Last time this was discussed here was in Change vote dropping criteria when a user account is deleted.

Thought the case had been resolved, because since then, I had not observed a 'user was removed' with significant* amount of votes withdrawn after deletion, until few minutes ago. Was this case an actual fraud?

*I did some quick digging and found that the amount of votes removed was significant because several other users were affected as well (I lost 90 rep). Some examples:

It does not seem to be a case of targeted voting (many users impacted).

Maybe it was that guy (userxxxxx) with low rep and low participation (regarding comments and posts), but with more than 14k useful flags and more than 5k votes (not seeing his/her profile anymore)?

Can someone, SE staff or moderator (via SE staff contact) explain what happened? If it was not a fraud, can the votes be kept?

PolyGeo's answer is accepted because it links to the official answer in MSE. However, the referenced answer lacks transparency by not confirming what seems to be the obvious (a single user affected the entire network for many years and went unnoticed to the system) and pointing to another post where it is said ('not all massive vote discarding is result of fraud', and the other possible reasons are not listed/explained).

  • 3
    This has happened a few times over the past 8 years [as a mod] yes it is annoying when working towards rep but it can also be the user who deletes their own account - that has happened a few years ago where a user (lots of rep and votes) decided to leave and delete their account. Please keep working towards your 10k rep with your commitment you will get there soon.
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 13:36
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    Although I can see a bit more information as a Moderator on Android, I am sharing the information visible to all users. We also had a user (keeping user ID anonymous here) with name userxxxxx having 7k good flags but only two posts and 400+ rep only (due to edits) - based on last time I visited there profile. That person was a prolific voter (third largest on my site, around 11k with 8-9k downvotes), and that user cannot be found anymore in all-time voters list anymore.
    – Firelord
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 7:22
  • The total reputation lost is well over 1K taking into account the 120 rep I lost too. I believe this was either an error in the SE system or an issue that needs to be addressed. The help page suggests there is a special deletion that preserves rep, however, I have been unable to find what the threshold is that would cause the special deletion to trigger: gis.stackexchange.com/help/user-was-removed
    – Aaron Mod
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 2:17
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    @Aaron, they don't reveal what the vote threshold is; only that once it is triggered, someone will review and decide if votes are kept or not. Besides, the post linked in PolyGeo's answer, see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/328672/…. Commented May 28, 2019 at 2:53
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    Regarding overall reputation loss in GIS SE, it was much more than 5k. The user with 14k helpful flags, more than 5k votes, 150 rep, and 4 posts in meta (none in the main site) who was deleted had more than 1k upvotes (if memory does not fail). If you are curious, he had a post in this Q: gis.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5010/… (@Aaron) Commented May 28, 2019 at 3:02
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    Yikes, I just dropped from having mod privileges to not (below 10,000). That sucks. Oh well, back to the grindstone I guess ;-) Commented May 29, 2019 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


It seems to be related to the same event as is being asked about at Meta SE in Massive user removal in one night?

As @Animuson has answered there:

One or more users deleted their profiles, and there's really not anything further we can discuss about the topic for privacy reasons.

I think the decision on whether to retain reputation on (self-)deletion of high voting users is taken before deletion of an account by SE staff takes effect.


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