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If I delete my answer with some up votes, do I lose the reputation? Or, if I delete an answer with down votes, is negative reputation negated?

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up vote 23 down vote accepted

In the past you would lose (or regain) all reputation due to a post being deleted, but this has changed in March 2012.

There is now an exception to the rule that votes are reversed at the time of deletion and that is to reward content of "lasting value" as follows:

First, if you’ve contributed something worthwhile to the site, you should keep the reputation for that even if it eventually gets deleted. “Worthwhile” here is defined as,

  • A score of 3 or greater
  • Visible on the site for at least 60 days

In fast-changing professions, there should be no shame in contributing valuable information just because it eventually goes out of date – and there shouldn’t be a penalty for deleting it when it does. Naturally, editing to bring an answer up-to-date is preferable – but if someone else already posted a good answer with current information, you should be able to remove yours and keep the reward for the time it was useful.

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So as a case in point, @you's answer above gained reputation but is now incorrect. It could be deleted without losing the reputation that was gained. I could have edited it and replaced about every word but instead chose to answer separately. – bmike Jul 30 '12 at 17:04
But, BЈовић, to allow YOU to delete their own answer, first the "Accepted" checkmark must be taken away from it... – Arjan Jul 30 '12 at 17:09
Votes indicate popularity, which does not directly indicate valuable information. Not often, but sometimes popular answers can be wrong, harmful, or besides the point. – Iain Elder Jan 5 '14 at 17:34

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