I came across a fairly bad question that was a duplicate. It already had 4 downvotes, but I thought, I think I probably have enough rep to afford 1 downvote. Plus, it'll put me to a nice multiple of 5.

So I click downvote and go to my profile and to my surprise, I still have the same amount of rep.

My question is this: If a question has been closed, either because it has been marked as a duplicate, or put on hold, etc, does downvoting still count as a downvote but not cost any reputation, and not cause the asker to lose any reputation? Likewise, would an upvote not grant the asker any reputation, because the question has been closed?

(I'm really hoping this doesn't turn out to be a duplicate, because the irony would be too much to bear. I looked for similar questions before I asked, honest.)

EDIT: Just to clarify, the question I found and voted on was in the regular SFF, not the Meta. I do already know that the Meta has different rules regarding voting and reputation.


You lose rep if you downvote an answer.

You do not lose rep for downvoting a question.

From help page:

When you vote down, you are nudging that content "down" the page, so it will be seen by fewer people. Voting down answers is not something we want you to take lightly, so it is not free.

  • Downvotes remove 2 reputation from the post owner.
  • Downvotes on answers remove 1 reputation from you, the voter.
  • Downvotes on questions are free. (Why?)

Also, From Jeff Attwood's Blog post in this regard:

Continuing in that same vein, we have two more changes to formally announce today:

  1. We now limit users (and IP addresses) to a maximum of 6 questions per day and 50 questions per month.

  2. Downvotes on questions no longer cost the casting user 1 reputation, so they are effectively "free".

A Question being closed or marked as duplicate or on hold does not have any impacts on rep gain for the OP via Up-votes.

Also See: What happens with reputation gained on a closed question?

Also See: What is a Closed or on hold Question?


You don't lose reputation for downvoting a question, no matter what its status (this wasn't always the case):

Before May 2011, downvoting questions cost the downvoter one reputation point (source). (After May 2011, no cost for downvoting questions.)

Meta.SE: How does "Reputation" work?


Question downvotes don't cost reputation. Only answer downvotes do.

For more information, see here:

  • your question is voted down: −2
  • your answer is voted down: −2
  • you vote down an answer: −1

As stated by the other answers, downvoting on questions has no effect on your rep.

That said, users should know that you're not supposed to downvote something just because it's a duplicate. Duplicates are a good thing in a way, so questions do not become 'bad' questions simply because they are duplicates.


Voting up a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful, while voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information.

A question is not necessarily poorly researched just because it's a duplicate, as finding the duplicate before asking can be tricky due to the different possible wordings of the same question.

TL;DR: Don't -1 just because it's a duplicate; that's not how voting works. :)


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