What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 134 Stack Exchange communities.

I think there's a problem with allowing people to collect reputation points on questions that are closed or really bad. I think it's the wrong incentive. Let's look at what the options are when somebody encouters a bad question. They can:

A) Vote down the question, costing them 1 reputation point.

B) Vote to close the question. No rep change positive or negative.

C) Answer the question, and possibly receive reputation.

The thought occurred to me with this answer I posted on meta, but it applies to lots of different questions that I see. People see a question, and even though it's a bad question, they still post an answer to it. Usually if the answer is good, they receive 1 or 2 upvotes. However, this is kind of like feeding the trolls. The people with bad questions still get answers.

So I think it might be a good idea to consider not allowing collecting reputation on closed or severely downvoted (-10?) questions, as it encourages the wrong behaviours in the askers and answerers. Here are few examples I found while searching through the data explorer.

JQuery Framework

How to remove the things I don't like about python

bool true or false and negative return

Difference between Facebook and Twitter APIs

You can find lots more questions like this with the following query in the data explorer.

SELECT Q.ID,A.ID,Q.Title,A.Body FROM Posts AS Q
INNER JOIN Posts AS A
ON Q.Id = A.ParentID AND A.Score > 2
WHERE Q.PostTypeId=1 AND Q.Score < 0 AND NOT Q.ClosedDate IS NULL
share|improve this question
5  
Answering severely downvoted questions is actually incentivised by the reversal badge. –  Martin Smith Oct 7 '11 at 13:33
    
what about specifically on closed questions then? –  Kibbee Oct 7 '11 at 13:35
    
Point A) is incorrect. Downvoting questions is free. Only downvotes on answers cost 1 rep. –  hammar Oct 7 '11 at 13:36
    
Sorry, I was under the impression that downvoting a question still cost rep. –  Kibbee Oct 7 '11 at 13:37
    
@Kibbee - I didn't say that I thought the incentivisation was necessarily a good thing. It just struck me as an anomaly after reading this answer by Jeff –  Martin Smith Oct 7 '11 at 13:37
    
@Kibbee, you can't post answers on closed questions. You have to get the answer up before it closes. –  Lance Roberts Oct 7 '11 at 13:55
    

2 Answers 2

There is nothing wrong with posting answers to questions that will be closed. All questions need good answers, and the sooner someone gets an answer, the happier they will be with the site. Extra answers on the site isn't hurting anyone. You can still also vote to close the question.

share|improve this answer

A doesn't cost any rep. Voting down questions is free.

You can also do all of A, B, and C, although you're still encouraging negative behavior by answering a bad question.

If you change any of the above, or remove the rep from answers to closed questions, you don't remove the incentive for posting answers. Posting answers costs zero rep and has a potential rep upside.

You instead create more reasons not to downvote question and not to vote to close, so people can keep the rep from their answers. That's counterproductive, and not something we should change the system to encourage.

Now, I would have no problem with people getting no rep from closed questions, just to remove any secondary benefit to not looking for a duplicate or asking off-topic questions, which often get upvoted before being closed.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

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