Does it make sense to be able to donate reputation to a fellow overflow user, say in the case where they comment on your answer, and help you make your answer better. Is this a reasonable feature request?

EDIT -- what i had in mind is for an answer, you could donate up to [some amount] of the reputation gained for the answer. So if I have an answer that got +5, i could donate up to 50 reputation to someone who helped me with the answer [or 25, or some set limit].

  • Or in a question. Recursively pun intended. Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 0:40
  • I think it is a very good idea in concept but too difficult to implement without the risk of users doing all sort of crazy stuff with there points. I think if this idea has any chance, is that if this donation could be made, say, once every two months and it was something like 15 rep points, more like a (very nice) symbolic thank you note, than an actual rep transaction.
    – Trufa
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 2:34
  • Related question Is reputation transfer possible?
    – koppor
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 6:00

4 Answers 4


"it makes sense to be able to donate reputation..."

I thought reputation was a measure of trust in the user? If Jon Skeet donated 100K rep to me, would I be more trustworthy? Please Jon?

Donation or acquisition of trust (rep) outside of the normal ways to gain reputation would make reputation essentially more meaningless than it is today...

  • I really like this idea, but as an occasional reward. So it may be rare allowance for big achievements. Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 6:23
  • He has mentioned some constraints. First of all you'd have to actively participate in the question/answer. Second, there should be a limit enforced. Rolling back coordinated reputation donations should be fine, similar mechanics already exist with voting. Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 14:09

Well you can set a bounty on any question and then give it to the most appropriate answer.

If somebody "proposes" an edit on your questions/answer and you accept it, they will get a rep bonus. (to be deployed next week)

Comments are just meant to be commentary, I am strongly against having any rep associated with it in any way.

Arbitrary behind-the-doors rep transfers will not be implemented due to the huge amount of gaming that would occur.

  • yeah i understand the gaming concern. I edited my question.
    – hvgotcodes
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 1:12
  • But you have to wait 24 hours before you can start a bounty, and another 24 hours before you can actually award it. You can run only one bounty at a time. Those limitations suck.
    – Pekka
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 1:32
  • @john bounties dont fix this. I am talking about donating reputation when 1) you start an answer and 2) someone helps you, via comments or deleting their answer (and you incorporate their stuff), to make your answer better. In that case a portion of the upvotes you should be able to give to the person that help (i am arguing)
    – hvgotcodes
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 1:38
  • @hvgotcodes: Sorry misunderstood. IMHO, still a good answer though.
    – John
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 4:02
  • Bounty only works for questions that have no answer yet. What if I liked another than the accepted answer more? Now all I can do is upvote once.
    – ott--
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 16:58

I can see where you're coming from on this one, in a way it would be a nice gesture to be able to donate some reputation to those that help improve questions or answers. But aside from the implementation which I doubt will be a 2 second job, I can also see a few potential downsides:

  • Users will probably target high rep users posts more than low rep ones for editing since they'd probably be the users more likely to be willing to sacrifice 50 or so rep, is this really desired behaviour?
  • If users get into the habit of editing and commenting to improve things just to get more reputation will they focus more on trying to correct spelling mistakes than answering questions?
  • If reputation is a measure of trust and overall quality, should that really change that much (if at all) if I point out a spelling correction or two?
  • Would the system be abused if someone leaving stack overflow for whatever reason agreed to just donate all of their reputation to a friend before they left?

Personally I think that the badges in place at the moment are a good enough incentive to encourage good edits. If this isn't the case (though I think things are fine personally) then perhaps more badges should be implemented rather than such a system.


If rep (for this one question) meant the world to your friend (or you have a cannot-sleep-until-I-share-it complex), the comment can be re-posted as another answer, and you can upvote it. It will cost you no points and if it has merit and adds to the overall question, someone else may come along and upvote it as well.

If it really adds little to the discussion, it would clutter the system though.

The norm is to just assimilate the comment into the answer and move on. Pay it forward.

  • cyberkiwi, i was thinking it is a nice gesture to recognize someone helping you. But yes, the simple solution is just give them a few upticks for their trouble and graciousness
    – hvgotcodes
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 2:10

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