A question about electrostatic discharge that I had answered was removed today, and with it I lost 592 reputation. The question is available via cache. I don't agree with the rationale for closing it out, but didn't take too much issue with it as it was still available for viewing.
The boilerplate rationale for closing it was:
Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.
The person who asked the question could have worded it a bit better, but the point behind the question was entirely valid - basically why doesn't ESD seem to be as significant an issue now as it was ~20 years ago. Their perception was accurate; ESD has become primarily a supply side issue while years ago products made it to the consumer market with significant ESD vulnerabilities. That's not an opinion.
Considering the effort that I went to in providing sources for the information I provided, its a tough sell to call the answer opinion based. There isn't much logical consistency in believing that a question is opinion based but has an entirely fact based answer backed up with sources from science, research and industry.
On a side note, there are very few posts on this topic on SU that are thorough, provide sources, and are fully accurate. Most get some key aspects of the subject incorrect. I won't bore anyone with the list of answer and the inaccuracies in them, but compared to most topics covered on SU, this one needed a good, thorough and verifiable answer.
I made sure that I said nothing I could't back up with a legitimate source, or in a couple cases, I noted that the statement was in dispute or in active study, and the answer isn't yet 100% known. None of that falls under opinion. Active scientific debate is not opinion - it's a key foundation of the scientific method.
In any event, the answer I gave was well received and I felt covered the topic pretty thoroughly. Regardless of the process behind closing the question, it seems pretty strange to wipe out the reputation that comes with the answer. A search through this forum didn't clarify whether or not that was supposed to happen; this post seems to indicate it is not supposed to be subtracted out.
I have two questions / comments about this:
What is the policy on removing reputation on a well received answer when the original question was deleted?
I think its worth considering making the process of closing / deleting someone's contribution(s) more transparent. It would be trivial to offer the impacted parties an opportunity to address the concerns; a message to the impacted users containing the rationale for the decision and with a mechanism to for them to provide feedback if they see fit.