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Should we downvote questions that have been closed (to keep the front page clean)?

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  • $\begingroup$ I have been doing that, but I am now reconsidering it because of its effect on migration (see Raphael’s answer and its comments). Good question! $\endgroup$ Feb 7 '11 at 16:08
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I would follow the guideline on the tooltip of the voting controls:

This question is unclear or not useful

If you strongly believe that to be true (strong enough that you're willing to absorb the minimal -1 rep cost of casting a downvote) then you should cast your vote that way.

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    $\begingroup$ I am not sure if I understand your answer. Can a closed question be useful? For example, when I vote to close a question as being off topic, I do so because I believe that it is off topic, which implies that the question is not useful on this site. This is why I have been downvoting a question which I believe is off topic, but if there is a case where a closed question is useful, I should be more careful. $\endgroup$ Feb 7 '11 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Tsuyoshi, I think a possible example of a useful closed question is when it is a exact duplicate which states the question in another form. Not sure about off-topic cases. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Feb 8 '11 at 8:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh: Thanks. Duplicate questions are a good point. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 '11 at 17:53
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A question might be well posed even if it is off-topic. Since apparently many "wrong-posters" feel offended by heavy downvotes, I think we should not necessarily do so. We should acknowledge that the question was posed in a good way and encourage reposting on/moving to other sites.

In case of moving, will votes be moved, too?

Questions that are both off-topic and badly posed should feel our full pressure, though.

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    $\begingroup$ It seems that score is copied upon migration. $\endgroup$ Feb 7 '11 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ Personally I downvoted a question only if it is in bad-shape, not formulated well, and did not try to improve the quality after some suggestions from other users. Off-topic questions, like @Raphael said, may be migrated to other sites together with the votes; and I'm not sure if one can undo the vote after migration. But downvoting is an efficient way to make an unsuitable question invisible, so I don't know... $\endgroup$ Feb 7 '11 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ Are you suggesting that we should never down-vote well-written off-topic questions? I have fairly often down-voted questions that are off-topic before they have been closed (effectively, giving "virtual vote-to-close"), but I was just wondering if we should keep doing that after closing, too. $\endgroup$ Feb 7 '11 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ I'd suggest that, yes. See also Jeff's answer: a clear, offtopic questions might be useful on another site, so instead of downvoting, flag for move if there is a suited target or vote for close if there is not. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Feb 7 '11 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ I think Raphael has a point here, but IMHO the solution is to ask SE not to transfer votes when migrating a question. The votes a question receives depends on the site and its community and does not represent much on the migrated site, e.g. a question with +5 total vote count on SO might receive 0 votes on cstheory and vice versa. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Feb 8 '11 at 8:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Kaveh: I agree about not transferring votes on migration. Even ignoring the difference of interest, the scale of votes is also different. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 '11 at 17:55

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