Reputation expenditure in reviews

As a new reviewer and trying to be a good citizen I am seeing numerous first answers to old questions which are low quality and in some cases blatant trolling.

The ideal way to deal with this would be to mark the answer down. This costs me reputation and I am not yet at a level where I can do this without thinking of the cost.

Would it be possible to change the system so that marking down an answer within a review does not cost you reputation. My solution at the moment is simply to flag the answer which costs effort on the part of the moderators.

The bottom line is this. Doing reviews effectively gains me nothing and costs me reputation. Why should I continue doing it?

• Answers that are not answers should be flagged, that's what the system is for – PlasmaHH Dec 26 '16 at 15:36
• Over the last couple of days we have had a glut of poor answers. I get 10 flags a day. Is the solution to increase this? and moderator effort? – RoyC Dec 26 '16 at 15:37
• blatant trolling Evidence of such trolling? – Passerby Dec 27 '16 at 22:58
• Several answers containing suggestions for the inappropriate or unnecessary use of dangerous chemicals. – RoyC Dec 27 '16 at 23:09

You will get back the reputation once the answer is deleted (either by a moderator or the user), so if you are 100% sure that the answer is inappropriate then you can go ahead and downvote, there will be a refund.

Leaving a comment is always good because the OP can improve the answer. Once the answer is edited (and turned out to be appropriate) you can remove your downvote, reputation will be refunded again.

We generally suggest that any downvote should be accompanied by a comment explaining what the issue is. If you're concerned about the cost of a downvote, just leave the comment.

Moderator flags should not be used for merely low-quality answers (or questions) — they should be reserved for posts that are not answers at all, or that have objectionable content that requires immediate attention.

• So why do you have a very low quality flag? I am just trying to work out the system here. – RoyC Dec 26 '16 at 15:57
• Yes, it is a bit confusing. Posts that are only low quality should really be addressed by the "community reviewers", not by the moderators. But I don't think that the system makes an adequate distinction between "flagging for review" vs "flagging for moderation". Plus, flagging is the only option available to low-rep users who do not yet have access to the review queues. – Dave Tweed Dec 26 '16 at 16:37
• @RoyC Basically, you downvote when you feel the answer is wrong. You flag for low quality when it's worse than wrong, for example if it's not even understandable. – dim Dec 26 '16 at 20:40

This costs me reputation and I am not yet at a level where I can do this without thinking of the cost.

That's the entire point. It pushes you to think about the consequences.

Doing reviews effectively gains me nothing and costs me reputation. Why should I continue doing it?

That's also the point. It's to foster altruism in community moderation.

Besides, it can't be change on an individual site basis. This is a question for Meta.SE, but I can already tell you you'll be down voted and likely closed as dupe within seconds.

• If the OP is really interested, I did a quick search for some discussion on subtracting rep for downvotes, and dug up meta.stackexchange.com/questions/90324/… . The linked and related questions list that goes along with it should provide all the background. – Scott Seidman Dec 28 '16 at 14:55