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How does “Reputation” work?

I answered this post about UUIDs and was eventually the selected answer, but I got -2 for it.

I can understand that somebody might have downvoted it, if in their opinion it was a bad answer, but why did I not then get a subsequent and higher +vote for being selected as the best answer?

Surely if an answer is selected any downvotes should be negated?

I can see the problem is one of perception. On my profile I see a "Reputation" and under that it lists the recent activity. Though I get +rep for answering the question only the -rep is listed unless I delve deeper. Perhaps the "Reputation" panel should list additive summaries, collected on the relative question to prevent the perception that only -reps occur?

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marked as duplicate by hims056, Martijn Pieters, kiamlaluno, a cat, yhw42 Jan 17 '13 at 14:21

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.

Noob addition: Is there a way of flagging such a situation for review, where such inconsistencies can be rectified? – Jason Morgan Jan 17 '13 at 10:47
There are no inconsistencies - there is nothing to "rectify". – Oded Jan 17 '13 at 10:48
The string "-rep" is not a word in the English language. – Jack Maney Jan 17 '13 at 11:28
Here's the reason why the acceptance should not affect downvotes:… – ThiefMaster Jan 17 '13 at 11:29
up vote 12 down vote accepted

"Surely if an answer is selected any downvotes should be negated?"

No, it shouldn't. Accepts and score are not directly related. The acceptances is just an indication that the OP found your answer useful (i.e. one person's opinion) while the score is a collective metric of what others (who bother to vote) think of your answer.

"I can understand that somebody might have downvoted it, if in their opinion it was a bad answer, but why did I not then get a subsequent and higher +vote for being selected as the best answer?"

You get +15 rep for being selected as the best accepted answer.

From your profile rep tab:

accept win

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Ah, I see, that makes sense I suppose. So accepting an answer is one persons opinion, and even though they accept it they don't automatically vote for it? – Jason Morgan Jan 17 '13 at 10:51
@JasonMorgan: exactly. Votes and accepts are two separate actions. – Martijn Pieters Jan 17 '13 at 10:52
But surely this means that I get -ve ponts for taking time to answer a question that the person who asked that question fines ultimately useful. That's not much of an incentive. – Jason Morgan Jan 17 '13 at 10:53
@JasonMorgan: No, you got +23 reputation: 1 upvote (+10), 1 downvote (-2), 1 accept (+15). You can see that pretty clearly if you go to your user page and click on Reputation. – Jon Skeet Jan 17 '13 at 10:54
@JasonMorgan You get -2 rep for each downvote and +10 rep for upvote (and +15 for accepts). That's a good incentive for providing great answers while being lenient on less ideal ones. – Shawn Chin Jan 17 '13 at 10:54
I see a little irony here. I ask a question about -rep and get a -rep as a result. None that give -rep can be bothered to explain their dissatisfaction with the question (e.g. dupe, unhelpful, dumb, etc). I would argue that -rep on a question should mandate at comment (I'm sure I saw many statements to that effect elsewhere) – Jason Morgan Jan 17 '13 at 11:06
@JasonMorgan Votes work differently on meta. The downvotes probably indicate that people disagree with your suggestion that "accepts should negate downvotes"; it is not a reflection of the quality of your question. – Shawn Chin Jan 17 '13 at 11:11
@Jason To reinforce what Shawn says, really don't worry too much about reputation on meta (as long as you're not on the SE payroll). – Donal Fellows Jan 17 '13 at 11:23

Someone downvoted the answer, hence the -2.

This has nothing to do with it being accepted. Obviously someone thought it was not a good answer.

Fact of the matter is that the community and the person who asked the question can (and often do) have different ideas of what was a good answer.

Sometimes the person who asked the question selects an answer as the accepted one since it helped them the most, but the community can see that though it helped, it was not a good answer (perhaps perpetuating bad habits, contains errors or bad code), and the person who asked the question might not be able to tell this.

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So there is no +rep for a selected answer? – Jason Morgan Jan 17 '13 at 10:48
@JasonMorgan - You got you +15 when accepted and +10 for an upvote. What's the problem? I think you need to read How does "Reputation" work?. – Oded Jan 17 '13 at 10:48
@JasonMorgan +15 Which is shown on your reputation tab for December 13 – Martin Smith Jan 17 '13 at 10:50
@JasonMorgan You get +15 for an accepted answer and +10 for an up-vote. I strongly suggest you read the FAQ with regards to how the sites work and reputation for that matter. – BinaryMisfit Jan 17 '13 at 10:52
Perhaps the problem is one of perception. I see on my profile only a -2 for that question under the heading reputation. I don't see the others, though I'm sure you are right that they are there. I have read the FAQ BTW, I just don't see the entries in my profile. – Jason Morgan Jan 17 '13 at 10:55
@JasonMorgan - Sure. For today, so far. Click the heading to see the reputation history. – Oded Jan 17 '13 at 10:56

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