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Downvotes used to cost a few reputations points (2 I think I remember), but since a while, I can downvote without any penalty.

Has that been added to our site since it's in beta or is it a bug?

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  • $\begingroup$ This is definitely by design, and I would encourage you and the other high-rep users to think about whether an expert would really ask this question, and if not, don't be afraid to down-vote. $\endgroup$ – Tal Fishman Dec 9 '11 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ @TalFishman: I think it does cost rep point in StackOverflow. I'm pretty sure. As you have seen, I have been pretty active in both downvoting and closing and I'll keep doing so for the sake of the site. $\endgroup$ – SRKX Dec 9 '11 at 16:44
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Downvotes on questions are free. That's to encourage "more balanced question voting" and produce better scores for questions.

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