The title pretty much conveys what I want to ask but I would elaborate a bit. If a question is appropriate to be closed due to either of the listed reasons for a question to be closed, should one also downvote the question provided one is voting to close it? In certain categories such as the question being belonging to a different site or the question being a duplicate, I feel it is clear that it doesn't make much sense to downvote as the question simply doesn't warrant being judged on its quality--it simply doesn't belong here or shouldn't exist as a separate question--so up/down voting seems moot. But, what about the cases when the question can be judged for its quality as a physics question but also deserves to be closed? Is down-voting superfluous then or still an important element in the healthy functioning of the "reputation economy"?


The main advantage of downvoting that closing does not have is that it quickly removes questions from the front page, once the post has a score of -3. If you think a question is probably unsalvageable, by all means downvote it.

If you are voting to close an otherwise good question as a duplicate, or if you think that with some care the question could be reopened, then you shouldn't downvote, since removing it from the front page will only make it harder for it to receive said care.

That said, the only rules on voting are not to serial vote or game the system, so you can use any system that makes sense to you.

  • $\begingroup$ I hadn't thought of the aspect of the disappearance of the question from the front page--but as you brought it up, I am thinking that wouldn't downvoting a question that needs to be closed lower its chance of being seen by other people who also need to vote it to close so that it actually gets closed? Or is the population of people with the right to vote for closing high enough that the question would be spotted by them nonetheless? $\endgroup$ – Dvij D.C. Feb 25 '19 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ @DvijMankad They can also be seen through the Close Vote Review Queue that anyone with close permissions should be able to view. $\endgroup$ – JMac Feb 25 '19 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @DvijMankad That's what the close-vote review queue is for. Any question with pending close votes, regardless of its score, is sent to the review queue and it will stay there until it is closed or until three 3k+ users vote to Leave Open. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Feb 25 '19 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @DvijMankad The question doesn't have to be spotted by them- it goes into a Close Votes queue. $\endgroup$ – Chris Feb 25 '19 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty JMac Chris, thanks! Didn't know about the close-vote review queue! :P :) $\endgroup$ – Dvij D.C. Feb 25 '19 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, some people (like me) do often find questions for putting on hold through the front page. So even though a question at a low enough score to be hidden from the front page isn't lost to close voters, it does get less visibility. I think that's worth being aware of. $\endgroup$ – David Z Feb 25 '19 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff personally, since it helps keep the quality up for new visitors to the site. And if I recall correctly, even if they aren't closed, downvoted questions with no answers get hoovered eventually, right? $\endgroup$ – Chris Feb 25 '19 at 23:17
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    $\begingroup$ Yep, after 30 days. FWIW I also think it's a worthwhile tradeoff - I just realized I didn't actually say that. But I understand how some people might think it's not. $\endgroup$ – David Z Feb 25 '19 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ "the only rules on voting are not to serial vote or game the system" - just worth noting that this applies to up and down votes, but not to close votes - the latter are intended to be used responsibly to implement policies agreed by the community. (I'm sure you know that, but it seems important to make it clear.) $\endgroup$ – Nathaniel Mar 4 '19 at 8:04

I downvote to say "this content shouldn't be here", and with the exception of some duplicates, that's what the approach to close-vote-worthy questions should be. Downvotes send yet another message to the OP that the content has a problem.. Furthermore, if a lot of people downvote, the post gets moved off the front page, which helps keep it a bit cleaner.

Regarding duplicates: if a post is extremely similar to a suggested duplicate (or if the duplicate is suggested in the "related" bar), I will usually downvote, since those are cases where the OP clearly didn't look at what they were shown. But if the duplicate is found somewhere deeper, then it's nice to keep the question which I'm voting to close as a signpost for future readers who may use certain search terms or phrases, and in that case, it could even use an upvote if it's interestingly written.


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