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EDIT: This is wrongly tagged a duplicate as it deals with clarifying and finding out information about penalties for the deletion and closing process, a topic that has spawned much confusion and past discussion.
I'd like to know please what are the all the exact penalties if I delete questions or answers I've asked.
How about if others delete a question or answer I ask, what penalties do I get?
Any penalties if a question I ask is closed?
Reason I ask is because I posted a question yesterday and I see today it has 2 requests to close. I'd like to know more about the process so I know what best to do in cases like this, whether to delete, leave as is or vote to close (can I do that myself?). I can select to delete but when I clicked the option it says I can be banned from asking questions for deleting.
I read THIS but that does not give much specifics about deletion penalties. It does state I can't delete a question if it has an accepted answer, which is confusing because it seems I can delete my question if I wanted to and I did accept and favorite an answer.
In addition, the list of point penalties here does not state any penalties for deleting questions or answers other than this confusing line:
> a post where you had successfully suggested an edit has been deleted (reputation page shows the cause as "removed"): -2
However, I've read here and in some other references there is a higher point penalty for deleting your own questions.
For questions, here it states deleting can be used to recover points lost to downvotes:
If the post was downvoted, deleting a question helps you recover the reputation on the next recalc. So if you feel like deleting a post, go ahead. If you try to delete a question with answers or a post with comments, you may not be able to delete it by yourselves.
EDIT: One of the answers below contrasts with the above answer by basically saying don't do it. No offense to either one, but how are new guys like me going to get a clear idea what to do like this?
Can someone please gather and list all the penalties and information about deleting and closing Q's & A's in one place?
This question garnered some controversy and is closed now. I had to do a bit of digging and sorting, but I found most of the answers I was looking for. For the sake of clarity, I'll add the info below along with references so others can follow the trail of answers without getting in hot water for asking about a commonly confusing topic.
- Though it might have been different in the past, there are currently no point penalties for a question getting deleted or closed, whether you do it yourself or not. What happens, as explained by Kate Gregory in the comments section:
Take for example the -2 for the suggested edit. Having an edit suggestion accepted gives some users 2 rep. If that question is deleted, the user loses those 2 rep. That's not a deletion penalty though. It's just undoing the gain. If you asked a question that got 2 downvotes, it would cost you 4 rep. If the questions was deleted you would get the 4 rep back. That's not a deletion bonus though. And so on.
Clarified by Kate Gregory: The exception to that is if a Q or A is deleted by flagging as indicated here. A post flagged 6 times is marked as Spam. Being marked for spam results in the automatic deletion of the spam post and deduction of 100 points. As Kate notes however, this is a Spam function not a result of deletion.
As stated here questions more than 30 days old with no answers and -1 score or lower are automatically deleted every week, as are questions more than 365 days old with no answers, low views, <= 1 comments, and <= 0 score. By that we can infer for example, the amount of comments in this question exempts it from deletion.
Closing is generally preferred to deletion. From source @JohnB, closing a question requires 5 votes, one of those votes can be made by the OP themselves. Deleting another user's question requires 3 votes for users with 10k+ rep points.
You can delete your own questions as long as it does not meet the specifications listed under the section When can't I delete my own post. According to this, deleting duplicate questions is not advisable. And as explained in the answer below, deleting to avoid recover lost rep points is frowned upon. Generally good advice a commenter of this post should note and worth repeating:
If you ask a question that some people want to close, don't delete it, fix it. If you ask a question that some people downvote, don't delete it, fix it.
The system tracks when you delete your own questions if deleted less than 30 days after being started and it will count towards banning you from starting questions. I could not find reference to the exact number that triggers this according to this, any questions of yours that get deleted add to the count. There is no ban for deleting answers, but as mentioned here, deletions are limited to 5 a day.
Lost rep points are always regained upon deletion and points gained through upvotes, accepts, etc. are reset to 0 when a question is deleted, with the exception of posts at least 60 days old that have gained at least +3 rep; in which case the gained reputation is kept.
If any of the above information is not accurate or you have more specifics, feel free to edit or post in the comments and I will add them. I have also removed the Support tag as I learned users with the support tag can close this thread and I don't want it closed without the above info made as easily accessible to users somewhere else.