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I've noticed a few times that I'm getting -1 to my reputation score particularly related to questions and answers that are trending negatively in down votes. In these cases, I have commented on the question or answer, but probably have not directly answered or edited the question or answer. The score change, however, does not state what event caused it.

What is the negative score in regards to, and how does this help build our community?

Sorry if this belongs in some other general StackExchange community. I just most of my time on StackExchange with this community :)

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If you are seeing only -1, it sounds like you are down voting answers. A down vote on an answer costs one rep and is free on questions.

I don't see anything in your profile that looks like you have been down voted and then had competing posting events offset the down votes (rep per day is mostly multiples of 5, with a few edits tossed on).

The down votes help indicate what is and isn't a good question or answer. You are also refunded rep if a question or answer that you voted on is deleted. Presumably, that means you see a +1 once and a while too. By down voting, it helps other users see, quickly, that at least some in the community think the question could be better.

You don't gain or lose rep from comments, even if they are up voted.

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