Update 5/19/2012: Please, please implement this. I'm tired of seeing rep go up instead of down at the end of suspensions because I spent half an hour cleaning out the user's posts.
A certain user on ELU essentially doubled his rep upon recalc because of deleted posts. Here are the numbers (all of which include deleted posts):
Upvoted | Score of 0 | Downvoted | Closed | Deleted | Total Questions: 3 | 2 | 13 | 14 | 10 | 18 Answers : 3 | 3 | 2 | - | 4 | 8
N.B. This user is an extreme, but there are certainly users who have asked an assortment of good questions and NARQ/off-topic questions.
This user's reputation essentially came from asking a broad range of questions, most of them on the bad end—and not being penalized for the bad ones. With that logic, I could gain a lot of rep simply by asking any question I could think of and then simply deleting the bad ones.
Regarding suspensions/bans: Appropriate actions including suspensions have been taken with this user, and there are various measures such as the question ban to prevent this kind of behavior, but what I'm concerned about is the fact that reputation increases.
Reputation yields prestige and privileges—and a user who is not adherent to these rules shouldn't have a bigger number next to their name. True, a suspension knocks that number down, but the first suspension is usually also the first warning and is thus, as a result, fairly short.
I understand why we remove reputation gain/loss from deleted posts (partially to encourage users to delete their own bad posts), but I'm not exactly sure that this is the best policy.
When such a user's suspension ends (in the case of users who are less blatant than the one above), his/her rep will have increased significantly because the mods have gone in after him/her and cleaned everything up.
Nor is the idea of reputation penalties for deleted posts isn't new—spam or offensive flagged deletions will always apply:
Reputation lost as a penalty for having a post deleted by flagging is not returned.
So here's what I propose:
For every closed deleted question or deleted answer that has 3 or more downvotes (but not open deleted questions, which meet the goal of the Peer Pressure badge), deduct a flat 5 reputation upon rep-recalcs.
This penalty would not apply if the user only has 1 or 2 eligible deletions, but will apply retroactively if the user gains a third eligible deletion.
Here's the effect that this would have:
- Gross offenders are not affected, as they will be suspended/deleted/etc.
- Minor offenders will see this as a light chastisement before mod warnings and such
- New users who mean well but don't turn out so well will have a gentle reminder for the future
- Users who have been with us for a little longer but aren't our super high-rep users will watch their question quality
- High-rep users posting poor quality questions would attract attention anyway, so the fact that this is a small amount of rep and they wouldn't care doesn't really matter
Thoughts? Improvements? Me being a total idiot?