Sorry if this is a dupe, I couldn't find another with my use case.

Let's say hypothetically I answered a question with "XYZ", and the answer was downvoted 2 times. If I then remove that answer (delete it), does the rep removed from my account by having it downvoted then get reversed?

e.g. I have 1500 rep, I answer and it's downvoted twice taking my rep to 1498, does the rep go back to 1500 if I delete the answer?

1 Answer 1


Normally yes, your reputation would go back to where it was before the downvotes. If you received any upvotes then their reputation gains would be removed. Likewise the reputation someone spent to downvote the answer will also be returned.

I say normally because there are a couple of caveats. From MSE: How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

What else should I know about deleted posts?

  • Reputation changes from votes (both up and down), bounties (both giving on questions and receiving on answers), acceptances, and approved suggested edits on deleted posts (including answers to deleted questions) are nullified. Two exceptions:

    • First, reputation earned for posts with a score of 3 or higher, and where the post has been visible on the site for at least 60 days, is retained. This does not include reputation lost from giving bounties on them (this will be nullified as normal).
    • Second, if a question that has had bounties awarded to answers is deleted, and one or more of the answers would get to retain their reputation per the above first exception, the bounty reputation given to those answers will not be refunded to the bounty owner(s).
  • Reputation lost as a penalty for having a post deleted by spam or "rude or abusive" flagging is not returned, unless a moderator manually clears the spam or abuse flags. This only happens if the post was deleted in error (a moderator pressed the wrong button, or multiple users conspired to have it deleted).

  • Yes, that worked. I deleted some answers that were downvoted to -1 or -2, and gained 12 rep in doing so. Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 14:31
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    @spikey_richie - You should improve submitted contributions instead of deleting them.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jan 8, 2022 at 0:59
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    They were answers from my earlier days, where they didn't really answer the question and couldn't really be improved, without mimicking already provided answers that had been marked as the correct answer. Commented Jan 8, 2022 at 11:48
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    @spikey_richie Would you not have deleted the answers if rep was not reclaimed? (You can also undelete your answers.) Sometimes, a downvoted answer can be useful for the community if it puts forward a popular, but incorrect, view.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 11:14
  • @MrWhite I probably would have still deleted them. In most cases, I'd misunderstood the question. Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 11:33

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