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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.

marked as duplicate by gnat, Robert Longson, Nathan Tuggy, Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard support Nov 25 '18 at 14:08

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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    Note for other visitors: The answer was to this question and has been deleted now. – MEE was the missing bracket Nov 25 '18 at 12:30
  • You should get your reputation back soon, unless it had nothing to do with the spam answer. – MEE was the missing bracket 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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