Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

This question already has an answer here:

I've been doing a cleanup of my answers when they were covered in other answers and added no particular value. After reaching the 5 deletes-per-day limit I noticed I'm 10 rep under my score.

I spotted around 10 answers that I wanted to delete, so I deleted five one day and five another day. This 10 rep penalty happened twice. I've readed the existing questions about deleting your own answers but none of the answers seem to point to a penalty.

So, long story short, is there a 10 rep penalty for hitting the max deletions in a day?.


Those answers were answers that were covered in other ones for the reason I commented to Bart (they were posted while I was finishing mine or my answer's focus was added on another answer as an edit). My goal here isn't to get rid of poor answers, but to avoid getting rep for answers that do not add value. I guess I should leave the "add value" part to the reader...

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by animuson, ChrisF, Bo Persson, Austin Henley, hims056 Feb 9 '13 at 3:58

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.

Nooo, don't delete your answers. Besides losing the rep, if you do it often enough you might get answer-banned. Deleting basically indicates to the system that you were giving poor answers. – Bart Feb 8 '13 at 21:43
Did your answers have upvotes? – Doorknob Feb 8 '13 at 21:43
If any of your answers had upvotes, your rep will be taken away. – Josh Mein Feb 8 '13 at 21:44
@Bart I had no idea about that... Long story short, some times when I answer my answers were covered in other answers, because I didn't load the ones that were posted while I was writing mine. Seems like a flaw in my personal answering process that I'll have to fix. It happened a few times so I wanted to help clean the site and avoid getting reputation for answers that add no value... seems like I wanted to "overclean" the site... – Gamb Feb 8 '13 at 21:46
Don't clean. Having them there doesn't do any harm to anyone. – Bart Feb 8 '13 at 21:46
@JoshMein Actually no, they were answers that were covered in other ones for the reason I commented to Bart, plus sometimes people edit their answers and they get to cover mine but because their answer was previous to mine... that answer gets the credit. – Gamb Feb 8 '13 at 21:47
@Bart with 3000 rep they'd have to delete a pretty darn large amount of answers – Ben Brocka Feb 8 '13 at 21:53
@BenBrocka Sure, not saying he is in immediate danger, but given that I don't know the exact functioning and we're talking relative mass-deletions...who knows. Just a general rule. Not immediate panic. – Bart Feb 8 '13 at 21:53
up vote 13 down vote accepted

There is no reputation penalty for deleting; but any reputation you earned for those answers is gone again.

So if you ever had an upvote for your answer, and you delete that answer, the system re-adjusts and it's as if you never gained 10 rep for that answer in the first place.

There is an exception: for posts over 60 days old and with a score of at least +3, reputation is retained anyway when deleted.

BUT why are you deleting your answers en-masse in the first place? Could you please stop doing that?

I sometimes do delete an answer if it is clear mine didn't win the FGITW shout-out and is a clear dupe, but I don't do that with older answers. If they've been around for a while and even gotten an upvote or so, they must've been appreciated. They don't clutter up anything really, just leave them be.

Rather, if you really wanted to clean them up, improve them instead. Make them that much better than the other answers, instead.

share|improve this answer
Any clue if the 60 day limit regarding rep still counts for the deletion of own content? – Bart Feb 8 '13 at 21:47
@Bart: I suspect it still counts even if you delete it yourself. – Martijn Pieters Feb 8 '13 at 21:48
Just wanted to help keeping SO clean for the reasons I stated in my comments (that I will make part of my question as an edit so everyone gets the point). – Gamb Feb 8 '13 at 21:49
Having valid answers hang around (even if a duplicate) does not equal a mess. Don't worry about those. Improve them, if you do anything at all. – Bart Feb 8 '13 at 21:50
@Bart I can confirm that you can keep rep when you delete your own old posts. – murgatroid99 Feb 8 '13 at 21:56
I guess I'll do that whenever I can. Sometimes there isn't much to improve but I'll avoid this cleanup routines from now on and focus on improving quality instead of deleting, whenever I can or the question allows it. – Gamb Feb 8 '13 at 21:56
The 60 day limit only applies for posts with some threshold of upvotes that I have forgotten. Not for posts with a single upvote as seems to be the case here. – Martin Smith Feb 8 '13 at 22:02
@MartinSmith: +3 score; it's in my answer (in a footnote). It is also listed on How does "Reputation" work? – Martijn Pieters Feb 8 '13 at 22:05
@MartijnPieters - I see it now. I don't sit close enough to the monitor to read that font size! – Martin Smith Feb 8 '13 at 22:07
Clearly the OP didn't delete any such answers, so it doesn't matter for this particular question. Yet someone will point that detail out if I had omitted it. Hence the small-print. :-P – Martijn Pieters Feb 8 '13 at 22:09

The only reason you would lose rep from deleting answers is if they had upvotes.

Don't delete your answers though. If you do, that probably means that your answers aren't useful and you should not have posted them in the first place.

If this is true, then think more about your answers before you post them. Ask yourself, "Will this contribute anything to the site?" If the answer is yes, post the answer and you won't have to delete it. If the answer is no, don't post the answer in the first place.

If you delete too many, you may also get answer-banned.

share|improve this answer
Take a look at his profile; he's nowhere near answer ban limits. – Servy Feb 8 '13 at 21:47
@Servy I don't have 10k – Doorknob Feb 8 '13 at 21:48
Why does that matter. Just look at his answer list. With lots of answers, pleanty of which are upvoted, it would take a lot to get answer banned. You need to have primarily poor content to be banned, meaning he'd need several dozen deleted and highly downvoted answers. – Servy Feb 8 '13 at 21:49
@Doorknob Even if you had 10K, you wouldn't be able to see deleted posts on a user's profile, that's a mod only ability. 10K+ users can see deleted questions only if they have a direct link to them. – Yannis Feb 8 '13 at 21:49
@Servy Which you couldn't see either, if they were deleted. ;) – Bart Feb 8 '13 at 21:52
@Servy I've edited my question, including my reasons and motivations just in case :) – Gamb Feb 8 '13 at 21:54
@Gamb I wasn't referring to you when I asked why it matters. I was referring to Doorknob's comment about needing 10k rep. – Servy Feb 8 '13 at 21:55
@Servy I know, I tagged you just to let you know too :) – Gamb Feb 8 '13 at 21:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .