According to an anonymous Canonical-employed launchpad developer.
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31 January 2007
We have reduced everybody's Launchpad karma, to correct a bug in the way that we calculated it.
Each day since we introduced the bug, in October 2006, we have added extra karma to everybody's total. We're sorry that your karma level has been incorrect over the past few months.
Your present karma represents how much work you have done in Launchpad and will increase as you continue to work on bugs, answer requests, blueprints, code and translations.
Note: Everybody's Launchpad karma decays slightly over time, to reflect how recent your work has been.
You can read more in our guide to KarmaCalculation or speak to mrevell in #launchpad on irc.freenode.net.
Matthew Revell and the Launchpad team.
Q: What did the bug actually do?
A: We calculate each user's total Launchpad karma once a day and, to make it faster to display, cache the number. The bug added your karma cache, at the time we introduced the bug, to your actual karma total, once each day. Example: if you had 100 karma points at the beginning, we added that to your total each day between October 2006 and the end of January 2007, giving you 200 points on the second day, 300 points on the third, and so on.
Q: If everybody's karma increased, why not just leave it?
A: The bug increased everybody's karma by different levels, based on the karma they had in October 2006. If you'd done a lot of work since we introduced the bug, your karma would not fairly represent that.
Q: With this solution, all the work that I've done since october 2006 is lost in the karma's calculation?
A: No - no information was lost due to this bug.