My rep mysteriously decreased by 20 today. I checked stackoverflow.com/reputation, but there are no downvotes and such. How can I find out what happened? If a question was deleted, does my rep for upvotes on answers disappear too? How can I find out which question was deleted? Can someone delete one of my answers even if the question was not deleted? How do I find out which answer was deleted? Thanks.

  • 9
    My guess? Ghosts.
    – Welbog
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 17:37
  • @Vam, truly scary. Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:15
  • @Vampire Welbog: ... big ones. Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:17
  • 6
    I always hate questions like this. Because I immediately go to the user's profile, trigger a rep recalc, and am horribly disappointed that it doesn't go down any more. My dreams of running back and saying "Yeah, and now you're down an extra n rep! Hahahaha!" are always ruined.
    – user1228
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:35
  • 3
    @Will: That's not nice. ಠ_ಠ Commented May 11, 2011 at 19:07
  • 1
    @Will I'm going to go post a "why is my rep higher?" question and hope you trigger a recalc only for it to go up more Commented May 11, 2011 at 19:24
  • 3
    @JustinMorgan: Check your rep! Hahahaha!
    – user1228
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 20:54
  • 1
    @Will: nooooo.jpg Commented May 11, 2011 at 21:33

1 Answer 1


There are four ways (that I know of) this can occur:

  • Your reputation was recalculated and, prior to the recalc:
    • A question or answer where you had up-votes was deleted
    • A person who up-voted your questions or answers was deleted (h/t Jonas Meyer)
  • You had up-votes on questions or answers that were later retracted by the voter.
  • The up-votes on your questions or answers were part of a suspicious voting pattern that was undid automatically by Stack Exchange's anti-voting fraud mechanism.

In any of these cases, you lose the reputation and you won't see the reputation loss on your charts because it's as though the votes never happened in the first place.

If you only noticed the 20 point drop after you did a manual reputation recalc, it's very likely it's the one of the first two scenarios. If it was a deleted post, there's no way to tell what deleted post was removed from your total unless you are a diamond moderator, have 10,000 or more reputation, or know the URL of the deleted post.

However, if you didn't manually initiate a reputation recalc, I'd place money on the loss being attributed to the last two cases, not a deleted question or user; reputation isn't recalculated otherwise unless initiated by a diamond moderator (usually as part of other, more serious action taken on your account) or a global recalc occurs (which hasn't happened recently).

  • I actually did do a manual recalc, does that make the first scenario more likely? How can I know which question was deleted? Thx. Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:21
  • @Thomas Short of having 10,000 reputation, being a diamond moderator, or knowing the URL to the post that's been deleted, there's no way to know. If you manually did a reputation recalc before noticing you lost 20 reputation, it's almost certainly the first scenario. Over a long enough time period, the reported reputation gets out of sync with your calculated reputation.
    – user149432
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:27
  • @ThomasMcLeod: No answer of yours with any rep was deleted along with a question...
    – user1228
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:36
  • Does the first case include posts that got moved to another SE site? Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:39
  • 1
    Another possibility is that the account of someone who had upvoted ThomasMcLeod was deleted. This is also something that shows up only after a recalc. Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:48
  • @Conrad as far as I'm aware, not if the question wasn't also deleted; I'm checking into that, though. In this case, there are no migrated questions on the account (that I can see, at any rate).
    – user149432
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 18:54
  • @Will, Does that mean an answer was deleted by a mod? What does it mean "suspicious voting pattern"? Is this like upvote collusion? Commented May 11, 2011 at 19:25
  • @ThomasMcLeod: You lost a grand total of 10 rep from an answer that was deleted. The only answers of yours deleted by someone other than you was one that was migrated and one that was deleted by community members after the question was closed as not a real question. And, yes, you are correct, upvote collusion; can happen when a single person goes through and upvotes every one of your answers, for example.
    – user1228
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 20:53

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