Yesterday I donwvoted this answer (and upvoted a comment highlighting the problem). Today I saw I received -1 rep, with a link to this answer (which had received another downvote since mine). I really don't care about 1 point of rep, but what happened?

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    If you don't like that, one alternative is to upvote all the other answers. That's free. :-) – T.E.D. Jun 26 '15 at 12:28

There is a cost to downvoting answers so that people do not go about downvoting willy-nilly. If that -1 weren't there, I think there would be a lot less working with answerer in the comments. There would also be more "I am going to downvote every other answer to this question so mine will rise to the top"--which thankfully, I don't see very often.

BTW, I believe you will get your reputation back eventually if that question is deleted. Thus there is no permanent reputation cost to downvoting spam or racist tirades.

  • I was guesing as much, just wondering why the -1 came far later than my actual downvote. Also, I downvoted a lot yesterday (but all those were deleted ince then) without any -1. ah well. – mart Jun 26 '15 at 11:43

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