I know that this has happened to me before and I know it happens to everyone from time to time. I don't understand why we still lose all our reputation points from a user just because he is removed from CV. I lost 40 reputation points today.

I don't understand the reasoning. They don't do it if a high rep person is removed. Just because the person may have done something wrong doesn't mean that their votes weren't valid. Theoretically, a user can gain points if the deleted user/account downvoted you a lot. But that must be very rare. I appreciate hearing your thought and hope that we can change this.

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    $\begingroup$ meta.stackexchange.com/questions/125740/… $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Jan 8, 2017 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ As far as I can tell all the posts were in the 2012 and 2013 time frame. I agree that it is a complex issue. I think fraudulent votes should be removed. In the four years that past since that thread what changes have been made? @Glen_b what is your view? $\endgroup$ Jan 8, 2017 at 4:55
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    $\begingroup$ You'll drive yourself nuts fixating on reputation points. This sort of thing is sufficiently rare that I don't see why anything needs to be done about it. Who cares? $\endgroup$
    – gammer
    Jan 9, 2017 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ @gammer Some people other than me care. Look at the answers. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2017 at 0:37
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    $\begingroup$ I guess "Who cares?" should be read more like "Why do you care?". This is basically a one-off; it hardly ever happens. I don't see why this would be anywhere near the top of the list of priorities about what needs to be fixed about the site. You really think determining whether or not an account was a "true" sock puppet should be a high priority for SE? Under the current system there could be some false positive but... Big deal... $\endgroup$
    – gammer
    Jan 9, 2017 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ @gammer Read on. I don't think it should be a high priority either. I didn't say it was and if you read my response to Andre's answer I think you might not be so hostile toward me. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2017 at 0:43
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    $\begingroup$ Those comments weren't there when I wrote my original comment. I'm sorry you found my tone to be hostile. I was really going more for a mixture of dismissiveness and genuine curiosity about why you (the royal you) cares. $\endgroup$
    – gammer
    Jan 9, 2017 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How do you lose reputation points by "User removed"? $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2017 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


The 'why' is mainly addressed in the post Glen_b linked under your question:

Don't throw away all votes when a user is deleted

The main causes are 'vote fraud' and 'sock puppeting accounts' (creating a fake account for voting own posts, which is a type of vote fraud). Discarding votes from deleted-accounts used to be a major problem in the system; that meta post was heavily upvoted and remained that way for a while; but it was updated in 2015.

The SE staff lowered and diversified thresholds for automatically discarding votes from deleted-accounts. I myself have complained about it once, but now with the recent change, I believe it is no longer a big concern. Also, it is not likely to be changed soon. See Shog9's answer (emphasis is mine):

I'm not gonna call this completed; as you and everyone else reading this know, we do still throw away some votes for some user-deletions... and probably always will for the reasons you noted in your proposal.

But if you think it is still worthwhile changing it, I suggest you raise a related discussion in the main Meta Stack Exchange site, since this feature would affect the entire system (i.e., all the other communities) and there would be much more participation. Just make sure the question is not a duplicate and it is well posed; otherwise, it can be quickly put 'on hold', and then, closed.

And a final opinion on:

Just because the person may have done something wrong doesn't mean that their votes weren't valid.

But it doesn't mean they were valid either. I think it would be cumbersome to manually check all deleted-accounts and still prevent fraudulent activity; that is why the votes will be automatically discarded if that user had a low number of votes or just few users affected from their activity.

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    $\begingroup$ Andre I really like your answers. They are thoughtful and very informative. I do this more to learn about the history more than anything else. I am not going on a crusade to get it changed. In my case I got the 40 points back in one day. It is the principle more than the outcomes. Can we distinguish fraudulent votes from others? I think that would eliminate an argument for not changing. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2017 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ I infer/speculate from that meta post the answer is yes (at least for most cases) but, it requires a lot of work (manual inspecting). That is why it is done only when one of the thresholds exceeds. @Michael. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2017 at 1:16

I agree that unless some vote fraud happened, it makes no sense to remove the votes. One of the main issues I have with that current rule is that losing votes on one question may result in the question being silently deleted by the automated question deletion bot a.k.a. roomba. And when a user is removed, one cannot see on which posts the votes we lost had been cast.

  • $\begingroup$ I like your answer too. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2017 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ This is a reasonable point. If there are few enough votes that it is considered not disruptive to delete them, it should be possible to let you know which & where. $\endgroup$ Jan 10, 2017 at 13:06

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