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

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1 Answer 1


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.

  • 1
    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
    Commented 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. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 12:42
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    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
    Commented 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
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 14:30
  • 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
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 14:34
  • Is the reputation restored when you undelete the question? Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 19:31

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