The following illustrates the dramatic impact of a situation described earlier in

Don't throw away all votes when a user is deleted.

Chemistry.SE is a vivid beta site with ~ 2700 questions. The reputation of the Top 5 users lies between ~ 9500 and (curently) 4500. I'm the happy guy on rank 5, having given > 200 answers.

The community is quite active and the regulars do their best to prevent the site from degrading into some shabby do-my-homework forum.

When a prolific user (fellow scientist from another continent) decided to leave for personal reasons all his votes were wiped.

I can definitely confirm that he was neither kicked or forced to close his account. The answers and comments that he gave before show that he was a well-mannered person with both a passion for chemistry and Chemistry.SE, voting a lot to improve the site.

Fortunately, his answers and comments are still there - for good reason. Unfortunately, his votes were not measured according to the same standards and got wiped.

When he left, I personally lost 440 (9% of my total) reputation from upvotes on my answers on a single day (2014-03-21)!

Admittedly, this annoys me a lot! Others have lost accordingly.

As outlined above, Chemistry.SE is (still) small and the rules for keeping votes of leaving users with a reputation >> 10k simply can't be applied for our turf.

So: Can we please get the up- and downvotes by our former colleague and fellow scientist back?

  • $\begingroup$ Just support the existing feature request and start a bounty on it if you think it deserves more attention? This seems like a dupe to me. $\endgroup$
    – Bart
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Bart would this be appropriate as an answer on that question? $\endgroup$
    – Jan Dvorak
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 13:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JanDvorak if rephrased as such, pointing out the particular problematic nature on Beta sites, that might work. $\endgroup$
    – Bart
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Bart Honestly, I had hoped for an individual (manual) solution to fix the "damage". Maybe, I just didn't make myself clear enough - usually I just write answers concerning chemistry. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ @KlausWarzecha then that might be better for the Chemistry Meta? In any case, I've dumped a bounty on the "duplicate". And if rephrased, your question might work as an answer there. $\endgroup$
    – Bart
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 13:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Bart I talked to one of the moderators on Chem before starting something bigger here. He told me - right or wrong - that he couldn't do anything about the votes being wiped automatically. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 13:58
  • $\begingroup$ That would seem to be correct. So you'd end up requesting a feature similar to the one in the duplicate. Hence my earlier comments. $\endgroup$
    – Bart
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Klaus You would need the SE staff for that, but I have no idea if they'd actually consider it. $\endgroup$
    – animuson
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure the answer to that one is "nope" @animuson. $\endgroup$
    – Bart
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Bart Sorry, I'm apparently a tad slow today. If one does view it that way (= as a request for an automated feature), one might indeed call it a duplicate and you are right. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ @animuson That was my idea too, I just might have barked the wrong tree here ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 14:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of Don't throw away all votes when a user is deleted $\endgroup$
    – Bart
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 15:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Bart OP posted an answer here earlier today, but since it wasn't really an answer and more a request to reapply the votes, me and (I think it was) psubsee2003 suggested to post it as a question. $\endgroup$
    – Stijn
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 16:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @psubsee2003 No problem. If we go to hell for that together, I'll buy you a coffee. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 16:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @KlausWarzecha I still think that if you remove the last sentence from that answer, it is a good answer on that question. You should edit it out and undelete it $\endgroup$
    – psubsee2003
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


This is, unfortunately, just how the system works: when an account is removed, so are the votes. This is probably not the last time you'll see this - fixing it would require some pretty massive changes to how voting (and user accounts) are implemented.

That said, we do have a system in place to preserve some votes when a high-ranking user is removed. As a result, you'll normally see only small changes to your reputation as folks depart. In this case however, they didn't kick in - I won't go into details, but the situation was somewhat unusual.

Expect to see reputation and post scores fluctuate over the next day or so as anomalies are corrected. I apologize for the disruption.

  • $\begingroup$ This is great news and I can absolutely live with with these fluctuations! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 22:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, I got my rep back. Thank you! :) $\endgroup$
    – tschoppi
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @tschoppi My pleasure! :) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 18:11

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