I noticed a drop in my reputation today. Not that I mind, I have plenty, so I am asking why did it happen purely because maybe it is because of a bug. As far as I know reputation can get down because of the downvote, or because the person who chose the answer decided to choose another, or somebody decided to retract his or hers upvote. Although in the latter case there is some kind of lock after some period, so you cannot downvote if the answer did not change. My reputation dropped by 40 so this should amount to two reasigned answers and one retracted upvote. Not very likely for Sunday, hence the question. If this is a bug please retag.

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  • $\begingroup$ @mpiktas, can you see this by clicking on the "mail" icon and then the "today" (or "yesterday") tab? This should summarize your change in reputation for the day. Maybe it doesn't itemize down votes, though. (??) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Feb 27 '11 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ @cardinal, no I do not see it, otherwise I would not have asked. Maybe tommorow something will appear, because on Sundays this week button shows the reputation of last week plus Sunday. Sunday is the first day of the week in stackexchange. Although it might be related to time zone issues. $\endgroup$ – mpiktas Feb 27 '11 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @mpiktas, are you sure that you clicked on the links I suggested? For example, I meant the "mail" link that is just to the left of your name at the top. When I look at your user page, I see a -2 for the M-estimator question, but that's it. (Who knows why you had a down vote there!) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Feb 27 '11 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ @mpiktas It's funny. It seems I experienced a similar drop down (about 140 rep) :-) On a related point, I gained +1 rep on tex.SE, so maybe there's sth going on with stackexchange... $\endgroup$ – chl Feb 27 '11 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ @chl, I had a thought that maybe upvotes from deleted own answers do not count anymore. I certainly deleted one with 3 votes, for which I received disciplined badge, maybe there was also some upvoted answer I do not remember. $\endgroup$ – mpiktas Feb 27 '11 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @cardinal, yes I know the mail link, I use it to track the questions I am interested in. If I mark the question with the star, then if somebody posts new answer the mail icon turns to colour of blood, that is red :) Concerning M-estimator question, I guess the OP downvoted me, I'll admit the downvoted version of the question was not perfect. $\endgroup$ – mpiktas Feb 27 '11 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ @chl, I also received one unexplained reputation point in math.SE. Something is clearly afoot :) $\endgroup$ – mpiktas Feb 27 '11 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ @mpiktas No, I think you keep rep that you gained even if you delete your response afterwards. Sorry to hear that you get a downvote without explanation -- I can understand them, especially when the response or question is poorly worded or is actually lacking follow-up (these are my rare downvotes), but for detailed response like yours I always feel embarrassed to see anonymous downvote; I guess that's community life! $\endgroup$ – chl Feb 27 '11 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @chl, it turns out that reputation is lost if the answer or the question is deleted. It is only not reported immediately. It appears that "true" reputation count can be find in /reputation as Jeff indicated. This page even has a bug for resyncing reputation to its true value. $\endgroup$ – mpiktas Feb 28 '11 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ @mpiktas I thought a question could not be deleted if an answer has been provided, voted up, and accepted... anyway, I was suspecting this was likely to be explained by sth like deleted users. Good to know anyway. I'm not really following my rep, though (it was just coincidental that I noticed my drop down, because of Safari "Top Sites" feature which shows a cached version of the sites I visit the most often). $\endgroup$ – chl Feb 28 '11 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ @chl, yes there are restrictions on deleting your own questions, but there are no restrictions on deleting your own answers. I lost reputation on my own deleted answers. There is an ongoing discussion on meta.SO, apparently there are a lot of users affected. $\endgroup$ – mpiktas Feb 28 '11 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ @chl, the weekly reputation league looks interesting today. As if downvote epidemic occured :) $\endgroup$ – mpiktas Feb 28 '11 at 10:11

Reputation score is denormalized, so it is expected for it to vary slightly from the "real" value over time. We periodically recalculate everyone's reputation to bring it in sync, roughly once per year.

Some ways reputation can be affected without being updated live:

  • a user is deleted; this deletes all their votes
  • a post is deleted
  • a post is migrated to another site

You can always check


to see the live calculation of your reputation, and optionally recalculate it to reflect the current, most correct, value.

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We did a global recalc across all Stack Exchange sites today in preparation of some new features.

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