A user was just removed who had obviously voted on some of my posts. I lost 20 reputation which may not seem like a lot to all y'all with 400k+ (ahem, Valorum, ahem), but I was pretty annoyed. So what, exactly, is considered a "significant" reputation drop? It seems that the system would flag it. But where's the threshold?

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    Probably secret, like how the serial voting algorithm is, so as not to alert sockpuppets how to get away with it. Sep 14, 2019 at 2:43
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    Comments asking to clarify the question have been moved to chat now that the question has been updated.
    – Null Mod
    Sep 16, 2019 at 19:31
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    "We have a system in place that examines the impact of removing a user's votes. If the user has cast a large number of votes, deletion will be held up so staff may consider preserving the votes prior to the deletion. The decision is at the staff's discretion and cannot be reversed after the deletion has taken place. If you are seeing a "User was removed" event in your reputation history, it implies that the user either hadn't cast enough votes to be reviewed, or staff made the explicit decision not to preserve the votes."
    – Valorum
    Sep 16, 2019 at 21:31
  • @Valorum - So is the staff notified for every deletion of a user's account and they decide from there or does the system flag rep changes which are higher than usual?
    – user112267
    Sep 16, 2019 at 21:39
  • @Voldemort'sWrath - Site mods can only insta-delete low rep, nearly new accounts. Everything else has to be authorised by a CM
    – Valorum
    Sep 17, 2019 at 11:31
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    @Valorum You might be confusing deletion with destruction. Destroying accounts is only possible when there's <500 rep, but there's a "delete" button on every account. I'm not going to start experimenting though ...
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Sep 17, 2019 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


We don't know.

The exact thresholds for things like what counts as serial voting, or automatic question and answer bans, are kept secret. If they were public, people might be able to abuse them. I've even heard of people abusing the system using things to do with account deletion, so that might be a reason to keep the threshold for vote invalidation after deletion secret too.

Or, there might be no fixed threshold. Deletion of high-rep or high-voting users is reviewed manually by SE employees, so there's probably an element of human judgement in whether or not to preserve votes.

In any case, 20 rep from a deleted user is no big deal. That's a whole 2-4 votes worth, currently 0.5% of your total rep, regainable with a single good or even not-so-good question or answer. (Maybe this sounds silly from me, sitting here with a 6-digit rep score, but all of that previous sentence is objectively true.) Speaking from experience, I don't think I've ever seen an account deletion costing any one user over 100-200 rep unless something else was going on, like a serial vote abuser deleting their account.

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