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How does “Reputation” work?

I downvoted an answer to a question and I got downvoted myself. Could somebody explain please?

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marked as duplicate by Mat, blahdiblah, yoozer8, Martijn Pieters, Toon Krijthe Oct 9 '12 at 21:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

You've been around for 2 years and just downvoted for the first time today? – Servy Oct 9 '12 at 18:55
downvotes are different on meta. But having said that, yeah. People just probably expected an experienced user to have checked the FAQ first. – Servy Oct 9 '12 at 19:00
@Servy - If I don't downvote someone - does that mean I am not contributing to SO? – Ashish Gupta Oct 9 '12 at 19:05
@AshishGupta No, but downvoting is one way of contributing, and it is often an important way of contributing. Not doing so doesn't mean you aren't contributing in other ways (you clearly are) but undoubtedly you are seeing lots and lots of downvote worthy content (there's no way you could have asked and answered that many questions without seeing any poor or incorrect answers). Downvoting poor or incorrect answers is helpful as it helps to inform other readers to not trust (or think twice about) that answer. – Servy Oct 9 '12 at 19:08
@servy Thanks . I get the point now. I just used to provide comments. I downvoted this one because It was a question itself rather than an answer. Will keep this in mind. Thanks again. – Ashish Gupta Oct 9 '12 at 19:11
@AshishGupta That particular answer is actually a violation of the rules, rather than just being wrong. You should flag it as "not an answer" so it can be deleted by a mod. (You can downvote too if you want, but it won't matter once it's deleted.) While commenting on incorrect answers is good, when it is truely wrong, or in some way harmful, you really should downvote it (in addition to commenting). – Servy Oct 9 '12 at 19:14
This is fast - somebody just did that to that answer, that answer got removed. – Ashish Gupta Oct 9 '12 at 19:16
@AshishGupta Meta SO is viewed a lot by a lot of mods. Posting content such as this that violates the rules tends to be resolved quite quickly. Even if you hadn't posted it here on meta, if you had flagged it I've found that these simple cases take very little time to be resolved. – Servy Oct 9 '12 at 19:17
up vote 9 down vote accepted

You are not getting downvoted.

When you downvote an answer, you lose one reputation point. This is explained in the FAQ.

minus one to voter

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I just downvoted the answer and commented on it so that the answerer understands the reason for downvote. Didn't answer myself. Is my comment taken as an answer? – Ashish Gupta Oct 9 '12 at 18:57
@AshishGupta - No. Your downvote on the answer by someone else causes you to lose one reputation. – Oded Oct 9 '12 at 18:58

The reputation loss is because you downvoted, not because you were downvoted.

See the docs for more information.

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