I have a question about what happens after a specific rare sequence of events. This is something most folks will probably never run into, so it might not be relevant to anyone other than me, but it's a real situation I ran into today, and I'm hoping someone can help me with it.

Suppose that I downvote an answer; then the author edits his/her answer enough times that it is converted to community wiki; then I undo the downvote, and I upvote the answer.
What is the net effect on the reputation of the author of the answer after all of this?

I have struggled to work out exactly what happens in this corner case, so I'm looking for information.

In more detail: Look at the following sequence of events.

  1. I downvoted an answer (for suitable reasons).

  2. The author edited the answer many times. (To the author's credit, the author worked on trying to improve the answer. Some of those revisions triggered comments about other problems in the revised answer, which led the author to make additional edits, causing several more go-arounds.) After 10 edits, the answer was automatically converted to community wiki (CW).

  3. No one else has voted on the answer. For simplicity, assume this remains true: no one else ever votes on this answer.

  4. Suppose that now I undo my downvote. What happens to the author's reputation?

  5. Suppose that after undoing my downvote, I upvote the answer. Now what happens? What's the net effect on the author's reputation?

I am interested in understanding the net effect on the author's reputation, at each point in time. I understand that after step 1, the net effect on the author's reputation is -2. I think that conversion to CW does not cancel out previous reputation effects, so after step 2, the net effect on the author's rep remains -2 (is that right?). If I now undo my downvote, does this cancel out the prior -2? Or since the answer now has CW status, does undoing the downvote have no effect on rep, leaving the net effect on the author at -2? Similar for an upvote.

This is not a hypothetical; this is a real situation. To preserve the anonymity of my voting, I'm not going to link to the specific answer. But I'm wondering what happens if I'm now happy enough with the revised answer to undo my downvote.

  1. What do I need to do at this point to ensure there is no lasting negative effect on the author's rep?

  2. Do I need to flag the answer to ask the moderators to undo the CW status before I undo my downvote, to make sure that the author isn't left with a lasting -2?

I realize it's only 2 points, which is small in the grand scheme of things, but I want to do the right thing and make sure the author is rewarded appropriately for his/her effort to improve his/her answer (or at least not left with a lasting -2).


When you reverse a vote (either an upvote or downvote), it reverses the original event, which means any reputation change attached to that event also gets reversed. In a case where you downvoted before a post became community wiki, it would have a -2 attached to it and it would be reversed when the vote is retracted, whether the post is currently community wiki or not.

Obviously upvoting after would not further affect their reputation, since the post is now community wiki and new votes on community wiki posts have no reputation effect. Further, if you downvoted again, the new downvote would have no reputation effect because it is a new vote on the post.

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