Is it possible to block a user's reputation increase when he is upvoted, or on any other event? On what basis could it be done and by whom? I searched info on this without success.

I understand from the answer that an answer edited more than 11 times automatically becomes community WIKI and no longer gives reputation.

The first point is that the users should be better warned

The second point is that I do not see why I should keep working on my answers that are no longer mine, since it is precisely those answers that give me real work, and require originality, that gather no reward.

There is only so much interest in textbook answers, however carefully I did some of them.

Not all questions are equal. Not all answers are equal. When I answer a question that could be an open problem, I do not believe it should be treated the same as when I give a pointer to wikipedia.

I have always been evolving the documents I write. We all have our own way of working, and no one will be imposing on mine,especially a community to which I gave more than I asked.

This site is aiming for low quality as it encourages strongly fast answers and then discourages evolution of documents. I evolve documents in situ because it is too much management to do otherwise. And I have answered carefully enough older questions to know that it does not get many votes. And votes are not just reputation, they determine answer ranking, and thus the usefulness of the work contributed.

One of my major reasons for participating is understanding cooperation and peer reviewing in this system. As far as I am concerned, this is a failure. I have been a promoter of open publication long before anyone dreamed of this system. But I also believe in respecting authorship, not just the author's name, but his work and his way of working.

I have no problem leaving my contributions under a copyleft licence. But I do have problems not being respected when I do it. And I have other chanels for whatever I have to say.

I have no idea where this text should be going ... but I am in no mood to look. However, I am willing to discuss these issues.

Follow-up after a decision not to do anything.

I did spend significant time trying to find out how this site works. The most important thing users do is answering questions. I did not see any information, any hint, that editing was a problem. I had no idea that it bumped the question (I thought only new answers did). I do care about other people's time. I just checked that the bumping is mentioned in the editing help, but in such way that it does not look important, and there is much to memorize.

I do understand you have to protect the system from frequent update if it has been chosen to have this effect. But the best protection would simply be to warn the users. It would be so simple to have a few lines on things to avoid in the editing help. Not to mention that any system that can detect bad votes can obviously detect excessive editing.

I did not have TeX installed on my machine (I do now - I move), and I could not know using it on the site was a problem as it uses my cycles. I cannot tell what is exceptional. I do know I have acted in good faith after doing my best to be informed.

As much as I understand that you have to protect the system, I do not understand that you do not seem willing to set thing right, knowing that none of the problems is due to neglect on my part, since it is apparently the only thing in your power. Indeed, nothing will be done to change things regarding users information, and you cannot help it. The issue of brownie points is immaterial. But principles do matter to me too.

It was politically most interesting, as Larry Lessig might say.

