Notifications
Q&A

Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

Why can users get negative reputation?

+3
−0

I saw a user account which had a negative reputation. On the StackExchange sites, the minimum user rep is 1.

So why is a negative reputation possible here? I'd like to know the reason, if it was a conscious design decision.

Why should this post be closed?

3 comments

Oh? If I manage to gather over 2.14 billion down votes, will I get an underflow wrap-around to +2.14 billion rep? :) ‭Lundin‭ about 1 month ago

If Ruby default numeric types work that way, I wouldnt be surprised to see it happening. ‭.                                                .‭ about 1 month ago

The real question is why some sites artificially cap rep at 1 or 0. Some people can make a net negative contribution. Rep should reflect that. If it were clipped at 0, then doing bad things don't count anymore after a while. That makes no sense. ‭Olin Lathrop‭ about 1 month ago

2 answers

+6
−1

As noted by @OlinLathrop in a comment:

The real question is why some sites artificially cap rep at 1 or 0. Some people can make a net negative contribution. Rep should reflect that. If it were clipped at 0, then doing bad things don't count anymore after a while. That makes no sense.

This is a pattern across the internet. Some e-commerce sites have eliminated negative - or even "0 star" reviews. SomewhereElse you can upvote comments but not downvote comments. Etc. This is an artificial situation that really makes no sense to me. I have no problem with the idea of "starting with 1 point instead of 0" and similar things. But to say "you can only go up, never down" or "only overall positive, never negative" dilutes the power of any point/reputation/etc. system.

Think about it another way: money. You can earn money. You can spend money. In the real world, there are consequences (at least in the long term) if you spend more than you earn. It doesn't matter whether that is because you don't earn much (don't provide quality answers to questions) or spend too much (bounties on your own questions without getting points from others first). The end result is that you have a negative balance and it has consequences.

All that being said, Codidact is, over time, heading away from "reputation points" being a core feature. It may stay on in some limited form, but won't be the direct driving factor behind privileges the way that it is in SomeOther sites.

1 comment

You might decouple rep from privileges to some extent, but there still needs to be a single easy-to-see score for every user that indicates how much that user's contributions are valued by the community. The gamification of such a "awesomeness score" is important and must not be overlooked. Trust should also be based in part on contribution level, so the concept of "rep" is still important. ‭Olin Lathrop‭ about 1 month ago

+2
−0

My guess:

Because they used a signed integer type for rep, therefore it's not capped at 0.

(And hypothesizing that because of lazyness and simplicity rep substraction performs just a substraction instead of a capped substraction).

rep := rep + -penalty;

vs:

rep := (rep + -penalty > 1) ? rep + -penalty : 1;

Here using a simple substraction has the advantage of easier detection of arithmetic overflow. But I doubt it's using raw/machine numeric types. Because it's Ruby - I guess it auto promotes to arbitrary precision. But it was supposed to be C#. There are raw/machine numeric types in C#.


your comments

I don't think the Q was about technical details.

I agree. However, in the particular case of Codidact1, many current - interim? - design decisions are tightly intimate with the corresponding technical implication, because they actually predate Codidact2 itself, in some cases by many years. I could guess therefore, some of those might been taken probably with simplicity in mind.

1: This Codidact occurrence, you can read as Qpixel.
2: Codidact in the broad sense. Post-"Dear Stack Exchange, Inc.,".

1 comment

I don't think the Q was about technical details. ‭FoggyFinder‭ about 1 month ago

Sign up to answer this question »

This site is part of the Codidact network. We have other sites too — take a look!

You can also join us in chat!

Want to advertise this site? Use our templates!