According to the blog post "Reputation and Historical Archives":

[I]f 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

"Visible" seems a little loose, and I'm wondering if that's what was meant. I could ask a "great" off-topic question that gets closed the same day, and if it's not deleted within two months then I get to keep all the rep from it.

In contrast, the posts that (I believe) we're targeting with this are questions that were formerly accepted, and through a lot of participation got some content considered valuable. Most would have been open for at least 60 days, I would guess.

I wouldn't want to mess up rep from any of those classic posts, but it seems that the "visible" criterion would allow rep gain from off-topic/bad questions to continue indefinitely, so I think it should be tightened up a bit. There must be some way to distinguish between rep-worthy deleted questions and questions that simply weren't deleted fast enough, right?

  • 1
    I'm guessing that it really means "60 days or more since asked, not currently deleted." Any other definition would be a nightmare to program.
    – user102937
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 18:29
  • @RobertHarvey We're talking specifically about things that are deleted. You keep your rep anyways if it's not deleted so it would be a non-issue.
    – user154510
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 18:41
  • The rep change would have to be evaluated at the moment the question is deleted, but I see your point.
    – user102937
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 18:45
  • @RobertHarvey Ah, I see what you're saying now as well. I'm not sure anything else would be a nightmare ... for example, ">30 days old before first closure (if any)" would be more compllicated but probably not too bad. Not sure if that particular example would address my concerns well, but it's just an example ;)
    – user154510
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 18:54
  • I assumed you asked the question because the statement "Visible on the site for at least 60 days" doesn't preclude the possibility of counting the number of days that a question is actually visible on the site (i.e. not deleted), which makes it a disputed question, essentially.
    – user102937
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 18:56
  • @MatthewRead While you're at it can you ask to clarify what happens to self-deleted posts. Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:02
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    @MatthewRead - it'd be a nightmare, trust me on this one. Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:03
  • 2
    Along with the possibility of "lifetime total of 60 days" rather than "60 consecutive days from time of posting", it's also possible for "score of 3" to mean either "hit +3 at some point during its existence" or ">= +3 at the moment the last delete vote is cast". The latter seems more likely, but precision might be good here. /cc @Robert
    – jscs
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:04
  • @NickCraver You're the man. Is there no (easy) way to distinguish between rep-worthy questions and not-deleted-fast-enough questions, though?
    – user154510
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:13
  • @MatthewRead - you have to keep in mind that the recalc has to be very efficient on the database side, since it runs millions of times when a recalc works - pulling in extra tables is a huge database load factor, as we run dozens of recalc threads simultaneously from the web tier against the DB servers at once. That and the code is very, very complicated (even after a very significant simplification pass the other day). When you really think about every corner case rep has, you can imagine the code to handle all of them. Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:16
  • @NickCraver Sure. I guess I'm concerned that too many deleted posts will fit this criteria, effectively giving people a reason to participate in off-topic/not-constructive posts in the hopes that they'll live for at least 60 days. If that's the way we want to go I'm not going to argue with it, but I can't deny that it rubs me the wrong way when someone has a bunch of extra rep from stuff that needed to be deleted, without even the historical lock.
    – user154510
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:26
  • 1
    @MatthewRead - these days it posts get downvoted/closed/deleted rather quickly (and we made deletion easier with this last pass - also on blog)...if that can't happen in 2 months and it managed to get a 3+ post, it got through every filter we have: voting up/down, voting to close/delete, flagging, moderation, everything. From what we've seen that's extremely unlikely in a question asked today, not with a score of 3 or higher. Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:29
  • @NickCraver That's fair enough. Thanks for taking the time to explain!
    – user154510
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:30
  • 1
    @MatthewRead never mind about clarifing what happens to self-deleted posts. Its clear Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:31
  • related (not a duplicate): Deleted posts should not influence reputation
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 6, 2013 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


The rules are as follows:

  • 60+ days must pass between when the post is created and when it is deleted for the rep to "stick"
  • The score must be 3 or higher at at the time the post was deleted (since the score can't change while it's deleted, that's the same as current score)
  • 5
    when it is deleted -- The first time?
    – user102937
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:17
  • 1
    @RobertHarvey - the current deletion date, so the last time it was deleted Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 20:24
  • Is it retroactive? I had answered a question some months ago, (around May '11) and then around september the question received a DMCA takedown and was deleted with the answers)... Will I get back the points?
    – xanatos
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 9:22
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    @xanatos - yes, a reputation recalc for this has already been performed - as long as the post itself was around for 60 days (the CreationDate of the answer if it's an answer, not the question) and has score of 3+, it meets the criteria. Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 11:10
  • @NickCraver Just to be sure I checked in the old reputation-recalc page if the id of the answer was present and it was :-) :-) Thanks
    – xanatos
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 11:23

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