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If someone posts a question and then decides to withdraw/delete it, do they suffer a reputation penalty?

Note the following message:

Delete this answered question?

We do not recommend deleting questions with answers because doing so deprives future readers of this knowledge.

Repeated deletion of answered questions can result in your account being blocked from asking. Are you sure you wish to delete?

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  • Yes, you lose the rep you earned from it and regain the rep you lost from it. Status Quo ante Posting!
    – NSNoob
    Feb 23, 2017 at 12:36
  • Actually, @NSN, to my information, habitual deletion itself doesn't get you closer to the ban. The fact that one thinks they can continue posting if they remove the previous bad questions while those bad questions are actually still considered by the system is the thing that gets people into trouble.
    – M.A.R.
    Feb 23, 2017 at 12:41

1 Answer 1

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Yes and no. All reputation gained will be deducted, and all reputation lost will be restored. And as Shadow Wizard correctly noted, there is a special clause for questions older than 60 days: If the question had a score of 3 or more, and is deleted after 60 days or more the reputation gained is not deducted.

You won't suffer a penalty for deletion, but it could (but not often*) count against you for the question ban, but occasional deletion when other posts are of high quality will not result in any negative effect.

* Thanks to Servy, we've learned that there are some exceptions:

With a handful of exceptions, deleted posts either do not contribute to the ban or are unlikely to be salvageable by the author. The biggest exception is authors who delete their questions immediately upon receiving an answer - and they're already warned about this when they go to delete.

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    I don't understand your answer 100%. You said that all reputation lost will be restored but but it will count against you for the question ban, where deleted questions have a higher weight in the negative score you build. For the simple example of receiving one downvote, how will this work out?
    – Dave S
    Feb 23, 2017 at 12:40
  • 2
    Downvotes your questions receive. questions getting closed and deleted all build up to a score of 'quality' of your posts. It you hit rock bottom, you can't post any questions any more. Feb 23, 2017 at 12:42
  • 2
    Answer is not complete. If the question had score of 3 or more, and deleted after 60 days or more, reputation won't be lost. Feb 23, 2017 at 12:49
  • @Sha indeed. Missed that. Feb 23, 2017 at 12:50
  • Just a clarification. The 60 days clause is a little more subtle than stated above. The post must be visible for at least 60 days to retain the reputation. You don't retain the rep if you delete a +3 post two days after it was asked, and then 58 days later undelete and re-delete it.
    – user642796
    Feb 23, 2017 at 13:12
  • Deleted questions don't count any more in the question ban just because they are deleted. There are a few narrow situations in which they do, but for the vast majority of cases they affect the q-ban algorithm equally when deleted or undeleted.
    – Servy
    Feb 23, 2017 at 14:30
  • DO you have a source? @Servy Feb 23, 2017 at 14:31
  • I could find one. But you're the one posting an answer. What's your source for your assertion that it's specifically considered.
    – Servy
    Feb 23, 2017 at 14:33
  • This is the first thing that came up when I searched; I'm sure you can find more if you want to look harder: meta.stackexchange.com/a/258819/186381
    – Servy
    Feb 23, 2017 at 14:34
  • @Servy Ah, very useful. Thanks for taking the time to learn me something new. Feb 23, 2017 at 14:39
  • You still state that deleted questions have a higher weight. They have no higher weight at all. They have an equal weight.
    – Servy
    Feb 23, 2017 at 14:39
  • @Servy Fixed now. Feb 23, 2017 at 14:40
  • Is the reputation restored when you undelete the question? Apr 29, 2020 at 19:31

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