Before marking this as a duplicate of this related question, take into account that my question is about the reason why this happens, not the cause of it, which is what the answer to that question addresses, not explaining why this mechanism is in place.

The Help Center page on reputation doesn't even mention it.

Editing a question takes time and effort (relatively) which is rewarded with points. Very understandable.

But when your edited question is removed, you lose those points. Why? The removing of the question is something out of the control of the editor.

It seems to me that the message is "Don't put effort into editing questions that could be removed". But that's just a gamble.

Two point are not that much, nothing to cry about, and I won't. After all it's a "sum 0" situation. But I think this is a valid question.


  • 3
    "Don't put effort on editing question that could be removed". Indeed. That's why I tend to reject the edits on questions that are closed and might be deleted in near future. I know -2 hurts. I used to be at your position an year back.
    – Kulfy
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 19:45
  • 4
    If I'm not horribly mistaken, this is how the whole Stack Exchange network works, it's not specific to Ask Ubuntu. So the correct place to raise this issue is meta.stackexchange.com.
    – pomsky
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 20:44
  • on SO I neither get +2 or -2. Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 5:56
  • 3
    @martin That's because you have 24k+ reputation there. You get +2 reputation for accepted edit suggestions only when you have < 2k total reputation (after crossing 2k you can directly edit a post instead of making an edit suggestion). Also you can get at most +1000 reputation for edit suggestions.
    – pomsky
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 7:44
  • 4
    @pomsky if an issue affects this site, then you can ask about it on this site's meta. There's no reason to use the main meta for everything that isn't specific to this site. Most things aren't, after all. So this question is absolutely fine here.
    – terdon
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 12:22
  • Of course I'm not claiming it's off-topic here, but for a better scope of discussion and reach (case in point, nobody posted an answer in almost two days here), it seems to me that Meta SE would be a more fitting place (it may even lead to a change in how things work in the SE network). Anyway let me rephrase the last sentence of my previous comment: "So a better place to raise this issue is meta.stackexchange.com."
    – pomsky
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 17:12
  • Interestingly, I've also wondered why editing questions doesn't give you any point rewards after you get enough rep, as if it somehow didn't cost any effort from the editor.
    – code_dredd
    Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 5:22
  • I'll second the OP. Don't put effort into editing questions that could be removed occurred to me just today when I lost 6 points, partly on edits which were good questions, but badly written. It took some time to edit some of them.. Currently I am not encouraged to "make this site better"
    – kanehekili
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 21:55

3 Answers 3


I think this has been discussed before on Meta Stack Exchange but I'm unable to find the exact reference, probably because it's close to midnight already (for me anyway).

The philosophy behind this is that your reputation reflects contributions which are visible on the site. If one of your own posts gets deleted, you'll lose any reputation you gained with it, and you'll get back any reputation you lost. (There's one exception for posts older than 60 days and a score of 3 or higher.) It happens when (a sufficient number of) other users vote to delete your post, which is more or less out of control of the author. It even happens if an answer you wrote gets deleted because its parent question is removed from the site.

An approved edit on a post which is now deleted is not a visible contribution anymore, and therefore yields no reputation. One particular advantage I just thought of: two users can farm reputation by approving edits on each other's posts. If the users delete the affected posts, it's a lot harder to detect this type of vote fraud.


The ultimate goal of edits is to make questions answerable (and answers precise and up-to-date). A question which is later removed obviously wasn't deemed answerable even after the effort you have put into it. Picking good questions as edit targets indeed helps, but if you see a question that is reasonable but so poorly worded/formatted that it's being closed as unclear, editing it into shape usually yields reputation too.

Of course it's just a gamble, but so is asking and answering questions - sometimes good questions / answers just don't get any upvotes. What is certain is that if you keep making good contributions (be it questions, answers or edits), your rep will grow in the long term.


Same reason that if you take an awfully written question and edit it to be beautiful and clear and concise, and then they get 500 up votes, then you get your +2 rep for the edit plus diddly squat per upvote.

It's because the creators of stack exchange did the best they could, but either didn't consider that particular problem, or couldn't agree on a solution, or it doesn't fit their goal so left it as simply unsolved. Although removing edit rep is contradictory to the goal of high quality answers, since edits improve it, and being able to lose the gained rep means you might put less effort into it.

Their focus is on the quality of the answer and question, and edits are lower importance. Their implementation assumes that if it's deleted, it must be of poor quality, and so no rep is deserved for the original; and so your contribution and time is wasted as an unwanted side effect.

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