I just downvoted an answer for the first time today, and noticed that I lost 1 reputation score. Obviously 1 "point" isn't a big deal. Whoop-dee-doo!

But on a serious note, what's the reasoning behind this?

My guess: Discourage users from unnecessarily downvoting on things, so that only, truly, those questions/answers are "bad" are downvoted upon?

  • 7
    serverfault.com/privileges/vote-down Down votes on answers cost, down votes on questions are free.
    – jscott
    Jul 6, 2012 at 0:46
  • With the ability to edit questions and answers, it is hoped that when something is slightly off course you can improve it with an edit rather than downvote it when it could easily be "saved". The other option of course is to ignore it.
    – Rob Moir
    Jul 6, 2012 at 8:02

2 Answers 2


Discourages users from unnecessarily downvoting on things, so that only, truly, those questions/answers are "bad" are downvoted upon.

  • 6
    And yet there is no dis-incentive to curb upvoting, even when the questions or answers are absurd or totally incorrect. Jul 6, 2012 at 9:12
  • 1
    @JohnGardeniers Something something "you can't fix stupid" murmer murmer. Although I highly doubt ServerFault will ever have an upward spiral of voting. We're rather lethargic about that with only a handful of cough notable exceptions. =)
    – Wesley
    Jul 6, 2012 at 16:49
  • 12
    I feel like I should make a witty comment here, but I can't think of anything... Jul 6, 2012 at 22:07
  • 1
    @Ward Upvoted!
    – Wesley
    Jul 7, 2012 at 2:34
  • 1
    @John Gardeniers: yes, there is a dis-incentive to curb upvoting: daily reputation cap
    – longneck
    Jul 9, 2012 at 13:49
  • @longneck, you, and whoever upvoted your comment, appear to have misunderstood things a bit. The daily cap only limits the rep a person can receive and is unrelated to the upvotes a person casts. Maybe you're thinking of the daily voting limit but that also is no dis-incentive against upvoting. Jul 10, 2012 at 6:56


  • I downvoted you to test if I get -1 rep. Jul 18, 2012 at 21:52
  • @Legit - it doesn't work on Meta; there are no rep changes here except what happens on the main site Jul 18, 2012 at 22:11
  • @Legit, you do gain badges for some pretty whacky reasons on meta, although those badges are distinct from the ones you get on SF, unlike the rep which is common to both SF and MSF. Some things of Stack Exchange simply defy logic. Jul 22, 2012 at 8:26

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