Multiple users have been removed recently, and just yesterday one account, which connected all of them, was deleted as well. On this occasion other people have been massively un-upvoted. Removed account had over 12k reputation at the peak and about 5k at the time of removal. According to SE rules when the removed user has "high score" such situation should be treated specially:

In such cases, the staff use a special deletion that preserves the votes, resulting in no reputation change for those who had been voted on by that user.

The question arise: what is the definition of a high reputation user? Is there any or just someone decides in each case separately?

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    It is very odd to me to equate "high reputation" with "has cast many votes" in the first place. Vote counts aren't even secret. Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 1:06
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    @JeffSchaller he was ~5k last time I checked (after first accident, 2 weeks ago), but at that time he had already lost about 7k, so at some point he had at least 12k.
    – jimmij
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


Stack Exchange never disclosed the vote/reputation thresholds they use, except for indicating these threshold have been tweaked over time. This answer by an employee gives more information about the process.

When users are checked before committing a deletion, two things are checked. Well, more than two, but these are two that figure highly into the vote preservation determination. Their reputation level is checked, and also the votes they've cast. The important thing about this latter point, is that it isn't just the raw number of votes checked, but also where those votes have gone. Sometimes people have a large number of votes but haven't even voted for the same person more than twice. Other times, a person has a small number of votes but they all went towards a handful of people.

As another rule, and in fact the explanation for this particular incident, we will not preserve votes on an account that has a history of vote fraud. We're sorry about any loss this incurs on innocent bystanders but preventing fraudulent votes from being practically locked into the system is a higher priority.

As an aside, I do not see users being "massively un-upvoted". The most I found was glenn jackman losing 260 points, which isn't really a very large amount for this site.

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    Do I win if I lost 262?
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 14:56
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    I feel the second paragraph should be emphasized somehow, because that seems to be the case at hand. Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 11:37

There's been 2 events that I'm aware of that recently took place. Both of these bothered me personally because these individuals were violating the "spirit" of how SE sites are suppose to work.

Incidentally it seemed odd in retrospect in watching these two individuals because they both had many answers with high up-votes which seemed odd to be from my history with interacting with the site. Both appeared to have a higher rate of votes for what I would classify as marginal answers, vs. ones you'd historically see as true canonical answers from someone like Gilles, Stephane, or someone else.

It's everyone responsibility to keep an eye out for outliers and to raise a flag if you suspect something's amiss. Don't become completely paranoid, but also if you see something, don't hesitate to alert the mods via flags.

Some will probably think that it's a somewhat victimless crime with respect to the people that cheat the system and try and game it for votes, but anyone that experiences a lot of lost votes would probably beg to differ, and is why I urge our members to bring it to our attention so that others do not have a similar negative experience with our site.

It's that negative experience that is the most troubling to me personally, since it undermines peoples' sense of contributing their own personal time to help other's in need.

  • Dare I ask who were the individuals?
    – Wildcard
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 23:28
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    @Wildcard - I'd rather not get into specifics. I mentioned it only b/c many have noticed it and I for one would like to know what's going on if I were on the other side of something like this. We all volunteer our time here and it's one of the worst feelings to have hard earned rep taken away. It's meaningless but still meaningful to those that earn it as some form of recognition for the time they donate to everyone on the Internet, IMO.
    – slm Mod
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 4:10

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