Karma is a key tool in the mechanism of collective moderation, allowing full-fledged members of the community to confer rights on other members of the community, or, conversely, to restrict their powers, through collective voting.
To change user's karma, you can visit the one's profile or the recent post (the author's karma indicator is displayed under the post), or by hovering the mouse over the username in comments, and voting in the pop-up of an information block which contains the main indicators of the user's activity. The buttons for changing karma are decorated in the form of arrows, and traditionally located on either side of the digit reflecting its actual value. Arrows are shown at all time, except for those cases when the user observes own karma, because users do not have the opportunity to vote for their own karma.
You can change the karma of another user by only 1 point. Also, you can always change your vote to the opposite. Thus, even after writing hundreds of useful publications and sparkling comments, which were highly appreciated by the community members, and having reached the karma value of +100500 points, you can lose all of it by posting only one inappropriate comment, and discrediting yourself in the eyes of the community. Therefore, it is very important to carefully choose the words and weigh everything before posting it.
The higher your karma value, the more options you have, including the ability to vote for comments, publications and karma of other users, the ability to write to the hub «I'm advertising», and more. The smaller karma value, the stronger the affection of limits on the account: lack of opportunity to vote, and write publications and comments. The detailed dependence of account rights on the values of karma can be seen in the table below:
Disable display of ad units (option is available in account settings)
Vote for publications, comments and karma of other users
Publish posts in the hub «I'm advertising»
Accrual of one invitation (once), allowing to make a full-fledged account for any user, except for the blocked for violation of community rules
Karma of a user, who didn't create at least 1 publication can't be raised over +4.
From −1 to −10
Possibility to post comments only once in 5 minutes
From −11 to −30
Possibility to post 1 comment in an hour
From −31 to −100
Possibility to post 1 comment in a day
From −100 and and lower
1 comment in a week and the «Troll» badge
Karma value directly affects on how many times a day a user can vote for karma, posts and comments of other community members. Arithmetic is simple: 1 karma score = 1 vote per day, which you can do for karma or post, and 2 votes for comments. For example, if your karma has reached a value of +50, you can vote 50 times for karma and posts per day, and 100 times for comments. If you spend this charge, you will need to wait for 24 hours until you will be able to vote again.
Users who made a big contribution to the development of the community are granted an additional privilege. The power of their voice when evaluating posts differs from the power of the voice of the rest of the community. In particular, holders of badges «Author», «Old-timer» and «Star», in case of positive evaluation of the post, add +2 points of the rating to it. And the owners of the «Legend» badge add the post of the +3 rating points in one voice. This rule applies exclusively to upvoting for posts and, at the same time, does not apply to downvoting (negative vote for post takes away only 1 point of its rating).
Rating is a dynamic value, that depends on the activity of the user on the site: all the upvotes and downvotes to publications and user comments are directly reflected in the overall score of the user rating. At the same time, the rating of the post affects user rating more than the rating of the comments. In fact, rating is a parameter that reflects the community's interest in the user's activity on Habr. If someone appreciates the posts and comments of the user, then one's rating will grow, but the opposite is also true. The higher the rating of the participant, the higher the position in the overall rating and individual hubs.
There is a mechanism of automatic rating reduction over time on Habr. It was designed to ensure that the overall users' rating is as objective as possible and to give any talented author an opportunity to lead it, even if the account was registered just a few days ago.
The essence of this mechanism is that if the user does not receive upvotes to the posts and comments, then, in time, the rating will decrease to zero. Here is an example: a user wrote a post that, as a result of voting, gained a rating of +100, and added X to personal rating. In a few dozens of days, this X itself will be deducted from the user's rating, thereby returning the user to the previous place in the rating table. Thus, in order to maintain the position of a leader, it is necessary to regularly publish interesting materials.
Karma and rating are two completely different, absolutely unrelated values:
user abilities depend on karma value, while rating value affects the position in the users rating;
in contrast to karma, which can be changed only by voting full-fledged users, rating is automatically reset over time;
you can change the karma of another user by 1 score only once, at the same time you can regularly vote for comments and posts of another user and influence on one's rating accordingly;
the vote for the user's karma is not limited in time, but voting for posts and comments is available only for 30 days after it was posted;
the vote for karma can be changed at any time, while the vote for comments and posts can not be changed anymore.
You'd think that users creating quality content and leaving practical comments, should receive mostly positive votes for karma. But sometimes it happens that user gains positive votes for comments and posts and at the same time karma decreases. The most common reason for this is that users who positively evaluate the author's comments and posts do not have the opportunity to vote for their karma, because of:
They have a karma value, necessary to change the karma of other users, but have exhausted their daily limit of votes for the karma of other users;
previously voted for this user's karma.
Remember the more content and comments you post, the more likely you receive upvotes for karma not for the latest conetent or comments, but for those you've published some time ago.
At its core, changing karma is the expressed relationship of one user to another. It is always subjective (it reflects the feelings of a specific user, not an objective evaluation), so it can not be «right» or «wrong». In this regard, you should not send requests to the support service like: «I wrote the truth in my commentary, but they do not want to admit my rightness, so they downvote my karma, it's unfair, return to me the previous value of my karma.» It seems obvious that we can not consider such a request and force users to change their attitude to someone.
However, each user who is not under sanctions for violation the community rules, is given the opportunity to «reset» karma once, using the «Reset» button in the user profile. Some time after activation of this option, the user's karma indicator will be reset, i.e. the votes of those who voted for user's karma will be canceled, and the user will be able to gain karma «from scratch.» Users whose voices have been revoked will be able to vote for karma again.
In connection with the foregoing, it is more appropriate to deal with the reason for receiving negative assessments, and not with its consequence. In most cases, negative karma is the result of imprudent behavior on the site, so that a comprehensive analysis of errors will not lead to the same rake in the future. The most effective way to show the community that you are on the path of fixing is to publish interesting material that does not contain spelling and punctuation mistakes. For this purpose, the «Recovery Mode» mode is provided, enabling users with negative karma (up to -30 inclusive) to publish an article once a week in any profile hub. Such a publication will be marked as «Recovery Mode» and if the material proves to be really interesting, then the community can evaluate the author's efforts and pull him out of the karmic bottom.
Of course, you can still try to write delightful comments, but that will unlikely help you to quickly get out of the big minus.
Since we are talking about ratings and indicators, we can not but mention such things as:
In general, the principle is the same everywhere: the higher the activity, the higher the rating.