Thank you for your time - really.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm also not very happy with those rules, but those are the rules (I think an answer becomes CW also when 5 different people edit it). Why don't you delete the current answer, and re-post a clean and correct version of it? anyways, please don't leave the answer saying "I don't like my answer to be CW". This kind of answers should be deleted.. $\endgroup$
    – Ran G.
    Jun 21, 2013 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ These rules are there for reasons; see Gilles' answer and my comment there. Note that edits like this fall in the category of self-vandalism, which is (if repeated) punishable by suspension. The correct way to act is to flag your post (as you should always do if you think something is wrong not covered by close/delete/reopen votes); moderators can remove the wiki. Still, you should probably work on getting better posts out from the start. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jun 21, 2013 at 5:51
  • $\begingroup$ (If you flag, please add a small explanation for how the CW happened, and why you think it's not justified. Make sure you understand what CW means first, of course.) $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jun 21, 2013 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael Thank you for the comment. I did ask to get my answer back some hours ago. Do you have any idea how long it takes or whether I get feedback. I have a text waiting. I really think this information about CW is poorly advertised because I read several times the various help pages without seeing it. I could not find it on the site even after learning of it. I had to use google. But I believe these rule are made for people who exchange know facts and cooking recipes. Not for people trying to create. And even then ... $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 21, 2013 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @babou The average flag-handling time is 3:28h. We are discussing your case in chat. Regarding documentation of CW, that is out of our hands. I suggest you search Meta Stack Exchange and maybe post a request/question there. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jun 21, 2013 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that users should be warned when editing frequently. You may want to take that to Meta Stack Exchange. (For previewing Markdown with math, you can use something like Markdown Here (or the SE preview without saving). As for why we don't act on your request, keep in mind that your edit count and frequency were exceptionally high. Even though you meant no harm, if we remove CW from such extreme a case we will have trouble arguing with real culprits in the future. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jun 22, 2013 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael I appreciate your concern. I have been told both that this is exceptional and there is nothing exceptional that would justify action. Maybe. Take the case with 40 edits. Originally, my contribution was quite reasonable: an answer to a student question. But she kept asking more explanation and details, in a problem that actually interested me. I never liked to chat, so I opened a new mail account to be able to exchange with her without cluttering the comments. For the CF question, I worked on several answers. I thought of starting new ones, but the system suggested otherwise. $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 22, 2013 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ But the above is just details. In the USA there is something called "due process" which I take to mean that some fundamental rules of justice have to be followed. I do think that you have here a mechanical justice that denied me my rights by applying an untold rule. You do not even have the power to change it. All you could do is repare, which you did not do. I just will not condone this. Such systems are becoming important and we all have a responsibility to ensure that fundamental principles will be preserved. This gave me much to think about. I am very concerned, by this and much more. $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 22, 2013 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ A basic issue is that this system is totalitarian, with untold rules to boot. A proper system should be transparent about rules and effects of actions. More importantly, diversity is necessary because people are different, because situations change. Diversity is a marker of freedom. Such sytems could allow some diversity. Why not let the user decide whether his edits bump the question or not, and count bumps rather than edits. But even this has limits in a mechanical system (code is law). And there is more. I believe we are walking grounds a lot more dangerous than they seem. ... 6M$ ... $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 22, 2013 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @babou Calm down. Lot of strong words there. a) Nobody attacked any of your rights. The posts are still credited to you. b) Check your rights! Civil rights do not necessarily apply; SE is a commercial product, so yea, at the end the company makes the rules. They are very open to discussion (if maybe not with every user, due to sheet volume) and participation, actually; it's far from totalitarian. c) If you think you are being mistreated by us CS-mods, feel free to contact the community moderators. d) Counting bumps instead of edits, or marking edits as minor, could work. But it does not. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jun 23, 2013 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ @babou This is a problem affecting a small number of your posts. Now you know about the rule, so avoid the problem in the future. It's a minor infraction and a minor offense. I believe you that you weren't aware of the rule, but ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. You are a valued constributor here and I hope you're able to move on and let this one go. $\endgroup$
    – Patrick87
    Jun 26, 2013 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Patrick87 I think you miss my point. SE aims at becoming a more important organization worldwide. Power brings responsibility and requires respecting people if it is to be legitimate. It is apparently notorious to insiders that this rule, and some other rules most probably, is not adequately advertised on the site. Neither are the side-effects of various interactions. If you look at my badges, you will notice that according to SE, I am supposed to be informed, and I am not. Hence SE is responsible, not I. Ignorantia juris non excusat, but the law is supposed to have been made public first. $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 27, 2013 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ @babou I agree that taking steps to ensure that people are better informed about the rules is a good thing, and I commend you for wanting to increase awareness. That said, I believe that you are subject to the rule, guilty, and should undergo the penalty. If I had any reason to believe you were acting with intent (I do not), then I would seek a more severe penalty. $\endgroup$
    – Patrick87
    Jun 27, 2013 at 19:47

3 Answers 3


Your real issue seems with the fact the system deals with iteratively written answers; Gilles covered that in his answer and I commented.

Let me note one other effect that can happen: so-called serial voting. If a user up- or downvotes lots of posts of specific other users for bad reasons, the system will (attempt to) detect this (by a set of rules not known to us) and flag this behaviour as fraud and remove the votes. This will happen once per day (US-night, I think) and remove both the votes and the reputation changes.


If you mean “can someone prevent an upvote or other event from increasing a user's reputation”, then no.

However, there is an automatic way in which an upvote would not grant reputation to the target user. You can earn a maximum of 200 reputation points per calendar day from upvotes. This is known as the reputation cap. If you get more upvotes that day, they do not increase your reputation. Other sources of reputation (accepted answers, bounties) do not count towards the cap and are not limited.

Furthermore, votes on posts that are marked as community wiki to not grant any reputation.

On a separate note, if a user is suspended, their reputation is set at 1 for the duration of the suspension. However, the reputation is still being tracked under the hood and will be restored as if the suspension never took place once the suspension period is over.

Looking at your account, I see you have three answers marked community wiki. In each case, that happened because you edited the post more than 10 times; you can see that in the revision history (“made Community Wiki by babou editing at least 10 times” — as far as I know the rule is actually at least 11 times, which is why it happened on the 12th revision).

