I've been having a relatively good month, rep wise. Most of my highest performing answers have been written in the last month and I've had more than my fair share of 200 point days.

One thing I noted was that the 200 points are not impacted by downvotes, if you have enough upvotes. In other words, partial points from upvotes are applied to offset any downvotes you may receive.

As an aside, I've started going through some of my older, non-performing answers to delete them. Not all of them were 0 point answers per se; some were answers that got several upvotes and several downvotes. Obviously I wade into controversial areas from time to time; something I'm going to try avoiding from now on, but I digress.

All this got me thinking about countbacks when I delete answers.

If I delete an answer which 'overscored' on a high rep day, do I only lose the rep points that I actually was awarded on that day, or do I lose them all?

The corollary of that is if I delete an answer for which the downvotes were offset by either the same or a different high performing answer, do I get all those 2pts back?

Yes, this could get complicated real quick if there's no record of ACTUAL rep awarded against each question (rather than upvotes and downvotes) and I don't know if SE keeps such a rep table in back. So instead of asking all the edge case questions, I want to start with the simplest form of this;

Does the 200 rep limit per day get factored into countbacks as a result of deleting an old answer?

  • $\begingroup$ Just from the math side, since an upvote gives +10 while a downvote -2, why would you delete an answer with both up and down votes unless massively (down:up > 5:1) downvoted? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch Mod
    Sep 7, 2018 at 5:45
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch Well you're right, mathematically it doesn't make sense but I'm not doing it because of the rep points per se; it's more to do with trying to remove answers which aren't providing benefit. That (to my mind) includes controversial answers. Happy to be advised otherwise, but I was just looking at cases where I felt the answer wasn't useful because it caused too much controversy. I figure I can take the hit rep wise and given that some of them even had delete votes against them, I thought taking one for the team was better than leaving it around. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B II
    Sep 7, 2018 at 6:06
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    $\begingroup$ Just a thought: if people upvoted I would assume they drew some benefit from the answer $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Sep 7, 2018 at 8:27
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    $\begingroup$ @dot_Sp0T good point, perhaps I'm being a little too focused on the negative comments. I'll hold off more deletions for the time being. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B II
    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:58
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    $\begingroup$ The issue with comments is that A) they put you in the open and make you as a commenter touchable, you're not anomymous anymore (voting up and down does not associate you openly with the vote), and B) that positive comments are discouraged as comments are intended as a means to point out issues and request clarifications on a question/answer. As such positive comments logically remain a minority compared to the wealth of negative ones. $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Sep 7, 2018 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


Don't delete your old answers

Why? If they were really bad, someone else would delete them.

If you want to improve something, please go through old questions and clean up tags. Tag meanings can change over time and some 2 year old+ questions are not tagged well. Plus, you can do some grammar/spelling edits while you are at it and get the very rare badge.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I propose one refinement: if you come back and realize your answer was just plain wrong, or if somebody else covered the same territory better and yours no longer has any unique contribution, then I think it's fine to delete if you can't fix the problem instead. But otherwise, yeah, please err on the side of leaving content that others have found useful in place. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2018 at 23:10

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