Why is that when I down vote a post then 2 of my reputation gets deducted?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Quite simply, I think it's to encourage new users to think carefully before they downvote. $\endgroup$ – JamalS Nov 20 '14 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ I don't believe this. Even when I downvote, my reputation gets less by 1 . I am not a new user ; I have been here for 10 months! $\endgroup$ – user36790 Nov 20 '14 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ This seems to be quite contradictory to your freedom of expression!! If by reflecting your opinion, you are losing your very own hardly-gained reputations, then how can it be worthy?? $\endgroup$ – user36790 Nov 20 '14 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ @user36790: You misunderstand; the reputation loss when down voting is for all members. When I said it was to encourage new users, what I meant was it encouraged new users since they have less reputation than an old user, who has probably amassed enough reputation that 2 points or so means 'nothing.' $\endgroup$ – JamalS Nov 20 '14 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ @JamalS: Now ,sir, you are making the right statement. Thanks for the response. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Nov 20 '14 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ @user36790 A privately owned website such as Stack Exchange can restrict your freedom of expression as much as it wants, as long as it isn't discriminatory in who it decides to restrict. Ultimately, if you don't like it, you don't have to be here. Also, anyone who has enough rep to downvote has enough rep to comment so you can express your views on any question or answer that way without losing rep. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Nov 24 '14 at 21:33

You lose 1 point for downvoting an answer and none for downvoting a question. This is because downvoting hurts the post's owner. We want you to only downvote when you seriously believe it deserves it. We don't want people to downvote simply because they feel like it or don't like the author or don't like that they used "your" instead of "you're" somewhere in a 1000 word post.

That said, it is only a loss of 1 rep point for downvoting an answer because we realize that reputation is hard-earned and we don't want to discourage free expression of opinions; 1 rep point is not much at all.

Downvoting is not to be taken lightly, so this is status-by-design because we want you to take it seriously but not be discouraged from using it. -1 for downvoting a post gets the point across but doesn't hurt too much.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 . Will I downvote you?B-) .... Joking; .... Really after reading that I have realized the importance of downvoting and of course the hard-gained reputation...you can write comment if you have some issue with the answer but not have to downvote,right?? But one thing I wanna ask, so after all that, is downvote really necessary?? Nevertheless an intuitive answer:) $\endgroup$ – user36790 Nov 20 '14 at 14:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, downvoting is necessary to remove bad answers from the top of the answer lists and the view of readers as well as to mark poor questions. Downvoting is an integral part of the process. But comments do sometimes suffice. The trick is to know when an answer needs a comment, a downvote, both, or neither $\endgroup$ – Jim Nov 20 '14 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you are right. It is like interlocuting with the terrorists and if matter is worst , then armed operation( I mean downvoting) becomes essential but at the sake of the lives of your own countrymen(my reputation)!! Good metaphor, heh? Thanks for making the novice-users like me aware about the downvoting. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Nov 20 '14 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ @user36790 It was an okay metaphor. It won't win you best metaphor of the month (not by a long shot), but it was decent. And you're welcome; that's what meta is for $\endgroup$ – Jim Nov 20 '14 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ I will think twice before downvoting and will not abuse this to the greatest extent. Adieu! $\endgroup$ – user36790 Nov 20 '14 at 14:57

That's the way the system works. You should have a look at the available help pages, e.g. this one:


You lose 2 points when someone downvotes one of your questions or answers and you lose 1 point when you downvote someone else's answer.


A downvote symbolizes your disagreement with someone's work. It is literally saying, This answer is not useful (hover your mouse over the downvote, that is the alt-text that pops up). The loss of 2 rep for you suggests that the decision to downvote should not be taken lightly (i.e., just downvoting for the heck of it) that you should truly judge whether the post really is wrong or misguided.

As an aside, you gain 10 rep when your answer is upvoted and 5 when your question is upvoted. Unless you are downvoting >5 answers for each answer-upvote (or >2 answers for each question-upvote) you receive, you are still going to gain reputation based on simple math.


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