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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

marked as duplicate by Shadow support Oct 12 '15 at 17:57

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    The posts you linked don't conflict, if you read the answers. They're all correct, and consistent. The fact that you can't be bothered to do basic research for your question doesn't make it appropriate to just ask a question about information covered in the FAQ. – Servy Oct 12 '15 at 15:47
  • @Servy, I've read the answers, some of the info is confusing and doesn't cover what I'm asking. Unless I'm missing the place where it's all posted, someone needs to gather the info in one place. I'd do it myself but I don't think I should. If you know it's already out there, why don't you post the link or thread dealing with this. – xCare Oct 12 '15 at 15:54
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    If something is confusing you then explain what is confusing you. Again, you saying, "I can't be bothered to research my question, so you do it for me" isn't how SE works. You're expected to be doing basic research yourself before asking a question. – Servy Oct 12 '15 at 16:01
  • I've already done my research and wouldn't be asking if I had found what I'm looking for. I edited the question to place in bold conflicting and confusing information. Rather than focusing on how I phrase my question, why don't you actually read the questions I ask and provide helpful answers and if you can't, no need to resort to trolling. – xCare Oct 12 '15 at 16:25
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    If you had done your research than 1. why did you state in your question that you couldn't be bothered to research your question. 2. You'd have found your answer quite easily. As far as conflicting information, as I said before, nothing about the answers to those questions conflict in any way. The question implies that it acts differently, but the answers all explain the correct behavior in a consistent manor. If you're only reading the questions, go back and read the answers. And by the way, when you bold everything, you may as well just both nothing. – Servy Oct 12 '15 at 16:27
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    Not much to say. Two possible penalties: automatic post ban, which is affected both by deleting own posts or others deleting your posts, and the second kind of "penalty" is possible account suspension if you delete many of your own posts which had upvotes. Anna covers the first in the linked dupe, I might add answer about the second later when having some time – Shadow Oct 12 '15 at 17:59
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    your point 2 - posts that are deleted by flagging are not assessed a penalty for being deleted. When a post gets 6 spam flags, it suffers a number of consequences: one is a loss of 100 rep and another is deletion. This is not a deletion penalty it is a spam penalty, If you are not selling purses or love spells or the ability to stream live sports events this is not relevant to you, but even if it is relevant it is not a deletion penalty. – Kate Gregory Oct 13 '15 at 22:27
  • I will add that bit of info and thank you. Please bear in mind I asked for specifics of all penalties arising from deletion or closure, whether they apply to me or not it is relevant to my inquiry. If you want to discuss more on this topic I am in the Tavern on Meta room. – xCare Oct 13 '15 at 22:43

The rules around the consequences for deleting are not that complicated, but there is really only one rule that you need to know:

Deleting something doesn't make it "like it never happened."

Therefore, deleting as a reaction to criticism of any kind is a very bad plan. 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. If you persist in just deleting anything that doesn't meet the site standards, that record of "posted stuff that didn't meet site standards" will stick around until you are banned from posting anything new.

Assuming that's not what you want, you need to learn how to post things that meet the site standards, not more details on what the consequences of deleting are. You have already clicked through several pages of help and instructions on that topic - pages that are presented when you ask. Your next step would be to actually read and work on understanding those.

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    Thank you for your input but I'm asking to find out specifics on what all the penalties are exactly. Your answer does not deal with that and is at best good advice that can be said in a comment. – xCare Oct 12 '15 at 16:00
  • The most important penalty is that the closed-ness or the downvoted-ness of the deleted question will be forever preserved and you won't be able to change that, and the closed-ness or downvoted-ness will continue to count against you forever. You don't get any other specific cost or penalty, you just get this which is serious and significant. – Kate Gregory Oct 12 '15 at 19:39
  • According to you, there is no other penalty; however in some of those threads I link in my question, they reference point penalties for deletion. Who's right and who's wrong, am I the only one who sees the contradictions or are the specifics deliberately vague to make us guess stuff we're not really supposed to know? – xCare Oct 12 '15 at 19:46
  • I am not responsible if you can't read the documentation. When something is deleted, under some circumstances any rep you gained for it is lost. If it cost you rep, you get it back. There is no "this was deleted you lose 5 points" penalty. You keep asking for someone to tell you the value of this penalty and being rude when told there isn't one. – Kate Gregory Oct 12 '15 at 19:48
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    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. – Kate Gregory Oct 12 '15 at 19:50
  • Thank you for the clarification. As I've already stated, I -have- read the documentation and also read other posts which say contrary. I have never deleted a post, hence why I ask. As for being rude, in some social circles what Servy was doing would be called trolling. I'm the new guy here, so I don't know how this one works yet but I've witnessed methods of online social engineering through bullying by trolls and I can tell if allowed to continue, the conversation will degenerate further into personal attacks against my character or person. I'll walk away, but the damage is done. – xCare Oct 12 '15 at 20:33
  • If no one else gathers all the info about this topic together I will do it myself so no other new person here has to go through this again. – xCare Oct 12 '15 at 20:36
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    @xCare You have provided no posts that say anything that contradicts that statement. The post that you linked that you claim contradicts it in fact says exactly what you've been told here, and everywhere else. – Servy Oct 12 '15 at 20:47
  • Exactly, I'm not the first confused by deletion penalties. There needs to be a better deletion section that explains this stuff so newcomers can understand and don't have to go through this again... unless you like having laughs at the expense of newbies. – xCare Oct 12 '15 at 20:51
  • hm.. with all the downvotes, seems I can't even answer my own question to do this. – xCare Oct 12 '15 at 20:59
  • @xCare you can't answer this question because it is closed. – Kate Gregory Oct 13 '15 at 0:27
  • @xCare if you gather the info and add it as a comment, I will edit it into my answer. Not that I think there is any info you could gather, since there is no deletion penalty, but i will pledge to you that if you need a place for your research results, you can have it right here in this question. – Kate Gregory Oct 13 '15 at 0:29
  • Thanks for the offer but with mod permission, I included the answers in the body of my original post. I give you points @Kate Gregory as you have at least tried to be helpful, I will mark your answer as accepted. I wish to make note however, imo the amount of negativity generated by this question which only attempts to clarify what is a confusing and broadly dispersed topic, is uncalled for. – xCare Oct 13 '15 at 17:44

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