I want to make this clear, the idea of a reputation system on a Q/A website is foolish. Why would you create a system that prevents people from posting their ideas, comments, etc. isn't that the point of the site? To ask and answer questions freely? What made you think restricting peoples access to express them and their opinions was a good idea? For the sake of this website I would recommend removing this system, because it may make people feel like their opinions do not matter, so please remove it before it becomes a problem. If you choose not to then that's how you choose to handle it, I'm just suggesting an alternative that allows people to ask/answer questions without having to earn a right we already have, that being "freedom of speech" which the reputation system stands in the way of.
Arqade, and StackExchange in general, is a site that squarely focuses on quality questions and answers. It is by definition a Q&A site.
There are two main purposes for the reputation system here.
- Discerning quality: Good questions that show research effort get upvoted. Good answers that actually answer the question and are of good quality are also upvoted. Questions that show no research or are unclear are downvoted; same with answers. This allows visitors to the site to easily distinguish the quality from the crap. It is designed in such a way that the askers and visitors find exactly what they're looking for - good quality answers to a question they have.
- Permissions and moderation: This site is moderated by the community, as in fellow users to the site. If the site was structured to allow anyone to moderate content, a lot of griefing could easily take place, which would overall reduce the quality of answers. This is why you unlock privileges as you gain reputation: ask good questions and author good answers, you gain a better understanding of how the site works, and thus are entrusted to do more. This also helps filter out garbage content, such as spam or intentionally damaging edits.
- For more information on these, see why voting is important.
Another thing to note is that Arqade is not a traditional forum. The purpose of this site is not for opinions and discussions - again, it is for questions and answers. On this site, your opinion does not matter - it is your knowledge, expertise, and experience that does.
You are welcome to say whatever you'd like on this site, but you are still subject to following the rules of asking. This is very similar to almost any website - no matter what site you're on, if you continually post garbage you'll get banned. The only difference is that on StackExchange sites, the rules of what garbage is are quite a bit different than traditional forums. Most forums don't count open-ended discussions as off-topic, but it is here. It takes some getting used to, but overall it provides a focus that other sites can't provide.