Let's say I'm trying to answer a lot of questions just to up my reputation (even if I generally don't know what I'm talking about).

Then, whenever I get downvoted, I just delete my answer so that nobody sees that I've posted stupid answers, and so I don't lose reputation points.

  • Is this frowned upon?
  • Do I lose reputation points on downvoted answers if I delete them?

3 Answers 3


Posting bad answers is bad.

Deleting bad answers is good.

Strive for eliminating the first. Your only bad answers should be inadvertent.

At Adam Rackis's request:

There once was a dude with bad answers;
His activity was viewed as a cancer.
Deletion would nicely reverse it,
But the real solution: Don't post sh*t!

(Bad, I know :P)

  • 10
    A bad answer may not be the fault of the answerer. There are plenty of instances where someone asked a question which got perfectly good answers but it turned out that the OP was actually trying to ask something else. The question gets re-written, making the previously good answers become invalid and then down-voted. One the one hand, it makes sense to delete the answer to recover the rep from the down-votes, but on the other hand, depending on the question, I think it can make more sense to roll the question back to the original version and create a new question for the intended problem.
    – Synetech
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:15
  • 3
    Any chance you can turn that into a limerick??? :-D Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:41
  • Nice - I already +1'd, so my compliment will have to suffice for the extra work :) Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 22:04
  • 11
    That is not a limerick.
    – user142148
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 22:09
  • 1
    @Kyralessa Yes, it's not classic form. I wanted to use "answer" and "cancer" and didn't have another good rhyme, so sue me. Pedantry and poetry are probably better suited to Writers than here :P
    – user154510
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 22:25
  • I posted a notice to an old page, which may help users on Solaris. I got an negative feedback. So I deleted the notice...
    – lx42.de
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 4:49
  • 1
    Small nit, you did not answer "Do I lose reputation points on downvoted answers if I delete them?"
    – user173448
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 1:30
  • 1
    Sometimes idiots just downvote. Sorry to say it, but it's true.
    – Owl
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 10:12
  • The earlier answer covered how rep works. And yes, random/bad downvotes happen, but not really in significant numbers compared to upvotes if the answer really is good.
    – user154510
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 16:22

If you decide that your answer isn't actually useful, deleting it is definitely the right thing to do. I regularly delete answers of mine that I realize are redundant or incorrect.

You'll get any rep you lost from the post back immediately thanks to the recent changes to the system. Previously you would have needed to do a manual rep recalculation.

Posting a lot of answers in areas where you don't know what you're talking about might be frowned upon, though.

Be warned that deleting your answers can be a signal to the spam filter. If you don't have many posts and they've mostly been down-voted, you might actually not want to delete them or you risk being blocked. Once you've got some higher-scoring posts, you could go back and delete them.

  • 3
    Strictly, you've already lost (or regained) the rep. It's just that the engine hasn't properly noticed yet. Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 16:15
  • 7
    +1. Deleting bad answers is so good, we have a badge for it
    – MarkJ
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 17:41
  • Did that to get my -2 rep lost from a deleted answer and lost 125 rep... went from 6,490 to 6365... damm it! :)
    – Frankie
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 17:14
  • 1
    This should be the answer.
    – raulk
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 19:38

It's a bad idea. At first, you can spend this time to prepare a good answer and post it instead of post everything. I also guess that users who have more than 10k rep (and they can see deleted answers) will not glad to see your another questions.

  • 12
    Everybody make mistakes. You could spend ages on an answer only to totally miss the point of the question and get down-voted because you answered the wrong question. If the answer is bad and unrecoverable it should be removed.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 17:16
  • I agree with you, but how it related to my answer? We talking about answers on regular questions.. Perhaps, i don't understand something.
    – beryllium
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 20:07
  • You seem to be implying that people should concentrate on posting better answers in the first place.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 20:08
  • 2
    I mean, a user spends time writing meaningless five answers in order to obtain the minimum reputation instead of create one, but good answer.
    – beryllium
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 20:16

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