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I was shocked to see 40 points dropdown in my Reputation this morning with the remark ‘User is removed.’ I have no idea about what it means!

This happened after placing the question asking the usage of the word ‘lackadaisical’ yesterday (June 9th, 2012), and it’s the first experience for me to witness such a thing. I don’t know what is wrong with having asked the above question.

Does ‘User is removed’ mean I was somehow ‘disapproved of’ as the English Language & Usage member by posting the above question?

I think the description is very much confusing and unkind to the users who are unfamiliar with this jargon.

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    You think 40 is bad, I myself lost 118 when the sockpuppet was removed. – tchrist Jun 10 '12 at 4:42
  • Were you quite calm and nonchalant when you got 118 reputation points loss thanks to other user's behavior? I was shocked and got angry for being pulled down for the reason I’m not responsible for. – Yoichi Oishi Jun 10 '12 at 11:46
  • No, I wasn’t shocked and angry. I was a little disappointed, but so is anybody whose points disappear. There isn’t really anything to be done, and I understand what happened. – tchrist Jun 10 '12 at 12:37
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    But still, isn't it unfair to deduct the points (the upvote points) when a user is removed? How about just undoing his (the deleted user's) downvotes? – user20934 Jun 10 '12 at 14:47
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    I'm heartened to see @tchrist lost more than me. Not in a "rivalry" sense - it's just that the 64 points I lost seemed quite high. It made me think there might be something undesirable about my answers that was making them attract upvotes from someone not voting in good faith. Now I know it can happen to the best of us, I'm not really bothered about my loss. By implication there must be other users who genuinely deserve the gains they'll make from malicious downvotes being cancelled. – FumbleFingers Jun 10 '12 at 15:37
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    @rudra Sockpockets are usually guilty of bogus upvotes as well as of downvotes. They are really evil, because they are attempting to subvert the democratic and anonymous nature of the voting system that underpins the entire site with their “vote early, vote often” approach. You cannot know that they are valid upvotes; perhaps they are just mirroring their “real” account. See the problem? – tchrist Jun 10 '12 at 15:42
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    @rudra; If all somebody's downvotes are so undeserving they should be removed, the upvotes must logically be equally tainted. (I lost 130 to this). – Tim Lymington supports Monica Jun 10 '12 at 19:20
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    I came to interpret the loss of rep is just like receiving a counterfeit from someone, which I cannot use. In case of counterfeit, the forger has a merit – real money as long as he manages to sell it off safely. But what do sockpuppets gain by making multiple votes? What is their ‘material’ merit and real intent of making multiple voting on others? Just for fun? As a late septuagenarian falling behind cyber age, I don’t understand it at all. – Yoichi Oishi Jun 10 '12 at 21:51
  • @tchrist. BWT, where do 8 votes I find both on my question and waiwai’s answer go, to meta page on its own, added to my or his rep in EL&U site, or nowhere? – Yoichi Oishi Jun 11 '12 at 1:51
  • @YoichiOishi I am not completely certain. I believe meta gets synchronized with main periodically, but not instantaneously. I believe badges are separate, though. – tchrist Jun 11 '12 at 2:02
  • possible duplicate of What does "-10 User was removed" mean? – kiamlaluno Jun 19 '12 at 16:40
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A user's account was deleted this morning due to abusive vote behavior on his part. As a result of this deletion, any votes the user cast on your account were cancelled, and any reputation gained/lost as a result of his votes have been essentially nullified.

The deletion has nothing to do with you, and is not meant to reflect on your behavior (which, by the way, is perfectly fine); it's just part of the moderation process that resulted in all votes by this user being cancelled.

  • 1
    Do deleted users’ votes usually get cancelled, or was this a special case? – tchrist Jun 10 '12 at 1:09
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    @tchrist I'm afraid I don't know. I think they're usually cancelled, but I'm not certain that that's the case. – waiwai933 Jun 10 '12 at 1:21
  • No problem, and thanks for answering. It’s not a big concern; this is just the first time I remember a reputation change entry with the comment “user deleted”. BTW, you might glance at the other related threads; it looks like people are somewhat unsure on what moderators actually see. They seem to be attributing employee-like powers of observation to you guys. :) – tchrist Jun 10 '12 at 1:25
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    I felt like being blindsided by somebody to have found a big chop-down of Reputation with an incomprehensible note, - ‘User is removed,’ and asked if I did anything wrong or harmful to the site, as I have no memory of abusing anyone, nor posting a seriously dumb question. – Yoichi Oishi Jun 10 '12 at 2:03
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    @YoichiOishi It doesn't mean you were abusing someone--if you lost reputation, that means the deleted user had upvoted you. Now that the account no longer exists, neither do the votes. – simchona Jun 10 '12 at 3:32
  • @Simchona. Does it mean, if I retire from the site and my account no longer exists, the votes (mostly up-votes) I gave others in the past 18 months all canceled as well? – Yoichi Oishi Jun 10 '12 at 3:50
  • @YoichiOishi If you retire and just don't log in, no. Actually deleting an account takes a lot of work, and means that you lose the attribution connected to your answers--but yes, you would likely cancel out your votes. As mentioned above, waiwai isn't sure this is always the case. But here, a user was deleted for abuse and therefore the votes were nullified – simchona Jun 10 '12 at 4:03
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    @simchona May I suggest that the message be changed to something more descriptive than "User is removed"? I too read it to say that my user account was removed and was startled. – choster Jun 10 '12 at 5:56
  • @choster Could you please suggest a particular wording improvement? I confess that I knew immediately what the message meant, even never having seen it before, so the present wording must work for some people. – tchrist Jun 10 '12 at 13:21
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    I see no reason why the name of the removed account should not be used in the message, since the entire removal of an account is a big step. The resulting message User JoeBloggs removed: votes cancelled would explain everything and should confuse no-one. And if the alias is no longer available, then the user number should be, so just quote that: User 12345678 removed: votes cancelled – Andrew Leach Jun 10 '12 at 13:45
  • This partially explains the change in reputation which I myself noticed this morning. However, the indication is that I lost 11 points (very few, I agree) due to the removal of this user; but the actual reputation difference between yesterday and today is slightly greater (15 points) and no indication is given to explain it. Does anybody have an answer to this? Thank you. – Paola Jun 10 '12 at 15:07
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    @Paola: I think there are other "sporadic recalculations" that can affect your rep. I seem to recall there's an actual mechanism for requesting a "recalc" presumably because some of the analyses involved place too heavy a load on the server to be performed on every user every day. Can't think of an example, though. – FumbleFingers Jun 10 '12 at 15:45
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    Just FYI, any request to change wording should be taken up in a new Meta question, possibly even at Meta Stack Exchange, to ensure that the devs see it. – waiwai933 Jun 10 '12 at 17:46
  • @waiwai933. Sorry, I thought it was ok to add to the existing conversation. I'll keep that in mind, though. – Paola Jun 10 '12 at 21:23
  • @Paola: waiwai933 was refering to choster and tchrist's suggestion that the wording "User is removed" should be changed to something more enlightening, not to your enquiry about why you lost more points that you expected. Which of course could also be raised as a separate question if you wanted, but I really think it's just as I've suggested - your total rep has been subject to one of the periodic recalculations going back over days/weeks, where other factors may come into play. – FumbleFingers Jun 10 '12 at 23:05

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