Last night I lost 125 rep points because a user was removed. I suspect that other users of CV also lost many point because of this, particularly the high rep users. This is very unfair. A few days ago Macro a long time user who is currently ranked 5th in reputation on CV announced that he was taking a vacation form the site. Macro has been a heavy user of this site and has reward many community members with upvotes on questions and answers. If a highly respected user like Macro quits the site tons of votes would be removed.

I can't see how this rule could be considered sensible or fair. I think it should be modified or dropped. What are your thoughts?

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    $\begingroup$ For those who don't like the question and downvoted it maybe instead of remaining silent you can comment or explain what you don't like about the question or possibly give a reason why the rule should not be changed. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ This has been extensively discussed in meta stackoverflow: "Don't throw away all votes when a user is deleted", "What does “user was removed” mean and why did my reputation change because of it?". I think that little can be done from Cross Validatedmeta. $\endgroup$
    – user10525
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ The meta system in SE works differently than the main sites. Here, if someone downvotes a question, it means they disagree w/ the suggestion, not that they think it's a bad Q (also no rep is rewarded / subtracted here). FWIW, I agree w/ both you & @Procrastinator: ie, I think this is often a poor approach, but that discussing it here is unlikely to have any effect. You may want to go over to the SO-meta, & provide some answers / comments / votes to the relevant threads; that may be more likely to have an effect. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ I put this here knowing that removing votes has been discussed before. in fact i was involved in one of the discussions. But my point here is that the impact of losing many votes from a long time valued user quitting puts more emphasis on a reason to change. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Macro Alright! Macro returns to argue with me one more time even though he said he was taking a hiatus from this and was tired of arguing. I agree that there is a lot more to this site than reputation. After a few 1000 points people have earned respect. At 20,000 I think you have all the full privileges that you are going to get so going higher has no big incentive unless you want the #1 ranking. I agree that teaching, learning and developing colleagial relationship with people all over the WWW is what this is all about. I have been a member for nearly five months. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ It takes a long time to get use to this site and appreciate it. I am getting there slowly. As to the remark about my lust for rep points, I think Macro feels that I make this a full time job because I have accrued over 16000 rep points and past him to get the #3 rank on the site. I think I am starting to ask some pretty good questions and my answers are getting more toward the way the moderators like them. My answers are starting to get more upvotes per question whereas I started out with a low rate. Yes I do like getting upvotes. They mean something. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ It says people appreciate you and your answers. Also I acknowledge that the community likes well constructed answers and downvotes poorly crafted answers even if the content is good. That is all well and good. This is not a full time job. If I made it one I might get some satisfaction but I would go broke. That is true for everyone. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ I want to say that I appreciate Macro and his contributions to the site and I would prefer it if he would stay. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ The point of this question is to be concerned when a retiring respected member drops out of the site and everyone loses a lot of well-deserved votes. It is not just about me. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


I cannot determine this for sure, and had no hand in it (even moderators have very limited abilities to see votes and no powers to change them), but I can find indications that this user had been abusing the voting system. For instance, a few of our most active participants lost one vote each; you lost a lot. Such dedicated voting at best reflects a narrow interest and lack of judgment, and at worst indicates a sock puppet or other fraud. In any case, removing such votes improves the site.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @whuber for that information about this particular user. For this case I think the loss of votes is clearly justifiable, But in the hypothetical scenario that a highly regarded community member decides to quit the site would all his votes be taken away? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, you're correct about that hypothetical, Michael. And I totally agree with your concern: when a reputable user voluntarily terminates their account, there should be no effect on their votes or other people's reputations. But because these issues are thoroughly discussed on SO Meta--the links are in comments to your question--and your case is already made strongly there, I didn't even attempt to address them here. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ thanks. I was waiting to see what other answers would come across before I checked yours. But it seems others are not showing interest in answering or commenting. So I give you the check mark and am satisfied that the issue has been vented. Others are still welcome to comment or answer. Why do you thinnk that if the case has been made so convincingly the rule isn't changed? Is it an issue of inconvenience programmatically as I think was discussed previously? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 20:57

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