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How can it happen that I suddenly lose an upvote on this question How can Kaluza-Klein particles be told apart from winding modes at the LHC? (I had 3) together with 5 reputation points? Upon clicking "reputation" on my profile I see no downvotes or any other reason for this ...

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My guess would be that somebody upvoted you and then later reversed the upvote. Votes can be reversed either within 5 minutes (I think) of their original casting, or any time after the post is edited.

If you'd gotten a downvote you would have lost 2 rep, not 5, and it would show up on your profile.

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    $\begingroup$ Further, downvotes would show in your reputation history, but the retraction of a vote would not. I think there is a discussion (or perhaps several) of this on the mother meta, but the team has never seen fit to do anything about it. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jan 18 '12 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks David and dmckee, this is a plausible explanation ... $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jan 18 '12 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ Should a "retraction" of an upvote not be explained in the same fashion by a comment as a donwvote to clarify if after an edit the question is worse or if the original upvote was just a "slip of the mouse"? I mean in particular if the "retraction" takes place more than 24h after the last upvote and several hours after the last edit ...? $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jan 18 '12 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ It would be polite to leave an explanation when you retract a vote, but it's certainly not required. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 18 '12 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ Then the question is, should the interface foster this? should a message appear when un-voting to prompt users to comment? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 30 '12 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ @episanty: that could be something to suggest on Meta Stack Exchange. I'm not sure how well it would be received; the community has rejected the idea of requiring users to comment when downvoting many times, but given that there is a little popup notification reminding users to comment when they downvote, it might make sense to have the same thing when they retract an upvote. $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 30 '12 at 15:18

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