I'm new to this site. I wanted to add a comment to some replies to a post, and it said "You must have a reputation of at least 50". I'm a tad confused. Further down, it said I had a reputation slightly over 200, yet my attempt to comment was blocked and I couldn't see how to undo the blocking message or appeal or get clarification. I also have two other posts, with trivial, single-figure reputation values. It's not clear to me what the precise scope of a reputation is. Common sense would suggest that a reputation attaches to a user, yet I have three different reputation values according to where you look, so it appears that reputation in fact actually attaches to a combination of a user and a posting. In which case, how how can I have a reputation at all (let alone a value below 50) in respect of a posting if I have not yet commented on that posting? And, operating a bit of inference, if by default no posting to date on a thread equals reputation zero on that thread, and separately reading messages that minimum 50 is required to post on it, how can I ever get started?

Sorry in advance if this post is in the wrong place. I tried the meta site, but it blocked me as well saying I need reputation of 5. Evidently 200 doesn't count!

In the immortal words of Buzz Lightyear: To infinity, and beyond!


2 Answers 2


Roughly speaking, reputation is a measure of how knowledgeable you are in an area. Basically, users with higher rep are supposed to know what they're talking about more (but in practice it doesn't always work that way...)

According to your profile page you have:

  • 1 rep on Security
  • 1 rep on Code Review
  • 11 rep on Cross Validated

so I'm not sure where you saw that you had 200 rep. Are you sure you didn't hit "sign up" instead of "sign in" and create a second account? I've seen people make that mistake before.

In the Stack Exchange network (including Stack Overflow) there are 3 types of posts:

  • Questions
  • Answers to someone else's question.
  • Comments on someone else's question or answer.

You gain reputation when people upvote your questions or answers (comments can be upvoted, but are not worth rep). You have one answer on Security, but it has no upvotes, hence why you are still at 1 rep.

The rules to prevent brand-new accounts from posting comments is to reduce spam and lower the amount of work for the moderators. It's kinda sucky but unfortunately I think it's necessary.

Welcome to the site, I hope you get a feel for it. If you are brave enough to start throwing answers on stuff, you should be over 200 rep in a week or two (don't be discouraged if you get downvotes at first, the rules for a Q&A site are a little stricter than reddit or a message board, so it takes some getting used to).

  • 2
    I'd say it's closer to being a measure of how helpful you are than simply how knowledgeable you are. Knowing something is one thing, being able to communicate that knowledge does not necessarily follow (cf. many, many Linux man pages.) Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 2:15

In a nutshell rep is a different pool for each network site. So say if I was on this network site with a 3k rep and then joined the autos SE site. There is no way to genuinely know I am knowledgeable in that area without proving it. Hence, having to rebuild rep for that particular area. However once you gain 200 rep on a single network you are automatically given a bonus 100 rep for new networks you join. This way you can forgo a lot of the new user restrictions.

You can learn more about reputation and how it works here.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .