As my title says, it was the first time I had issued a flag. There was this answer to one of my questions that clearly was spam. It was a clear advertising of a website/application and in no way answers or even relates to my question, and it was from a new contributor.

I flagged it as a spam and shortly after I got a notification of a -1 reputation. When I clicked the notification it brought me to the "answer" I had just flagged.

I thought I was helping maintain the quality of answers on this site by doing this, and to get a deduction (even a meager -1 reputation) was pretty discouraging. Did I really just get a deduction from flagging? I read the different flags carefully and am absolutely sure it's spam.

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    Note for other visitors: The answer was to this question and has been deleted now. – MEE - codidact.org Nov 25 '18 at 12:30
  • You should get your reputation back soon, unless it had nothing to do with the spam answer. – MEE - codidact.org Nov 25 '18 at 12:32
  • yes, the spam is gone now. quite quickly too. i suppose it is a duplicate, it does answer mine. I thought it was from flagging not from downvoting though. Still, my mistake – mr.eaver Nov 25 '18 at 13:23

No, flagging doesn't cost you reputation. Downvoting an answer costs you 1 reputation, and a spam flag carries an automatic downvote, but that one doesn't cost reputation; it's even possible to spam flag and downvote an answer. That is most likely what you have done. Don't worry, when the answer is removed, you'll get that 1 reputation back a few minutes later.

It's not really useful to downvote spam, but in most cases not harmful either, see Why shouldn't I downvote spam that I've already flagged?

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    Ah I see, so it was from downvoting the answer. I've downvoted questions before and usually only have given upvotes to answers, since answers i've come across were all sensible. Thanks. – mr.eaver Nov 25 '18 at 13:19

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