Sometimes I stumble upon a user who is shown with reputation 1 - despite the fact that the user has many upvoted posts and many badges, which means they should have higher reputation. Why does this happen?

Is this related to suspension? Can I somehow find out why the user was suspended?

In the past, there were some questions on meta asking the above questions for some specific user. When this was discussed in chat, some MathOverflow users and also one moderator expressed the opinion that it might be reasonable to have one generic question about this - to which users asking about this issue could be directed.


1 Answer 1


Yes, that means the user has been suspended*. All you need to know about the situation is in the FAQ on Meta Stack Exchange:

When an account is suspended

  • The account will receive a private moderator message, explaining the exact details of the suspension and a box to contact moderators.1

  • The account will be locked at 1 reputation.

  • The user page will have a visual reminder that the account is in timed suspension. It will also include a brief summary explaining the reason for the suspension.

    • Note that the public "reason" shown for the suspension is based on the moderator message template that the suspending moderator decides to use. In particular, if the moderator decides to start from a blank template, it will show as "for rule violations", so seeing that reason doesn't necessarily mean that the user has violated a specific, codified rule.

In particular, other than the reason shown on the profile page, it's not possible to find out why a user has been suspended; this remains a private matter between the user and the moderators.

*: technically, it's possible to give all your reputation away via bounties and end up at exactly 1 reputation. A single upvote will increase your reputation again, though.

  • $\begingroup$ Are there already any plans to fix the wrong displayed reason, or should I open a feature request for that? Documenting "the displayed reason is wrong" in a FAQ instead of fixing the issue seems bad practice. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2020 at 10:03
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think a moderator has ever started a message from the 'promotional content' template and then turned it into a message about voting irregularities. 'For rule violations' is vague but covers about all cases for suspension. I think the FAQ is better off having "so that reason may not necessarily correspond to the actual reason the account was suspended" deleted. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 10:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks, I have decided to add a feature request on Meta. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2020 at 10:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sure, let's see what happens. I've suggested an edit (while not logged in, of course) to have that sentence removed from the FAQ; I think that unless a moderator is deliberately trying to obscure things, the shown reason is correct at all times. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 10:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (Why "while not logged in"?) $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2020 at 10:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To check whether others agree with this removal or not. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ I've never seen a reason given for a suspension here on MathOverflow - just a statement that the user is suspended followed by the expiration date of the suspension. $\endgroup$ Commented May 23, 2020 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertFurber some have been suspended network-wide, and in that case no reason is shown indeed. I found another suspended user here: mathoverflow.net/users/10035/t where the reason is shown. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 12:41

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