This is not a duplicate of the 2017 question mentioned. That question was about an event on ELU alone, involving a well known (to ELU) single user, and easily comprehended. This question is about a mysterious SE wide event, involving many sites, and causing widespread confusion across SE. The core of this question explicitly asks whether the event, first noticed by the OP on TGO, involved other sites. The earlier question did not ask about an SE-wide problem.

TGO info on this topic: See the answer on TGO Meta which answers, and has links to other answers, on this point, which, summarized, is easy come, easy go.

Within the past day or two, I lost 75 rep on ELU and 205 rep on The Great Outdoors (TGO). And, 15 other users on TGO lost a total 0f 3,379 rep on TGO. In all, as of a few minutes ago, the average loss on TGO was 224 rep points for 16 users.

Let's stipulate that rep is imaginary and of no real value.

Nevertheless, this widespread large rep loss seems like an anomaly, arguing that there may be a malfunction, or a malicious hacker or user -- something that should be corrected, and restitution made, if possible.

My rep losses were explained as User Removed, which we all know is a valid reason for losing a few rep points. However, under Learn More, SE states:

This removal occurs whenever a user is deleted, unless that user had a very high reputation score. Because high-reputation users have usually cast a great many votes, removing all of them could be that much more disruptive to other users. 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.

Again, let's not discuss whether rep can buy you a beer or impress a girl- or boy-friend. Something is odd in at least TGO, and the object of this question is an attempt to find out if the oddness is also on other sites.

  • 2
    'On other sites'? Then why ask here? That said, yes, it happened to me on three of the sites I am on. Are you concerned that something broke? I'd guess it is just someone who voted a lot on a bunch of site, or a coincidence that a few people were deleted around the same time. Mods probably won't give the circumstances of the deletion.
    – Mitch
    May 25, 2019 at 17:52
  • 2
    See Meta SE meta.stackexchange.com/questions/328642/… We're not the only hapless "victims".
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 25, 2019 at 18:46
  • @Mitch I am asking here, in addition to TGO, because this is the other site besides TGO where I (a) lost non-trivial amount of rep and (b) have standing to ask. On the other sites where I am registered, I did not lose rep and am a low rep user. And yes, I was concerned that something was broken, as the bolded paragraph stated clearly, I thought. Please help me to understand what was confusing about my question, and how I could have made it clearer.
    – ab2
    May 25, 2019 at 18:55
  • 1
    According to this query, the user whose account was deleted had 13875 on SU, 9092 on Apple, 5215 rep on EL&U, 3059 on ELL, , 2080 on Bicycles, 1680 on Gardening, 1020 on TGO. Plus many many other accounts.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 25, 2019 at 18:56
  • 2
    If you want clear solid unequivocal answers... good luck. But if you want to understand a little more then you should visit MetaSE and read up on the comments, this one gave the user's ID meta.stackexchange.com/questions/328642/… and here meta.stackexchange.com/questions/328642/…
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 25, 2019 at 19:03
  • @Mari-Lou A Thanks for the links, which explain a lot.
    – ab2
    May 25, 2019 at 19:07
  • 1
    @ab2 Sorry, I read your sentence "the object of this question is an attempt to find out if the oddness is also on other sites." from the point of view of ELU. So 'other sites' would be sites other than ELU. So I was wondering why you were asking here about those non-ELU sites. The fact that everybody is worried about it means we're all in the same boat. Everybody lost something. It's only a physical bother (as opposed to a psychological one) if you hadn't already redeemed your rep as frequent flyer points as has been possible for many years now.
    – Mitch
    May 25, 2019 at 19:21
  • 2
    I lost 70 on ELU; there goes the LA trip.;)
    – Xanne
    May 26, 2019 at 7:22
  • 1
    Stack Exchange really should update the blatantly wrong documentation in the help center. It'd be better to not say anything at all than give people false assurances, and giving misinformation in official documentation is highly unprofessional. However, with that having been said, I am personally unaffected by this recent event.
    – Tonepoet
    May 26, 2019 at 13:20
  • @JJJ That was about a 2017 incident which affected only ELU. This is an SE wide event.
    – ab2
    May 26, 2019 at 22:04
  • I just realized I lost 140 rps on ELU for the removal on the user...:((
    – user 66974
    May 28, 2019 at 20:17
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it should be asked on Meta SE due to repeated mention of point loss for other SE sites too. Jun 3, 2019 at 1:00
  • 1
    @EllieKesselman It's also okay to ask here.
    – NVZ Mod
    Jun 4, 2019 at 9:28
  • 1
    @NVZ Okay then; I retract my vote to close if you say so. I apologize. Jun 8, 2019 at 7:42

1 Answer 1


The “oddness” which the OP speaks of is network-wide

On Workplace.SE someone asked: Have lots of Users been Removed recently? dated May 19 2019

In the past few days, I've seen a few notifications that "User was removed" in my Achievements list.

Some removed points, some added points.

I assume I would see only a single "User was removed" message per user? So should I conclude that at least 3 users were recently removed for some reason? And if so, is some sort of program going on now to remove users?

Another User removed today. Very odd. I hadn't seen any removals for years. Now four in a few days.

Monica Cellio, a mod, posted this answer [emphasis in bold mine]

There's no program from the moderators' side. Sometimes users request deletion of their accounts, and there are thresholds above which those requests require human review by a community manager. This is particularly true for accounts that have voted a lot.

I'm speculating, but I suspect the CMs review requests in batches or on a set schedule, which could lead to several events in proximity.

Each notification reports the reputation change caused by one deleted user. Moderators aren't privy why users request deletion, nor do we know which users were deleted unless we come across posts that now contain user numbers instead of profile links.

And finally, hot from Meta.SE press, comes this answer (snippet) from Animuson♦

  • Voting fraud being involved is only one of the most common reasons that we would refuse to preserve votes. It is not the only reason, and voting fraud existing doesn't even always mean we would refuse - it's just incredibly likely that we would refuse. So to everyone: Please do not assume that votes not being preserved was due to voting fraud. It is not always true.

For more info see this answer by @Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog, one of Meta's most assiduous users and contributor.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .