I'm pretty sure the whole reputation system is put in place so that newcomers learn the different concepts before actually being allowed to use them, and that as a member of one of the other sites in the group you get a higher initial reputation score when you first register to one of the sister sites (like the new Stack Exchange sites that come out of private beta).

That said, why do I get 100 initial rep score for registering, but need 125 to be able to downvote?

  • 1
    A time when this is particular frustrating is when trying to down-vote answers on your own question on a new site. As a 200+ user on other sites, I'm quite familiar with when it's appropriate to down-vote answers, yet I'm forced to just write comments with my 101 rep. Sure... I could amass a measly 30 points to address this issue, but isn't that the whole point of the 100 rep boost? Oct 1, 2013 at 13:57
  • most reasonable explanation is given in the answer in duplicate question: "you could downvote an answer exactly twice before you lose the privilege if you only have the reputation from the association bonus..."
    – gnat
    Apr 4, 2014 at 12:35

2 Answers 2


Because you should be focusing on upvotes. More importantly, it is to prevent "drive-by" downvotes - the rep system is used as a rough gauge on how much the community "trusts" you.

  • I think that's a better explanation for the rep system than 'the system trusts you'. It is actually the community that assigns the trust. Oct 20, 2010 at 14:40
  • Actually, I was trying to contribute to the site by downvoting a wrong answer. Oct 20, 2010 at 14:41
  • @Dave Van den Eynde: If you downvote, you can contribute even more by adding your own answer, or commenting on why you downvoted the post.
    – In silico
    Oct 21, 2010 at 2:05
  • @In silico I know that, silly, but I'm unable to downvote. Nov 9, 2010 at 11:08
  • 1
    Nobody prevents drive-by upvoting? I find drive-by upvoting much worse than drive-by downvoting. ......
    – user202729
    Jun 27, 2018 at 7:43

maybe to get some (just very little) feeling of how the new site works before being able to downvote.

I mean someone who is good at programming (Stack Overflow) is not automatically that good at let's say Mathematics.

For sure you must not be an expert to be able to recognize a bad answer, or to decide that an answer is not useful (for you). But getting 25 points of reputation isn't that hard, not for a theme you are interested in.

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