We all know how to gain reputation, but recently I was looking at a users reputation graph and saw a large drop in their rep. I wondered what they had done to deserve that, but then I realised they had placed a bounty on a particular question.

Still it got me thinking, what can the moderators on StackOverflow do to users who are misbehaving, reputation wise (other then banning them etc.)?

2 Answers 2


Moderators can flag posts (as offensive or spam). Normal users can do this too, but a moderator's flag is instantly binding - meaning the post is deleted, and its author loses 100 reputation points.

That's the only action I'm aware of that'll show up in the reputation graph...

Moderators can also instantly delete posts and trigger reputation recalculation. This will remove votes cast on those posts from the user's history and calculated score.

Finally, moderators can suspend users. A suspended user has a reputation of 1 (but his rep graph will still indicate his true reputation).

  • But on;y the 100 point penalty would show up in the graph. A recalc is not visible because the graph is recalculated too. Jan 8, 2011 at 13:00
  • @Henk: AFAIK, the rep graph is based on normalized data, and therefore never actually needs recalculation. However, if you delete a post that garnered significant reputation and don't recalc, there will be a discrepancy between the graph and the displayed (denormalized) total.
    – Shog9
    Jan 8, 2011 at 18:28

They can:

  • Initiate a rep recalc that can lower your rep if you have residual rep from posts on deleted questions
  • Delete a post
  • Flag posts which can cause penalties

These actions are not necessarily due to misbehaving (except for flagging), but can be. They can't haphazardly (or otherwise) directly penalize rep. Other than that, they can bin but that just causes you not to earn rep instead of directly penalizing you and subtracting from what you already have.

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