I asked a question that got four upvotes. But one person had various complaints about it. I thought it was fine but invited them to improve it. The result was in my opinion of no use to anyone, and has since got one downvote. No one had an answer before the edit, and the edit made it impossible to answer. But since people have posted related discussion as answers, it cannot be deleted.

(Not sure if I am reading the rep history correctly, but it looks like four up, none down before and one down, none up after. How do airlines calculate the cost of a Brompton?)

Seems that it defeats the purpose of rep-points to delete them on the original poster (OP) of a question if the original was good and someone has edited it to be worse. Conversely, adding them to an OP who asks a terrible question when the value of the question comes from a competent editor.

Same principle applies to good and bad edited answers.

BUT, if the edit is trivial (spelling errors, grammar, etc.) then the content is obviously still from the OP. I think it is probably impossible for AI to decide when to "shift the blame."

  • 2
    If you don't like the edit, because it changes the question significantly or whatever, you can always use the rollback option under edit.-history. Doesn't address your meta question on points though.
    – Criggie Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 10:49
  • 3
    Sorry, but the edit seems completely and utterly reasonable to me. I think you're reading far too much into the timing of a single vote, especially since the question is now at +5-1, so you've had an up and a down since the edit. Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 14:21
  • Whether or not one specific edit improved the question, the point here is that reputation is allegedly supposed to tell people who is more reliable to listen to. When Fred gets votes up or down for a question that he didn't post, that defeats the purpose. @Criggie: maybe I should have done a roll-back. I considered it, but thought that would just resurrect the argument. On the other hand, the upvotes suggest the one dissenter may be in error. Either way, doesn't change the issue of the wrong person being rated.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 15:23
  • 1
    I should note that as the initial objector (not downvotes) and later editor that I edited only after you invited me to: “feel free to improve it.” I also have little ego in my edits and always welcome reversions if you think they go against your wishes.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 14:09
  • One of the problems with SE is that once people get a high enough reputation, they can't make suggested edits. Initially one can suggest something and the OP can accept or ignore it. But later, anything one wants to suggest take effect immediately, requiring the OP to actively roll it back. And most people with low reputation are reluctant to roll back something that was changed by someone with a high reputation, under the mistaken belief that high reputation users always know better. Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 3:51
  • P.S. When I first saw the small version of your photo, I thought it was me, stolen from my high school yearbook (late 1960s). Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 3:55

2 Answers 2


One of the more subtle challenges of SE is avoiding a sense of ownership, of a question or an answer. Rather than thinking "you editied MY question and now its different to what I asked" consider whether the question has improved.

I thought it was a bit specific focusing on one airline, so I answered that bit and also a completely different airline as a counter example more than as a proper answer

Thinking about it, the question does sit across both Bicycles and Travel. Why? Its specific to a bicycle being in the luggage, but it wouldn't be luggage if it weren't on a plane/train/boat/etc travelling.

I know SE discourages cross-posting, but this is one of those questions that could be quite reasonably in either, or both.

  • Aside, my browser tried to tell me "crossposting" should have been "crossdressing"
    – Criggie Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 10:56
  • Well, it hasn't improved. The specific question may or may not have been useful to someone beside me, but now it is unanswerably generic. And the votes on it reflect that. But my point here was not to complain about the specific case, but rather to point out that downvoting me for a question that is not what I posted is contrary to the purpose of reputation. And I would say the same thing if it were upvoting.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 15:15

To briefly and specifically answer your question, the original poster (in this case @Wgroleua) gets all of the credits for votes and downvotes on a question. The same would apply for an answer if you wrote one.

Editors of questions and answers receive no vote or downvote credit on edits - irregardless of what happens to them. We do it for the good of the community and the forum. OPs always have the option to revert edits if they do not like them.

Addition by @zenbike:

In addition, the OP has the option of reverting an edit if it significantly changes the meaning or intent of a question. And in doing so, any voter that made their vote based on the edit should, in theory, revert their vote.

It may not always happen, but that is the idea. SE may not have a perfect system for a Q&A forum, but to paraphrase, “it’s the worst system, except for all the others we’ve tried.”

This type of thing is unlikely to significantly affect your reputation long term.

Don’t let one vote, positive or negative put a crimp in your day.

  • You assume I'm worried about my reputation. I believe in the value of the reputation system, unlike many who get bent out of shape for every downvote. It's because I believe in it that I question the value of it when the votes are going to someone who didn't write what is being voted.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 5:50

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