I've seen a few posts on the topic of "How to Increase Your Reputation" (e.g. Six simple tips to get Stack Overflow reputation fast), which say that editing is an important reputation-affecting factor, for example:

For users who don't have a lot of experience in programming and rarely answer questions, try editing posts.

However, I can't find any detail on that. I see that we get 2 reputation points when a suggested edit is "accepted" (approved), but I have some question apart of that:

  1. Does the +2 rep apply to any edit that I do to someone else's question, answer, or comment?
  2. Does editing (or deleting) my own questions/answers/comments affect my reputation?
  3. In terms of reputation, why is it important to "Edit, But Don’t Edit Too Much"? As far as I know the only action of mine that can readily reduce my reputation is down-voting someone else's question/answer/comment...?
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    You cannot downvote comments nor can you edit comments. Editing your own question or answer does not chnage your reputation. However if somebody issues a vote, it’s the only way, they can chnage their vote. If you change too much, a more experienced reviewer/editor will flag your change, and a moderator could issue an edit ban for a period of time. – Ramhound Oct 30 '17 at 4:58
  • Thanks @Ramhound. If you change too much, you mean in other people's posts, right? I'm constantly editing my own comments and answers, as I think of something I missed, or find more related resources to share... That's a good thing, right? – ashleedawg Oct 30 '17 at 5:02
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    You should make only substantial edits. If you are making more then a few edits to your answer/question then a moderator can prevent additional edits from happening. – Ramhound Oct 30 '17 at 5:21
  • @gnat not really, I was wondering mostly about editing's impact on reputation and the effect of editing my own posts. – ashleedawg Oct 30 '17 at 7:28
  • this is covered in the section "Can I earn reputation?" in the answer over there – gnat Oct 30 '17 at 7:29
  • @rene, OP caught it just fine, and also got the answers with the help of patient members, so now OP can go back to trying to help others.. There's definitely answers out there, and some more more easily navigated than others, since we can't all be perfect. For such a terrible question, you've spent a lot of time on it. Thanks again all – ashleedawg Oct 30 '17 at 10:16
  • @ashleedawg side note: you are the OP here. You can replace it with "I", which will look better. When you (as OP) say "OP can go back", it's like I'll write "Shadow Wizard can go back", referring to myself. That's... not very good and tend to confuse people. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Oct 30 '17 at 10:24
  • @ShadowWizard - Uhh yeah, I realize that, but thank you for clarifying. Could you provide links to where I can find out more about this "English Language" you speak of? – ashleedawg Oct 30 '17 at 10:25
  • I find that many of my posts are getting edited for seemingly insignificant changes, some of which are merely very simple formatting. I question rep increases by edits, since it has the effect of creating superfluous edits. – mongo Nov 1 '17 at 9:28
  • @mongo -- now that you mention it, I, too have noticed my posted getting edit for seemingly insignificant change... I didn't think about the points it generates for that person until you brought it up...If I recall, the first time I noticed it was an early post of mine, that someone edited to make a few words bold. I commented to the editor, asking if there was a rule I didn't know about, wanting an explanation, but didn't get a response. – ashleedawg Nov 1 '17 at 9:48
  • @ashleedawg, the bulk of the edits I get are cosmetic or even superfluous. Some even substantially change the content, perhaps unknowingly. It might make sense to have the OP approve edits, and if approved, then the credit would be granted. If not approved, the posting would remain unchanged. Could be overridden by a moderator. – mongo Nov 1 '17 at 9:53

You only get the +2 when editing a post that is not your own. "Post" means question or answer. You can not edit even your own comments after a certain window and you can never edit someone else's without being a diamond moderator.

The most reputation you can earn for edit suggestions is 1000 reputation - and you don't earn any reputation for submitting post edits after you earn the edit privilege at 2000 reputation. So, unless all someone does is edit, they usually reach 2k long before they hit that 1k rep cap for suggested edits.

In addition to posts, you can suggest tag wiki edits which are also worth +2 if accepted. You can actually continue to earn rep for these edits long after you've reached the post edit privilege because editing tag wikis doesn't become possible without review until you hit 20K.

All of this and more can be found in the edit suggestions FAQ.

You're asking about editing but mention deleting, so I'll venture there - yes, if you delete a post, you lose whatever reputation you had gained from upvotes and gain whatever rep you lost from downvotes. Note that you can not deleted a question that has been answered if that answer has a positive score and you can not delete an answer that has been accepted. It's also worth noting that if you delete very poorly-received posts too much, and you have no other good posts to balance them out, you're at risk of getting a question or answer ban. If at all possible, you should attempt to improve your posts, rather than deleting them.

Comments don't affect your reputation at all. You can neither earn nor lose rep through a comment.

The "edit but don't edit too much" can be interpreted a few ways. If you're editing a post just to make it visible, that would be looked down on. Too many edits can be annoying. But, if you're editing someone else's post, you don't want to be too heavy handed with the editing as you may change what they are saying. I'm not sure which of the two (if either) is intended.

Editing judiciously can bring posts to attention, particularly on sites other than Stack Overflow. Many users rely on the recent questions for their site browsing, and edits bring those posts into the active page and may earn votes or (if a question) answers. Again, making minute edits merely for the purpose of bumping the post isn't a great idea.

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  • On the topic of reputation, I don't understand why I lost 8 points on this question. It has 4 down-votes, are down-votes worth -2 each? – ashleedawg Oct 30 '17 at 7:25
  • @ashleedawg also note that downvoting a question is "free" to the one who downvote, however downvoting an answer "costs" 1 reputation, i.e. the one who downvote an answer lose 1 rep when doing it. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Oct 30 '17 at 9:03
  • About deleting questions with answers, what you said isn't completely correct: you can't delete questions with several answers no matter their score, and you can't delete questions with one answer if that answer has upvotes, no matter how many downvotes it has (so you can't delete a question with one answer that has 10 downvotes and 1 upvote) (source). – Donald Duck Oct 30 '17 at 11:07
  • You also get +2 for accepted tag wiki edits, until you reach 5000 reputation points (earning the Approve tag wiki edits privilege). – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Jan 24 '19 at 17:21
  • @PeterMortensen I think you get the +2 until you hit 20k and can edit without needing approval... but I could be wrong. But that's part of this answer, the third paragraph. – Catija Jan 24 '19 at 17:34

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