Yesterday I asked a question which was downvoted and subsequently closed - Fair enough: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/38379/difference-between-classic-classical-and-classy.

What is not fair is to continue downvoting it, or better: to reduce reputation because of this downvoting. So am I to delete the question to protect my reputation?

You could argue that it is still helpful to see how the community judges, but to continue reducing reputation is not fair; I will delete the question as might other people do with theirs and this might not be intended because the same bad questions will be asked repeatedly.

What do you think?

  • What is going right here that even a question to understand the logic behind it is being downvoted?
    – vonjd
    Aug 19, 2011 at 8:21
  • 2
    Downvotes in Meta are different than on the main site. They mean people disagree with you; it will not affect your rep.
    – user10893
    Aug 19, 2011 at 8:23
  • @simchona: Understood. On the other hand: How can you disagree with a question?
    – vonjd
    Aug 19, 2011 at 8:24
  • For more information (I was trying to find this) see here. And you can disagree because you are giving an opinion--that it is not fair.
    – user10893
    Aug 19, 2011 at 8:25
  • 2
    Votes on meta sites mean disagreement on what reported, or on what implied in the question. As you tagged the question with feature-request, a down-vote means disagreement on what proposed.
    – apaderno
    Aug 19, 2011 at 8:26
  • You also asked "is this a flaw?" so upvotes can be "yes" and downvotes can be "no".
    – user10893
    Aug 19, 2011 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


It is not a flaw; people on various StackExchanges are aware of this. I refer you to this other Meta post entitled "Closing is not bad". In it, MrHen writes that one of the purposes of closing a question is to:

potentially mitigate downvotes. If your question is attracting downvotes, a close will typically stop them and give people a chance to resolve their concerns in a more constructive manner. A few edits later, your question will get reopened and those downvoting you will have a chance to change their votes.

When your question is closed, it means that you are getting a chance to rewrite it so it better fits the community's guidelines. As long as your question is considered "not a good fit", it can be downvoted. Once you have revised your question, you can make your question better and people can undo those downvotes.

Note that people who downvote cannot undo them until a question is edited. Votes (up or down) are locked in after 5 minutes.


As reported by Jeff Atwood, in Optimizing For Pearls, Not Sand:

We believe asking questions on our site is a privilege, not a right. If, after a few fair attempts, you haven’t been able to prove that your contributions to a particular Stack Exchange make it at least … not-worse … then we reserve the right to refuse your questions. If we don’t do our part to cull the bad questions, then we risk alienating the true experts who provide what really matters: the answers!

The main effect of down-voting a question is not reducing the reputation to a user, but making less prominent the question being asked. The effect of reducing the reputation of a user is secondary, and it doesn't reduce significantly the reputation of a user; for example, a user with a reputation of 1000 should get 250 down-votes before to see his reputation reduced to 500. Consider also that a single up-vote to a question has almost the same effect on the reputation of 2 down-votes.

Jeff then continue saying:

Continuing in that same vein, we have two more changes to formally announce today:

  • We now limit users (and IP addresses) to a maximum of 6 questions per day and 50 questions per month.
  • Downvotes on questions no longer cost the casting user 1 reputation, so they are effectively “free”.

The reason this has be done is that the number of bad questions increased, and they weren't sufficiently down-voted, or Jeff would not have taken those decisions.

Allowing to down-vote a closed question is not a flaw; a closed question is not a locked question.

  • When did this take effect? I think costing people for down votes was a brilliant idea. Down votes on questions no longer cost the casting user 1 reputation, so they are effectively “free”.
    – maxwell
    Aug 4, 2015 at 19:27

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