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Twice today I downvoted two answers. Both times I also got a point taken off on the question even though no one downvoted me. I did n't think that was suppose to happen. Is there some glitch on the mathematics site?

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No, that is how downvoting is supposed to work. The loss of a point for each downvote on an answer (in theory) disincentivizes people from downvoting out of spite.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is this a general StackExchange rule or just a special one for Mathematics? I participate heavily on CrossValidation and have occasionally downvoted but never noticed points beig taken away. $\endgroup$ – Michael R. Chernick Jul 6 '12 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ This is general. If it's not happening on a particular site you either didn't notice or it's specific to that site. $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Jul 6 '12 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe CV doesn't want to discourage downvoting. We are always encourageed to explain our downvote. If a downvote required an explanation maybe that would be a better way to avoid spiteful or retaliatory downvotes. $\endgroup$ – Michael R. Chernick Jul 6 '12 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe it's also useful to mention that you lose reputation if you downvote an answer, but you do not do not lose reputation if you downvote a question. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 7 '12 at 3:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Michael: the rep penalty for downvoting (non-CW) answers applies throughout the entire SE network (question downvotes are not penalized, in line with their "optimize for pearls, not sand" philosophy). It would seem that you've only downvoted on either questions or CW answers on CV, which is why you did not incur a rep loss. $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Jul 7 '12 at 4:30

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