Just in case you logged in today and saw that you unlocked new privileges and/or badges without any significant reputation change: Reputation for question upvotes now awards +10, instead of +5.

Key points:

  • The reputation change only applies to questions
  • It has been applied retroactively, so the reputation counts as earned when the vote was cast.
    • This also means that progress towards badges like 'Epic' and "Legendary' will be calculated correctly
  • Downvotes are unaffected, and still give -2
  • There is not a clean way to see how much reputation you have gained.
    • The easiest way to get an estimate is probably to use the Wayback machine on your user profile page and compare your current rep from the most recent snapshot.
    • This Data.SE query made by the wonderful MageXy can give you a rough estimate
    • A more precise calculation would be: PreviousRep = CurrentRep - (QuestionUpvotes * 5).

The reason for this change boils down to the fact that reducing questions to +5 way back in the early days of SE has not had the effect that SE wanted, so they've reverted it back to +10.

See the blog announcement by Stack Exchange for more info, as well as the Reputation tag on Meta SE for the more common queries.

  • 9
    This is a very strange change. I've only answered 4 questions, none of them particularly well, but I have asked a lot of questions so I have > 1000 reputation, which makes it seem like I am somehow some sort of expert when I'm really just someone who is not very good at games. Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 6:39
  • 9
    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas It's not about who's a good gamer or not - reputation is just a measure of trust: we trust that you ask good questions just as much as someone who gives good answers, so you should get the same amount of rep. Congratulations on reaching 1000! :)
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 7:55

1 Answer 1


For any who are out of the loop on this update: This is a very controversial change as the StackExchange userbase was not officially informed of the recalculation before it was made. The meta post linked above is sitting at -200 votes at the time of this posting.

Apart from a leaked memo from a StackExchange moderator there was no warning of this change. A leaked memo does not constitute official communique, nor does it allow feedback. After a series of missteps from the StackExchange organization stemming from failure to communicate this is seen as "throwing fuel on the fire".

That being said, the real root of the problem users have with this change is that it rewards users who post frequent, low-quality questions. Before this change, a user could have a +1/-3 upvote-downvote ratio to receive net negative reputation for the question. After this change, it would require a +1/-6 to receive net negative reputation for a poor question. This is because the rep loss for downvotes was not changed like the rep gain for upvotes.

Ultimately, few users receive +1/-6 ratio for a poor question so most will see an improvement on their reputation when asking questions from now on, weakening other people's ability to use reputation as a metric of user engagement. Likewise, it gives question posters incentive to post more frequently as it is now far more difficult to lose rep after posting a bad question, requiring further moderator action to police poor-quality questions. This will not hit Arqade as hard as StackOverflow (where this is a serious, serious problem), but I bet we'll see an uptick in poor-quality questions.

Other issues with this change is that it retroactively changes reputation for upvotes on old questions, reinforcing a "rich get richer" process for users who have old, highly upvoted questions. I personally don't see this as an issue, but some find this unfair that it rewards old users rather than finding different means to invigorate new users.

Lastly, this removes the reputation boost for users who answer questions rather than asks them. This update is great for users like Tim who only post questions, but does nothing to reward users who answer questions - which both myself and others feel is the more difficult task and shows dedication to the site.

To be sure, there are benefits for users like Arqade's own Roddy of the Frozen Peas who contributes high quality questions and is a boon to the Arqade site, congrats on breaking 1000 rep!

However, I personally feel like the drawbacks to this change far surpass the benefits to the change. I really think that the rep bonus question askers will get for posting high-quality questions will be overshadowed by the increase of low quality posts which have now been made reputation-sustainable.

  • 16
    tl;dr: people need to downvote bad content Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 22:53
  • 1
    Thanks for the succinct summary of many of the wider community's concerns with this change. If you (or others reading this) want to join in on the discussion, it will be best to visit Meta Stack Exchange. Arqade Meta is a pretty small fish in the large SE pond, any concerns posted here will likely not be heard/answered for a long while.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 23:00
  • 1
    It helps more for smaller tags, where you're lucky to see more than a handful of votes on anything. It also helps out when you ask an upvoted question but don't get any community answers. I've had to self-answer the last four questions I've asked, which is one reason I've pretty much stopped participating.
    – Troyen
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 22:18
  • 3
    @Troyen Please don't stop asking/answering just because it's a self-answered question.If it's that hard to answer, it's probably appreciated by the community, even if it doesn't get a lot of votes.
    – Booga Roo
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 23:15

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