I was just wondering what the maximum number of down votes a question can have before it is removed from StackOverflow.

  • 2
    5 people cast close votes. After that 3 people cast delete votes. No downvotes need to be involved.
    – Oded
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:11
  • 4
    What's the current number of users?
    – TronicZomB
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:11
  • 8
    Well, there's an easy way to find out... Jun 26, 2013 at 19:11
  • Be nice, @LBT - be nice
    – Oded
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:12
  • I never saw a question with more than -9 before it got removed so i thought that might be a limit
    – 06needhamt
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:12
  • 10
    Most likely (2^31)-1 since it's probably stored in a 32 bit signed int field.
    – Servy
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:12
  • stackoverflow.com/questions/13519990/…, @System.Object. You can sort question by votes.
    – Mat
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:13
  • meta.stackexchange.com/questions/126919/… -90 and not deleted yet.
    – Oded
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:13
  • 5
    @Servy - You had to come in with Logic, did you?
    – Oded
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:14
  • @Oded Well, guesswork, really, not logic. I don't know the details of the implementation.
    – Servy
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:14
  • Should I upvote the question because I'm also curious, or downvote it because... I'm curious? :D I'm joking, but maybe we should pick up random really bad question and just try if it goes below 99? Jun 26, 2013 at 19:38
  • Search for *, order by votes and go to the last page @ŁukaszLech -179 on MSO: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/915/… and -148 on SO: stackoverflow.com/questions/3905734/… Jun 26, 2013 at 19:43
  • @benisuǝqbackwards unfortunately the second is locked and can't get lower ^^ Jun 26, 2013 at 19:49

2 Answers 2


According to the data explorer the SCORE column of the POSTS table is an INT.

Stack Exchange uses SQL Server, the minimum value of an int is -2,147,483,648, so this (unless there's a table with a smaller datatype somewhere).

As Toomai mentions this is the minimum possible score. As score is upvotes - downvotes the maximum number of downvotes is actually double this (assuming you also got 2,147,483,648 upvotes).

As TronicZomB points out it's also constrained by the number of people with the downvote privilege. The number as of the last dump was 175,988 so this was the theoretical maximum on 2013/06/25. It will be higher by now.

  • I suspect this would cause a question with a title something like EEEEEEKKKKK! ScoreOverflow though. Jun 26, 2013 at 19:15
  • Yeah that's the min possible score, but the question is asking about downvotes, which I guess is either maxint or maxsignedint.
    – Toomai
    Jun 26, 2013 at 19:17
  • It should be double I think @Toomai, I've updated. Jun 26, 2013 at 19:21
  • ooh; cool note about the number of users with d/v privs. Jun 26, 2013 at 22:18

If by "removed" you mean removed from the system entirely, there is no number of downvotes that will result in a question being removed. Deletion can be done by the question owner, one moderator, or a group of community members who have enough rep to vote to delete. However deleted questions are not removed and can be seen by members who have enough rep to see deleted questions.

If by "removed" you mean not shown on the front page, it's -9 on Meta and I believe -5 on StackOverflow. See On Meta, are the rules for showing on the main page different?

  • I guess that answers the question better than my own :-). Jun 26, 2013 at 19:25
  • Gotta say I actually like yours better. Is it Friday yet? Jun 26, 2013 at 19:27
  • Unfortunately not, I've got at least another 8 hours of meetings to suffer through before Friday comes around :-(. Jun 26, 2013 at 19:29

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