Each time you edit a post, this bumps the thread back to the front page, which displaces other posts. You're also imposing more on the readers: we need to figure out what's changed… and again… and again… As far as I know, the automatic mark as community wiki is there to discourage you from making so many edits. I have to say, here, it's working exactly as intended.

I know that the feature isn't documented very prominently. But that's because it very rarely kicks in. 40 revisions is far more than I've seen anywhere on Stack Exchange. Evidently most people, even those who leave detailed, thoughtful answers like yours, don't feel the need to edit them again and again like this.

Moderators have the ability to remove the community wiki mark, but we're only supposed to do it in exceptional circumstances. I'm afraid I don't see any exceptional circumstances here.

In the future, please refrain from making so many edits. Don't use the answer box as a scratchpad — if you need to edit every 5–10 minutes, you aren't ready to post yet. Don't edit just to fix a spelling error that has no mathematical implication.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Well there are two answers for which my reputation page shows upvotes, also visible with the answers. However the reputation page shows no reputation increment associated with it. I am wondering why since I never saw any indication that this is possible, other than the cases you mention, but my reputation is not down to 1, and I did not make 200 rep on these days, or any other. Is there anything I should do ? $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 20, 2013 at 21:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @babou Three of your answers are marked as community wiki. That happened automatically when you edited them 11 times. To avoid this, group your edits instead of updating the answer every few minutes (work it out on paper/whiteboard first?), and don't edit for a mere inconsequential typo. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2013 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @Gilles. Nobody warned me about that, and I did not see it anywhere. These are only my work. Considering this, I have been completing my question above with my thoughts about this. It is not positive. I am willing to discuss it if anyone is interested. But I do not think I can work with a system that I perceive as threatening. I love sharing and community, but chosen, not imposed. P.S. Typos matter in math documents, and they occur often. $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 21, 2013 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ @babou How does this threaten you? It merely gives you a nudge towards writing better posts without lots of revision on the site. This has a good reason: while "many" people will read a post once it is posted, they probably won't read later iterations. That's not universally true, but experience. So, we need to have good posts from revision 1 in order to have a site that not only has good content, but where good content is also seen, read and reviewed. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jun 21, 2013 at 5:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The system as it stands encourages quick posting, followed by a few revisions, but discourages ongoing revisions. This probably made a lot of sense given the history of the system and Jeff Atwood's personal value system, but it is certainly not universally perfect. The workaround is to work offline, posting only significant deltas, or to delete the answer and post a new one (though this relies on people returning to the page and voting on it again, which often does not happen). $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2013 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrásSalamon I do take my long answers seriously. That means that I think about it later. It is a process that I never consider finished. That raises many issues : 1- I cannot manage copies on my own machine because that is too much overhead 2- I never know whether there will be more changes, so I am discouraged from bringing improvements on the site and risk losing my text 3- it is also discouraging to be doing improvements that do not benefit anyone 4- I hate to leave a text with typos publicly accessible. 5- typos are a problem in math texts. ... and probably more. $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 21, 2013 at 11:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @babou: I am not defending SE's system design, which I think has been characterized by a lot of inflexibility in the face of even well-reasoned community argument, but simply pointing out the facts. $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2013 at 12:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @babou Understand that you never lost your text. You are not getting reputation for it any more (those points earned before it was flipped stay!). You may consider it payment: every time you edit, it bumps the question to the top of the list, other active users click only to find some detail changed. Effectively, you waste a potentially large number of users' time (with small edits). Do you think that is fair? $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jun 21, 2013 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ For the record, I support Gilles' statement/judgement. I sympathize with your problem, though. I can only recommend using local files, or something like Etherpad or PasteBin if that's not possible. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Jun 21, 2013 at 21:40

There's a little-known trick that for the first 5 minutes after the initial post, all edits get absorbed into the initial revision. That means: read it over quickly and make all your spell-check/grammar-check/sanity-check edits within 5 minutes after posting.

For these 5 minutes (watch the clock by your usercard: "asked/answered 2/3/4 minutes ago"), don't waste time explaining your edits, either: there's no saved revision to need the explanation.

edit: haha!

edit: 49 seconds!

edit: 1 minute.

edit: 2 minutes later... you get the idea.

  • $\begingroup$ I knew it worked for comments ... after a trial, I thought it did not work for answers. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jul 26, 2013 at 19:27

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