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I haven't noticed a loss in rep for doing that recently; also on Gaming.
Yes its gone: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/06/optimizing-for-pearls-not-sand/
Downvotes on *questions* no longer cost the casting user 1 reputation, so they are effectively “free”
I've always thought the loss 1 is a good thing. So, people dont just go ahead and click the down button just because, s/he feels its not good at their first glance.