My very first answer on this site remains my favorite post and largest rep gain in a single post of my SE.career. I was rather proud of it and apparently others liked it too, as it eventually gained me the second awarded Reversal badge of the site. Sure the question was ill concieved but my answer was not. Now, months later, that question has been deleted and my well deserved reputation from my answer seems to have gone with it. What is the reasoning behind deleted question rep loss? I'm rather sore at loosing my rep, even as I'm sore that my well conceived answer was deleted with the question.

1 Answer 1


Here is the body of your answer:

For the sake of answering the question, I am a US Soldier currently deployed in afghanistan. My unit reguarly gets into firefights and takes indirect enemy rocket fire. No, war is nothing like a video game. (big surprise)

While this is a nice bit of insight from your privileged position, it is not reputation earned from your expertise at videogames. Your answer could've probably saved the question had you gone in more detail in how exactly the two experiences are different (although for all I know you probably have NDAs preventing you to do so), but the sympathy upvotes you got certainly didn't help in this regard.

Reputation is a measure of how much the system trusts you, or more specifically, of how much the system trusts that you know about the topics that the site is actually about. You need to know what people are talking about before you can start deciding whether questions are on- or off-topic or before you can vote to delete or keep, and even as a 20k rep moderator this can be difficult.

This is why reputation from deleted answers doesn't count.

  • 2
    While I do see your point, I saw my answer as putting an idiot in his place, which happens to be one of my favorite past times. No, I suppose this site isn't the place to do that, I can't argue against that, but it was still very satisifying to say the least, and obviously others thought so too. Thanks for answering! :)
    – Ender
    Feb 29, 2012 at 19:46
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    While that is a good argument for this specific question / answer, it doesn't answer the question in general - if I provide an excellent answer to a crappy question that gets deleted, why do I lose the rep? Or is it assumed that my excellent answer will prevent the question from being deleted?
    – au revoir
    Feb 29, 2012 at 19:50
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    This encourages people to downvote crappy questions rather than try to answer them. I'm not sure that's a bad thing.
    – Sterno
    Feb 29, 2012 at 20:08
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    @Jason If the question is crappy enough that it gets deleted, then it's not a topic that the site is meant to advert. If the answer should deserve to live on a better question, then a better question should be constructed, not have some weird ghost reputation that betrays the otherwise traceable and completely visible nature of reputation reflecting your live contributions.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 29, 2012 at 20:21
  • @Sterno, in what way does being 'fined' a few points encouraging downvoting?
    – Asdafgh
    Mar 2, 2012 at 20:14
  • @Cor_Blimey I'm not sure who you're referring to as the one being "fined". It's not the downvoter. Downvotes on questions cost the downvoter nothing. If you're talking about the questioner being fined, then I don't really know how to respond. If you think them losing reputation for asking bad questions is not a deterrent, I'm not sure what else we can do.
    – Sterno
    Mar 2, 2012 at 20:35
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    To me, the problem isn't the reputation loss in and of itself, but the fact that it seems to happen with no statute of limitations. It seems that no matter how old a question is, it can be deleted at any time and all the related reputation is gone. This will encourage people not to participate, as they can never know when someone with a diamond will decide to torpedo their efforts.
    – Kyralessa
    Mar 5, 2012 at 3:18
  • @Kyralessa It doesn't take a diamond to do that. Any three users with more than 10k reputation can delete a closed question. Deletion is the destiny of questions that get closed unless they are reopened.
    – badp
    Mar 5, 2012 at 10:05
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    Oh look! Comments can be disappeared too! How charming. You can vaporize my comments, @badp, but you're still missing my point.
    – Kyralessa
    Mar 6, 2012 at 19:19
  • @Sterno, oh, sorry! I thought that a downvote cost the voter 2 rep. I can't think where I got that impression from though.
    – Asdafgh
    Mar 6, 2012 at 21:23
  • @Kyralessa There is little... point in an exchange that goes like "you're missing my point" "no you're missing my point" "no you are missing my point"
    – badp
    Mar 6, 2012 at 21:47

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