It is claimed that when a user is removed points will not be taken away when that would result in in an excessive loss of reputation. What is excessive? -170 points is more reputation than most people have total on this site. What does it take, -10000 before it is excessive? I have never earned +170 points in a single day.

Question 1 What is excessive?

Note please, that this is unusual enough that it seems problematic. Either someone was very negatively treated, or had a negative reaction to something and withdrew voluntarily. Either case suggests a problem with the site. I have lately gotten a rather negative impression from some actions taken by this site, can we somehow accentuate the positive a bit more, please?

Next, between downvoting mistakenly, incorrect remarks, ad hominem argument, bizarre administrative posturing, e.g., ineffectually coercing pathetic niceties. The quality and 'niceness' itself of the experience on this site could stand improvement.

Question 2 Can something be done to improve user experience, i.e., less negative?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I got -375 today. This is how the site works. This is not specific to CV, but all the SE ecosystem. See for further discussion and links: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/126470/… $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ I got -645 today, 635 of that from one user... $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 9:47
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    $\begingroup$ Someone fooled SE for a long time; meta.stackexchange.com/questions/328642/…; gis.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5069/…. More about “user was removed” in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/125740/…. $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2019 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ Please do not take it personally Carl it has happened to all of us today and many people (including me) lost much more than you. $\endgroup$
    – mdewey
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ @mdewey Wrong impression. I do not take it personally. It is just that removal of excessive reputation is not supposed to happen, and -635 like Glen_b reports, seems excessive, and no corrective action was undertaken, which detracts from a wholesome site experience. $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Nick_Craver Note this: meta.stackexchange.com/a/173699/341152 What about it Nick? Can this type of thing be stopped? $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 17:52
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    $\begingroup$ Q1 is very reasonable and very suitable for the Meta; I would happily upvote it. However, Q2 is almost unrelated and is formulated in a way that makes me want to downvote. Consider separating this question into two distinct ones. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba Please explain. I cannot guess as to why you feel that way. Also, please consider that not everyone's experiences are carbon copies of each other's. $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ "snarky downvoting, snide remarks, personal deprecation, a punitive administrative approach to users" In abstraction, no one is favour of any of these, but each accusation requires context and evidence. To start with the most discussed, who decides which downvotes are snarky? Most of them are silent, so you are imputing intent. Professionally we (should) know that imputation is very tricky! Most positively, to fight back against anything untoward you need (a) moderators on your side (b) other active users in support to vote, comment, flag, edit, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ By far the most difficult person in my time on CV (a long, long way from you, @Carl) complained again and again about behaviour of which they were the most notorious exemplar..... $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ @NickCox Understood. However, any discussion of anything involves projection whether from the ontogenetic dichotomy of subjective versus objective or the holographic principle. In simplest terms, we do not experience reality, we experience personal models of it. And if our models do not agree, how common those models are, how democratic, contributes nothing objective. $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ I appreciate the intent but changing your wording to "downvoting mistakenly, incorrect remarks, ad hominem argument, bizarre administrative posturing, e.g., ineffectually coercing pathetic niceties" just seems like tinkering. I prefer vivid language to bland truisms, with nothing else said, but I still don't think Question 2 is a good question for Meta. It assumes too much and is based on so little that we can see, however much personal experience underlies it. Still, it's particularly pertinent to flag that I didn't downvote this. (As of this writing, +3 -2 = 1 vote for this question.) $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 17:30
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    $\begingroup$ Again: for anyone to decide which downvotes were undeserved requires a view from above of who was right, who was wrong, and whether the reasons for downvoting were good or bad. No one has this view from Olympus. Anyone thin-skinned enough to react badly to how the votes fall should find a different home or hobby. (I recommended to the person alluded to several comments above that they start their own blog. Characteristically they didn't seem interested in anyone else's advice.) $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ I guess we could lobby for downvotes received to be explicit in each person's profile if they are seen as badges of honour. As a statistical person I have to comment that for every maverick who turns out to be Einstein there are many more who turn out to be just mavericks. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ -1 Specifically for "down-voting mistakenly, incorrect remarks" which seems deeply problematic, paternalistic, and colonizing. I would give a second down-vote for "bizarre administrative posturing, e.g., ineffectually coercing pathetic niceties," since (here and on other SEs) creating a welcoming and friendly environment creates opportunities for people to learn in both asking questions & answering them, fosters sharing of differing perspectives, and reduces bullying behavior. $\endgroup$
    – Alexis
    Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


A lot of people across the SE network have noticed the same thing: see Massive user removal in one night? & Please update the text in help for "User was Removed" reputation changes.

In fine, when a user deletes their account, whether or not to reverse the votes they've cast is decided by SE staff if the vote count exceeds a certain threshold.

Note that we will not define the exact thresholds for how many votes will trigger review.

Reasons for not preserving votes include, but are not limited to, vote fraud.

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    $\begingroup$ OK (+1) Mind explaining the difference between fraudulent voting and incomprehensible voting from miscomprehension? I realize you do not own the opinion you have expressed, but, I also wonder what fraud could possibly mean in this context. $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 23:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Carl: Fraudulent voting's when a single person controls multiple accounts that vote for each other. $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2019 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, that possibility never occurred to me. Since voting is next to worthless as far as I can tell, it did not occur to me that anyone would bother doing such a thing. $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 0:06

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