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I recently discovered that my reputation had been dropping because of a question that had four downvotes. I deleted the answer because after one more downvote, it would not have mattered if anyone liked the answer (people vote in herds). Low scores on posts should not be allowed to lower your overall reputation.

It also looks like it makes sense to delete comments that start receiving downvotes with no upvotes.

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It's not effectively deleted, and people can still read it through the revision history. You shoul dhave a "delete" link that will actually delete it though... – Rowland Shaw Jul 5 '09 at 7:55
I suspect the delete link is removed because there are answers with upvotes. Jeff talked about this a couple of podcasts ago. – Jon Skeet Jul 5 '09 at 8:02
Ah, I have to admit I don't listen to the podcasts, and rely on Jeff mentioning things on his Twitter feed instead... – Rowland Shaw Jul 5 '09 at 8:08
Actually, not sure if that's implemented yet, as I'm shown delete links on both my questions, which both have upvoted answers... – Rowland Shaw Jul 5 '09 at 8:10
True. I'd assumed that "Not me" would have used such a link if he'd seen it :) – Jon Skeet Jul 5 '09 at 8:16
The link is always shown but gives you the nasty red box if there's questions with 2+ upvotes or something like that. – Paolo Bergantino Jul 5 '09 at 8:28
deleting questions has some rules around it. Why? Consider that you wrote a really great answer to a question, and then think about what happens when the question owner decides to take his or her ball and go home. – Jeff Atwood Jul 5 '09 at 8:44
Yeah, I agree there - sometimes I can spend ~20-30 minutes writing an answer if I have to look up some docs to link to, test out some code I've written to make sure it works, or just generally write a longer answer, and I'd be a bit annoyed if it was then deleted. – Alex Rozanski Jul 5 '09 at 9:35
(profile) "So I can express myself without damaging my reputation over at SO" - that doesn't show a lot of trust in the [M]SO community... I honestly don't think many people have axes to grind; you SO reputation is limited to your behaviour on SO. On MSO, you're free to be critical (but not blatantly offensive) and point out any failings. If that reflects badly on your SO persona... then it makes me even more curious as to exactly what you're "up to" on SO ;-p – Marc Gravell Jul 5 '09 at 9:42

That just shows the system is working. The idea is that if you write something which the community deems wrong/misleading/etc, you will lose the community's trust a bit.

You deleted the answer, so by the community's judgement (which can be wrong occasionally, admittedly) the world became a better place again.

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No not really. Because I am just starting to delete any answer that hasn't gotten any upvotes. Period. I do not bother to let upvotes come in. Also I am starting to put only partial answers with reference to my blog because downvotes are punishment. So all downvotes do is discourage me from participating. But that's o.k. too. – Not me Jul 5 '09 at 7:34
If your posts are only receiving downvotes, you should treat that as a signal that the community doesn't find your input helpful in its current form. That could be for various reasons, including putting links to your blog without enough supporting text around them, or perhaps linking to your blog in irrelevant contexts. I think it's reasonable that if your content is deemed "bad" by the community that you should lose rep. Why do you think you shouldn't lose rep for it? – Jon Skeet Jul 5 '09 at 7:41
nope... not when it is opinion questions. So I am going to delete this question so you don't get a rep increase. – Not me Jul 5 '09 at 7:42
(p.s. I started using the blog method so I could start deleting answers without wasting time ) – Not me Jul 5 '09 at 7:43
LOL! Yet another reason why it's important to discourage non-CW "opinion" questions... – Shog9 Jul 5 '09 at 15:52

Re "4 downvotes" and "one more downvote it would not have mattered if anyone liked the answer" - multiple flags (spam/offensive) causes deletion; but not multiple downvotes

Re comments; there is no such thing as a comment downvote

In the case of "opinion" questions: mark them wiki

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And what is the point of the peer pressure badge if you can't delete your own question?

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You could always delete your own answer ;) – ChrisF Jul 5 '09 at 18:11

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