactivity are a special case?

  • 3
    @David - on the "vote fraud detector" thing first - was there anything I could have done to prevent that? I mean, was it my actions or someone else's? Then you write, "it's hard to see why users should earn rep from failed proposals" On the contrary, I find it hard to see why rep is deleted in that case. If someone learns how to ask good questions (on topic, off topic or those all important borderline cases), what difference does it make if the proposal ultimately dies through reasons out of their hands? Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 20:28
  • @David - so yes, personally I think they are a special case. But perhaps we need a wider discussion than tucked away on this question. What do you think - shall I ask a new question on this topic? Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 20:29
  • 1
    @Wiki I would suggest opening a new question like "Should reputation on a failed proposal be retained?", and accepting David's answer here since it does answer why you lost 2000. This question has been effectively answered and extending past that would make it drag awkwardly.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 20:35
  • @Grace - yes, I think that's a good idea. I'll wait a while in case David has another suggestion; then I'll follow your idea to the letter. Thanks! Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 20:59
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    @Wiki The vote fraud was someone else, not you -- they were votes for you, not by you. Sure, open a new question as @Grace suggested Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 21:04
  • 5
    So if I'm hired by a company (a proposal) and work for them (I propose question) but said company fails (the proposal is deleted), do I have to give my salary (reputation) back in your opinion? Commented Jan 8, 2011 at 2:49
  • @Kop - please see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/74292/… Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 6:13

Just a wild guess: Could one proposal you were very active in have been deleted?

  • 1
    say I added 5 questions which got 20 votes (this is the max - it has never happened to me). At 5 points per vote that's 20 x 5 x 5 = 500. It would have to be multiple deletions. But I thought the rep stays after deletions? Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 10:26
  • also, that would imply that someone could get rights (edit post rights when achieved 1000 rep) and then lose them - without performing any action which justifies losing rep. Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 14:53
  • Yeah, I don't know for sure, just guessing. I'm pretty tired of Area51, I just get negative votes with no explanation, which I suspect is petty retaliation from a couple of morons in one of the political proposals... Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 15:01
  • yes, I also have many negative votes with no explanation. Several occurred recently on my own proposal. Still, I also get lots of positive votes which more than compensate. Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 20:30

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