I am wondering why do my reputation points go down if I downvote someone else's post?

Thank you for your time.


1 Answer 1


This happens because your down vote will remove 2 rep from that user. You lose 1 rep as well to prevent you from gaming the system. We couldn't let you go around taking rep away from others without making you consider if it's really worth it, could we?

If you can't justify the small loss to express your opinion on the particular post, then there's no need to down vote. If other people feel more strongly than you, they'll take care of it.

  • 2
    This is a wonderfully great idea. Doing it this way keeps a general atmosphere of 'positiveness' alive throughout the site, whereas truly horrible answers go negative. nice one SO.
    – cmroanirgo
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 19:25
  • 7
    I don't know if I agree. If an answer clearly is not related to the OP's ? or is wrong, it should get a down vote. Why punish the person when they are doing the right thing? Also are people really dishonest enough to just go around down voting stuff? Couldn't such behavior be detected and then the user be warned/banned as a result? Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 3:41
  • 73
    If more number of people are downvoting a question, then it should be good if the reputations are awarded back.
    – Arun A K
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 7:10
  • 5
    I wish i could upvote Arun A K's comment to a million. Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 13:31
  • 11
    I agree that if enough people downvote an answer then the -1 rep should be awarded back. This isn't a big deal to established users, but this discourages newbies from voting something down.
    – swooby
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 1:32
  • 4
    I do not agree! In the long run this would facilitate the herd behavior to take place. I would not downvote any post from now on. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 13:01
  • 3
    This is not a game between asker and down voter. It should have a purpose of protecting down voting points of other users when is not necessary (like anti-fraud). So, in my opinion it should not decrease point from down voter at certain conditions as like it is not a fraud.
    – kamaci
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 12:35
  • 1
    @ArunAK, when that user removes their post your reputation is rewarded back, which is nearly the same.
    – Chris Farr
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 18:56
  • 1
    So, what is the point of earning down-vote privilege. It's contradictory. It trusts me after that min reputation (to downvote) or it still doesn't trust me?
    – Rahul R.
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 20:13
  • 4
    I've come across a question with 350+ upvotes, and 3 answers with flat out incorrect content. None of the incorrect answers had downvotes, I'm guessing cause no-one wanted to loose rep until I came along. Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 10:44
  • 3
    I lost a point for down-voting a question posted as an answer that was essentially "I'm having this problem too, did you find an answer?" Getting closer to only searching for answers if I don't find them elsewhere on the web; at this point I'm done participating.
    – Adrian M.
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 1:47
  • 2
    When you upvote, you give them 10 reps. When you downvote you reduce 2 of theirs and 1 of yours. This is slightly disproportionate. A more proportionate system would be downvote reduces 10 of theirs and 1 of yours, or 2 of theirs and 0.2 of yours. Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 14:16
  • 4
    Yesterday I downvoted an answer that was so outlandish it was a severe disservice to the community. As a result I lost my own karma. I will never ever downvote again, the site can keep their occasional awful answers. It's like one is charged a fee because they picked up some trash from the park. Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 0:31
  • 2
    @AlessioSangalli It's like one is charged a fee because they picked up some trash from the park. I agree ,Damn true Commented Jan 9, 2022 at 8:25
  • 1
    @AlessioSangalli This is the same feeling I get. Sometimes answers are outdated and not correct anymore and those answers have a lot of points. The most recent and correct answers are then below. Nobody seems to be downvoting because of the rep loss. It's like nobody wants to clean up the place because it cost them rep. Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 11:10

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