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One thing I've noticed in my own behaviour is that I will still answer a question even after voting to close as exact duplicate. I do this because there is no actual "reward" to close-votes.

This whole "gamification" is explained by Jeff himself.

I feel a little responsible for "Gamification", since we're often cited as an example (even, much to my chagrin, on Wikipedia). I wanted to clear up exactly why we made those choices, and specifically that all the gaming elements are there in service of a higher purpose. I play the Stack Exchange game happily alongside everyone else, collecting reputation and badges and rank and upvotes, and I am proud to do so, because I believe it ultimately helps me become more knowledgeable and a better communicator while also improving the very fabric of the web for everyone. I hope you feel the same way.

Part of this is the incentive of a reward. Answering a question, even a duplicate, with a valid and complete answer will gain you reputation, and possibly badges (including the elusive Reversal badge).

Casting a close vote and downvoting the question, however, yields absolutely no reward in itself, other than maybe a badge or two if you do it enough. Maybe.

I would like to suggest that casting a close vote which goes on to be the reason for closure of the question earns the voter about 20-30 reputation as a successful moderator.

For example, a user asks an off-topic question. Users A, B, D and E vote as off-topic, while user C votes as not constructive. The question is closed as off-topic (due to majority of votes). With this suggestion in place, users A, B, D and E will gain 25 rep for performing moderation duties, whilc C gains nothing because the close-voted for a different reason.

Hopefully this would dissuade users from answering duplicate and off-topic questions. Maybe there could be a reputation penalty (half the rep gained is lost?) for answering a question that goes on to be closed.

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20-30 reputation for a close vote? Soon I will be the top user on Stack Overflow! –  Bill the Lizard Jan 4 '13 at 18:12
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"Casting a close vote [...] yields absolutely no reward in itself" ... Bad question closed...better quality site...there's my reward. –  Bart Jan 4 '13 at 18:35

1 Answer 1

I answer questions I vote to close, because questions needs answers, and I like giving answers. If you gave me rep for closing, I'd still answer the questions, and just get more rep.

Your suggestion of giving nothing to those whose close reason doesn't agree with the majority will just make people respond by voting with the majority instead of what they feel is the right close reason. I've voted to close on plenty of questions that had the wrong close reason given by others.

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