should users lose reputation that they gained from a question has been closed. If a question was closed then clearly it didn't follow SO rules, but if people upvoted it before it was closed, the user still gets reputation

EDIT: I had taken the user link out, to respect the users privacy.

EDIT #2: I am only talking about users asking the questions, not the users who have answered.

  • Could someone provide some more data? Jul 10, 2009 at 17:16
  • Related/duplicate: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2038/…
    – Gnome
    Mar 22, 2010 at 10:39
  • 2
    Maybe just stop handing out "Good question" badges for questions that were closed as Not Good Questions. ;)
    – nschum
    Sep 25, 2011 at 11:03
  • I feel your pair Stan ... I do. Here is an example of what you are talking about most likely. A not constructive question that is totally subjective and cannot be answered factually generated how much reputation in this case? I believe the user should have to give back all those up vote reps.
    – demongolem
    Oct 9, 2012 at 14:19

4 Answers 4



No, I don't think they should lose any rep. It's not the answer-author's fault that the question had already been asked (in cases of duplicates). He still invested effort in making his answer, and others found it helpful.

All else...

Reputation in general is a reflection on your status with the community. The events that take place prior to the closing of a thread reflect your participation in the community, and is therefore not subject to change because somebody else broke the rules - the blessings you receive from the community should not be retracted (unless you're undergoing penalty by moderators, of course).


If this rule were implemented, should all negative-rep be restored?

  • i was only talking about users who have asked the question received reputation and then had the question closed.
    – Stan R.
    Jul 10, 2009 at 17:30
  • but I like your response anyway +1. :)
    – Stan R.
    Jul 10, 2009 at 17:31
  • My response would be the same...if the community awards rep, that reflects on the author's appearance in the community.
    – Sampson
    Jul 10, 2009 at 17:32
  • If a moderator closes a question as offensive, or spam, don't they get hit with a 100 rep penalty anyway? So when a question is closed AND deserves punishment, a system is already in place for that.
    – devinb
    Jul 10, 2009 at 18:40
  • If the moderator-action takes the rep away, so be it.
    – Sampson
    Jul 10, 2009 at 18:43
  • Not sure I agree with the "duplicates" part, though. If someone sees a duplicate, they should take away their answer. Answering to questions which will be closed is not really a good practice. If their answer was really good, they should post it on the "original" question, then. You don't want to encourage people posting on duplicates, it just scatters the good answers in many places.
    – Gnoupi
    Feb 5, 2010 at 9:56

In the event of duplicate questions, I don't think they should lose reputation. They're helping the system by providing a wider search base to locate questions.


In the case where a question is closed because it is spam or offensive and maybe even not relevant/programming related, it is likely to be deleted and therefore the rep would be lost the next time rep is recalculated. However, as LFSR suggests, duplicates are not the worst thing. As has been mentioned by Jeff a lot, it is amazing how people can ask the same thing without using any of the same words, so it is good to have some of those duplicates in the system. Not saying they shouldn't be close, but it is an argument for the user not losing the reputation gained from the question.


This would likely depend upon why the question was close as some are closed because the question itself was inappropriate for the forum where as others are closed because of duplication and the like.

In the case of duplicates there is a pretty good chance that someone might come up with a well worded response that is relevant to the question before the duplicate is caught and closed. As such, it doesn't seem appropriate to penalize someone as there doesn't seem to be an expectation for users to determine if a question is a duplicate before answering it.

Also, as others have noted, you actually lose any reputation gained by deleted questions and as such, I don't see the need to penalize someone if the question is deemed worthy enough to keep even if it is closed.

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