According to the comments on the answer to this Question of mine — Is it possible to unupvote If the edit wasn't OP made? — and after an overall feeling I got of the mechanism of granting reputation changes for up- and down-votes I have concluded:

Reputation is granted to represent the quality of a post. Not as reward to the user.

So what is the purpose of limiting the daily obtainable reputation amount to users, if the reputation itself isn't even thought for reflecting anything of the user?

(For clarification: I'm not asking overall what is the use of the daily limit. I'm asking for: Why there is even such a limit from the pov I had so far, that the reputation belongs to a post and not the user.)

  • "Reputation is granted to represent the quality of a post. Not as reward to the user." Huh? I have absolutely no idea how you came to that conclusion.
    – yannis
    Nov 20, 2014 at 12:44
  • Because The last comment on the answer of the queistion i linked stated so. And in the question al where argumenting with the quality of the edited question which is making unupvote possible. So as this was the only reasoable explanation for this behaving. I was thinking so.
    – Zaibis
    Nov 20, 2014 at 13:37
  • possible duplicate of What is the reasoning behind the reputation cap?
    – gnat
    Nov 20, 2014 at 14:09
  • 1
    @gnat Not at all, as it primaly focuses the theory of handling the relation between posts and reputation isntead of users to reputation. But if the community decides different. I got my answer so far.
    – Zaibis
    Nov 20, 2014 at 14:17
  • I see, that sounds reasonable (retracted my close vote). Consider editing the question to help other readers understand the difference, so that it won't be voted as duplicate by someone else (many tend to ignore clarifications buried in comments)
    – gnat
    Nov 20, 2014 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


I think you're under estimating the relationship between reputation and users. What I imagine people were trying to get across is that you shouldn't up-vote an answer because, say, Jon Skeet wrote it, and you recognize his name. You should up-vote or down-vote a post based on the quality of that post, and every post should stand alone.

In essence, this is a means to enforcing that any person is the sum of his or her actions. If you make a lot of good posts, you probably deserve a lot of reputation points. If you make a lot of bad posts, well, not so much.

So yes, reputation is meant to result because a post is of high quality, and not because of anything based on the user, but that's just a way of making it more accurately representative of the user.

Note, of course, reputation isn't perfect. We all know this. But again, it's the best we can do. Quantifying understanding of a field, the SE system, and the general Q&A format is hard, and reputation turns out to be, on mass scale, a pretty effective way to do it.

As for your main question, then, about why there's a rep limit per day, that mostly has to do with privileges. Privileges focus on the user's ability to understand and work with the Stack Exchange model. "You understand what makes a question on-topic, so now you can vote to close." However, if someone pops on and posts a single, super-high-quality post that gets a hundred up-votes, that suddenly skyrockets that user up to 1000 rep points, after they've been with SE for only a day. It's unlikely that a user with that little experience on the system will have very good knowledge of how to use the privileges awarded during that time. By putting a limit of 200 rep points per day on there, we can be certain in a majority of cases that nobody will jump through privilege levels without having at least a basic understanding of the system.

  • 2
    consider also flash in the pan effect when post becomes popular for a short while and then everyone forgets. Such posts are typically voted up not because these are useful (this can be reliably discovered only in the long term) but because "just everyone around is having fun" (The Trouble With Popularity)
    – gnat
    Nov 20, 2014 at 16:20

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