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I have down voted and flagged two answers as "not an answer." Doing so reduced my reputation by 2 (1 for each down vote). It seemed both of my flags were helpful and both answers were deleted.

As requested, flag screenshot:

enter image description here

As far as I can remember, when a down voted answer got deleted, we got our reputation back.

So I did by manually re-calculating. You do not have to re-calculate yourself as it will automatically happen at some point.

Rep regain screenshot:

enter image description here

This information is either very hard to find in the FAQ or SO Help Center or Meta Help Center... or it doesn't exist. It only mentions that you lose 1 rep point for down voting answers, but it doesn't say that you get it back if the answer is deleted. It's commonly known by more experienced users but think about new users, or the ones who are not aware of it...

Let everyone know that voting bad answers is a good thing! That temporary loss of 1 rep point will be given back to you in case the answer is deleted.

Based on the above, I think the FAQ and Help Center should be updated.

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1  
IMO, I think it would help keep SO standards high with just a bit more effort from the community. Simply make people aware that downvoting bad answers is a good thing. – user221081 Sep 19 '13 at 12:34
    
stackoverflow.com/questions/19030700/… - (-1) but with 30+ views nobody else cared :/ – user221081 Sep 26 '13 at 15:48
up vote 26 down vote accepted

Yes please. This will encourage users (probably new on Stack Exchange) to downvote VLQ/SPAM/incorrect answers without rep-lose-phobia. We can simply add this information in You gain reputation when section somewhat like this:

  • A non-wiki answer you have downvoted is removed: +1
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1  
Maybe we could even raise it to +2 to reward good flagging behavior, but that might be abused – Doorknob Sep 19 '13 at 12:04
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@Doorknob - Your concern is correct. – hims056 Sep 19 '13 at 12:05
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wonder if it would be accurate to describe this using words "You gain reputation"? Reputation is rather "restored", does word "gain" fits here? – gnat Sep 19 '13 at 12:34
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@gnat - Not sure if it is gain but our current Meta FAQ stats you remove a downvote from an answer: +1 under gain. – hims056 Sep 19 '13 at 12:46
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@hims056 all right, as long as there's already a precedent, I'm fine with that – gnat Sep 19 '13 at 12:48
    
@hims056, Wait, to be clear, do you mean both the voter (1 rep) and the votee (2 rep) will get their rep back, or do you mean only the voter will get the rep back while the votee continues to have -2? – Pacerier Jan 18 at 10:31

I see a lot of value in this idea because any idea to encourage downvoting of really poor quality answers is a good one.

However, I am concerned that it will lead to a increase in flagging posts1 that you downvote just to get the rep back. Or whining if/when the flag is declined such as:

"I downvoted this post and flagged it, but a mod declined my flag. And when I try to undo my downvote to get my rep back, I get an error message that says my vote is locked. How can I get my rep back?"

1 - Specifically I am referring to improper flagging of posts, such as flags for incorrect posts (which shouldn't be flagged) or other similar issues.

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Why do you always say about Sungliyakam? :) – hims056 Sep 19 '13 at 12:02
2  
@hims056 because I happen to like Chinese food in Toronto (ok not spelled the same, but pretty close) – psubsee2003 Sep 19 '13 at 12:05
    
Which is why, with my low rep, I only downvote answers I'm sure will be deleted. – Jamal Sep 19 '13 at 12:34
    
@psubsee2003, Uh, I don't think people will bother doing that to get back 1 rep..... – Pacerier Jan 18 at 10:32

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