See Update Below

As a 10k+ user (on SO, not here), I'd like to be able to un-downvote a deleted answer. Details:

Like a lot of users who've been on the site(s) for a while, I don't downvote virtually anything right away. I comment saying what my problem is with the item and, if I'm not too busy and I'm still around later and oh look a butterfly I don't get too distracted, I'll come back to see if it's been fixed or removed and downvote if called for.

Despite that, sometimes I downvote an answer and find later that the poster deleted it. Now, they could be deleting it because they don't want more downvotes, but that's fine by me, the goal is to have high-quality content on the site. Sometimes, though, it's clear that they've simply realized that they're wrong and so they're deleting the answer because it's wrong.

And when that happens, I'd like to be able to un-downvote the answer as a means of encouraging that behavior (deleting bad answers). (Re the questions below: No, it's not about reclaiming my rep. I don't care about that, particularly.) It's not like this is a burning item or high on the priority list, but I didn't see it suggested, so I'm suggesting it.

Update: According to Grace Note, the rep they lose will eventually come back to them. And so there's probably no need for this. Sure, it would make it more immediate, and maybe there's something to that if the change is as trivial to implement as it seems, but...

  • Why? They get the rep back. Do you want your rep back, too? I don't know if you get it. – Rosinante Sep 24 '10 at 12:17
  • @Rosinante: For their rep. I don't care if I get mine back or not. It's about encouraging people, in a small way, to do the right thing. – T.J. Crowder Sep 24 '10 at 12:19
  • J : Wont they get it back when the question is deleted anyway? – JoseK Sep 24 '10 at 12:20
  • @Jose: I'm mostly talking about answers. Will they on their next recalc? I had the impression they didn't, because of the thing about people deleting answers just to void the rep hit. But I don't recall where I read that. – T.J. Crowder Sep 24 '10 at 12:22
  • I want my rep back from my downvote on a deleted answer – mplungjan Feb 12 '13 at 13:28
  • 2
    @mplungjan: You get it back. If not immediately, then on the next rep recalc (which you can trigger yourself if you like: Go to stackoverflow.com/reputation, scroll down to the bottom, and click Trigger Reputation Recalc – T.J. Crowder Feb 12 '13 at 14:42
  • Thanks that was cool. Useful link – mplungjan Feb 12 '13 at 14:50
  • @mplungjan: I don't see any negative values on your rep listing on SO, was it SO? If not, which site was it? – T.J. Crowder Feb 12 '13 at 14:54
  • It was. For some reason it disappeared quicker than I noticed so the neg rep is on another question from yesterday on a still open answer. thanks – mplungjan Feb 12 '13 at 15:10

Deleted posts, as long as they are deleted, do not count their votes for the real reputation of anyone who has had a reputation change. After a recalculation of reputation (which you can do by going to Go to https://stackoverflow.com/reputation [substitute site name as necessary], scrolling down to the bottom, and clicking Trigger Reputation Recalc), your displayed reputation will be set to your real reputation. You can revert the cost of casting your downvote, while the target can revert all of the reputation change from all votes on the deleted post.

There is no real benefit to changing the vote while the answer is still deleted. Your vote has no actual impact while it remains deleted. If the answer gets undeleted, then ideally it should be revised before you change your vote, and revision lets you change your vote.

If you had mistakenly cast a downvote on a post that otherwise didn't need it, which got subsequently deleted, then it has nothing at all to do with the deletion status.

  • Let me make sure I understand: If X posts an answer, and eight people downvote it, and X deletes it, you're saying that eventually X will get that rep back on a recalc? I thought the rep you lost when people downvoted you was lost forever. – T.J. Crowder Sep 24 '10 at 12:26
  • Once the recalc happens, all of that reputation is fixed. This also affects upvotes, of course. And no, downvotes are not permanent. No reputation change is really permanent, actually, as they are all tied to the existence of a state of some sort. The only exception I can think of is the +100 from association. Otherwise, everything else can be reversed. – Grace Note Sep 24 '10 at 12:28
  • Ah, okay. We can all move along now, nothing to see here. :-) – T.J. Crowder Sep 24 '10 at 12:31

If you request a reputation recalculation you will get your reputation back since the question was deleted. There isn't any need for that feature.

For more information about how to request a reputation recalculation see this question :

How can I request a reputation recalc?

  • I'm not interested in getting my rep back. Will they get theirs back? – T.J. Crowder Sep 24 '10 at 12:21
  • @T.J. Crowder If they request a reputation recalculation they will get it back. – HoLyVieR Sep 24 '10 at 12:22
  • why waste the team's time on this? This should be automatic. – Lucas B Sep 24 '10 at 12:22
  • @Lucas To request a reputation recalc you don't need to ask the team. If you took a look at the question I pointed at, you would have seen that you can do it by flagging your own post asking for reputation recalculation. – HoLyVieR Sep 24 '10 at 12:25
  • @LucasB There are a lot of requests for automatic recalcs. I can pull some up if you'd like. It's been mostly on the sidestove, though. – Grace Note Sep 24 '10 at 12:25

I agree. I hesitate to downvote for the same reasons. If the downvotes got un-downvoted automatically, this would be even better

  • I don't want it to be automatic (though it sounds like it may already be). I just want to have the option. (Re your hesitating to downvote: Good! Downvotes shouldn't be overdone.) – T.J. Crowder Sep 24 '10 at 12:24

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