On the one hand, I earned around 100-some points in the last day, on the other hand, my total increased by something like 10. Is there some bug?

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    Well, no, no bug, i.e., no malfunctioning of software or anything like that. Did you check your reputation history? I was easily able to trace it to this post mathoverflow.net/questions/304542/… which was recently deleted. This resulted in a loss of 73 (60 from upvotes, 15 from acceptance, -2 from downvote). – Todd Trimble Jul 20 at 19:38
  • I did not see that, and I did not know that this is how things function. I also don't know why someone would downvote this question. There seems to be no other forum for support. – Igor Rivin Jul 20 at 21:40
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    Just FYI, if you go to your user page, you should see a tab that says 'reputation' which will show a history of reputation changes; that's how I found the post. As for the post: it was first closed as being off-topic (it asked a non-mathematical question, on how to get an article of the OP published or on the arXiv). Probably nothing would more have happened, except that the OP basically obliterated the original question and replaced it with an announcement that the article is now on the arXiv; I expect it would not have been deleted if it weren't for the apparent self-promotion. – Todd Trimble Jul 20 at 22:07
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    I didn't downvote your answer, but happened to sometimes downvote answers to low-quality questions (even if not bad), on the grounds that answering low-quality posts should be discouraged. – YCor Jul 20 at 22:14
  • "I also don't know why someone would downvote this question." Igor, are you referring to the current question you have posted here in meta? or to the deleted question on the main site? – Gerry Myerson Jul 20 at 23:34
  • @GerryMyerson This very meta question. – Igor Rivin Jul 21 at 0:02
  • @Gerry Myerson which has now been downvoted twice. – Igor Rivin Jul 21 at 0:02
  • @YCor You do know this is "meta", right? Which is the only place to ask support questions. If you are not interested in support (which I certainly do not blame you for), then you would not know if this is a "bad" question or not. The same goes for any other question. As for the main MO, I NEVER downvote. My downvote is a vote to close. – Igor Rivin Jul 21 at 0:04
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    I suspect, Igor, that you and @YCor are speaking past each other. I think YCor was writing about downvoting the deleted question on the main site, while you think YCor is writing about the current question you have posted in meta. For my part, I don't see the point in downvoting this meta question, unless maybe someone is expressing surprise that a user who has been on this site as long as you have has missed out on these facts about loss of points and tracking reputation changes(or maybe expressing annoyance that someone with 76k points is worried about .1k). – Gerry Myerson Jul 21 at 4:09
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    IIRC if you check the checkbox "show removed posts" on your reputation tab, you should see there also negative reputation changes with links to the posts that cause them. See also: Where reputation disappears and Mysterious one point rep increase. – Martin Sleziak Jul 21 at 5:26
  • BTW you have sufficient reputation to search for your own deleted posts by entering deleted:1 into search. See also: Can I somewhere see my own deleted questions? – Martin Sleziak Jul 21 at 5:27
  • I will add one more link, since quid's answer there gives a very detailed explanation: I had reputation of 104 it fell down to 96 the next time I logged in. Why is that? – Martin Sleziak Jul 21 at 6:03
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    @IgorRivin yes I did a confusion (thanks Gerry) and talked about downvotes on MO. Downvotes on meta is something else; it seems that people downvote more easily here. – YCor Jul 21 at 6:56
up vote 5 down vote accepted

On Martin Sleziak's encouragement (https://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/45770456#45770456), I'll patch together some in the information in comments to form an answer.

As I read it, the question implicit in the title is really about how to track and understand non-obvious reputation changes, where the net change differs from what was expected. Particularly, the function that enables one to automatically see records of removed posts seems to differ from one stackexchange site to another: on many sites such as MO, you may have to check a box that says "show removed posts" before you can see a record of such that affected your reputation. (Go to your user page, and hit the reputation tab where you should then see a log of reputation changes. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page where you should see a box that says "show removed posts", and make sure that box has been ticked.)

Posts may be removed for example by deletion of posts (whether by the post author, or the community, or the site moderators), or by deletion or destruction of accounts. For those with sufficient reputation (10k+), a link is provided in case it was a post deletion.

For the record I'll copy over Martin's helpful comments above:

"IIRC if you check the checkbox "show removed posts" on your reputation tab, you should see there also negative reputation changes with links to the posts that cause them. See also: Where reputation disappears and Mysterious one point rep increase."

"BTW you have sufficient reputation to search for your own deleted posts by entering deleted:1 into search. See also: Can I somewhere see my own deleted questions?"

"I will add one more link, since quid's answer there gives a very detailed explanation: I had reputation of 104 it fell down to 96 the next time I logged in. Why is that?"


The only other issue touched on in comments was about downvoting, and most of the confusion expressed there has been sorted out. (Occasionally I notice the term "downvoting" being used to cover a range of activities, including voting to close and voting to delete, although I'd prefer maintaining these distinctions in terminology, for the sake of clarity.) Igor Rivin was only asking about the downvotes on this meta question -- fair enough, although as YCor and also Gerry Myerson noted, the practice of downvoting at meta tends to be much looser and wider than at main, far wider than for reasons of being "unclear" or "little/no research effort". For example, it is often used to express a disagreement, or a perception that someone is behaving churlishly, etc. I would guess the fact that downvoting at meta is dissociated from reputation change imparts a sense of its being less weighty or consequential, and so it's more liberally applied.

Even if moot for Igor's immediate concern, YCor also noted that answers on main, even if not bad, might be downvoted in order to dissuade others from answering questions perceived as low-quality. If it matters, I (and apparently YCor) expect that's what happened in the case of the question https://mathoverflow.net/questions/304542/oriented-angles-of-two-vectors-in-the-3-dimension-euclidean-space/ at main that was deleted.

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    Very helpful, thanks! – Igor Rivin Jul 21 at 16:25

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