This is just a soft question asking for people's opinions on a certain situation.

This afternoon I lost 38 reputation, and I had no idea where it went. I started typing a question to ask about it, actually, when I found a duplicate and someone suggested looking at removed posts. So I clicked "show removed posts", and low-and-behold, it shows that I lost 38 because a post that I had answered had been closed. My question is this:

Is it fair to remove the reputation from answers when a question is closed?

I wasn't the only person that lost reputation. My answers had had four upvotes and one downvote (I think) - everyone's got downvoted at the same time due to some very friendly person... There were other answers on there with 7 or more upvotes. These people will have lost a lot of reputation. For someone with 21k rep, doesn't really matter, but there could have been someone who's trying to get their rep up, and 100 rep really makes a difference. (I noticed because earlier today my reputation was over 1k, now it's back under 1k.)

What do people think on this?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ not so much closed as deleted. There are some restrictions on questions with answers being deleted but i cannot recall what those might be. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Mar 4 '15 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ Related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/13133/… $\endgroup$ – AlexR Mar 4 '15 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexR, right. I can see the questions deleted in, I suppose, the last 24 hours, same for you i expect, but I cannot tell which one Smiley Sam might have answered without going through the list one by one. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Mar 4 '15 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ @WillJagy Yeah, there was some fuss about this recently. Only mods can search specifically for deleted posts of user X. $\endgroup$ – AlexR Mar 4 '15 at 20:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I dug it up (only visible to 10k+ users) $\endgroup$ – AlexR Mar 4 '15 at 20:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't think I ever saw a question reopened while it was deleted before, like just happened to this one. (It seems funny because you can't vote up or down on deleted posts, and I forgot you could vote to reopen.) $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Mar 4 '15 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexR, thanks for digging it up. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Mar 4 '15 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ @JonasMeyer Bizarrely, they cannot be closed though. Related meta thread (apparently as of February 2014 it had happened only three times in the history of SO!). $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Mar 4 '15 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ Just to be clear, I didn't post the exact question because I assumed that it was deleted for a reason, and this isn't some "give me back my reputation post". I'm not entirely sure why this post got 6 downvotes... seems like a reasonable point to me... $\endgroup$ – Sam OT Mar 4 '15 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, rereading the title that isn't actually that clear (fairly clear from the text, but not the title), so I've edited the title. $\endgroup$ – Sam OT Mar 4 '15 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Just for some information, if I remember correctly, he question had upvotes on the question, multiple answers with multiple upvotes and the question had been favourited by people. $\endgroup$ – Sam OT Mar 4 '15 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ @SmileySam thanks, but I can see the question anyway. Your description is correct. Still the question is unsuitable in my opinion, and was rightly closed and manually deleted. The point of my comment was something else though. Namely, to point out that AlexR's first comment makes no sense to me (except if I assume they do not know how auto-deletion works). $\endgroup$ – quid Mar 4 '15 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ I cast an undelete vote in view of the answers being worth preserving. I also cast a close vote ("too broad") because it's definitely not a good question, lacking a clear statement of what the question is or of what scope the question is desired to have. (I would encourage other users to vote to close as well) $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Mar 4 '15 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque I'm not against all "big list" questions - but if they don't have clear and reasonable parameters, that's a problem. The current question specifies nothing more than "Here are some inequalities which ostensibly regard calculus. What are some more?" and the answers, in turn, are fairly disparate in where they might be helpful - and, given the question and how answerers have interpreted it, it seems that nearly any inequality involving (continuous) functions of a real variable could happily be posted as answers. $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Mar 4 '15 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Meelo I don't understand how you can at the same time vote to close and vote to undelete. A question being closed essentially means it can be deleted at any point in time (well, starting in four days). If you feel the answers should be preserved, you can improve the question so that it's not "too broad" anymore. If you're unable to do that, it might mean that math.SE is not the right place for this question and its answers in this form. $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Mar 5 '15 at 8:35

In my mind, reputation reflects contributions to the site. There are no contributions to show because the question has been deleted, so no reputation should be gained.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I understand that point. But also one could argue that reputation should reflect how the community has accepted a person's questions/answers (in my opinion, this would be a more standard use of the word), and this surely doesn't depend on whether the question is deleted or not. $\endgroup$ – Sam OT Mar 4 '15 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ First of all, some people think you did an awesome job, and that should count for something. Second, it was only 38 points. You'll recoup. And if I seem blasé about this, it's because I don't put as much stock in site reputation as others. $\endgroup$ – Jon Mar 4 '15 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I mean, 38 points on 1000 isn't really anything, which was why I wasn't asking for it back or anything. (= $\endgroup$ – Sam OT Mar 4 '15 at 23:35
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    $\begingroup$ From a meta point of view, it also does not make sense to incentivize anyone to post answers on questions to poor to remain on the site. $\endgroup$ – davidlowryduda Mar 4 '15 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, fair point. I guess we can probably conclude that there are quite a lot of arguments both ways, and it's just how it is at the moment - may change at some point, may not. :) $\endgroup$ – Sam OT Mar 5 '15 at 0:01

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