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I have noticed more and more on both SU and MSO users being able to vote on answers and questions that has been closed, as well as being able to accept answers. My feeling on this is that this degrades the value of a closed question, since the OP simply ignores the fact that it is closed and still accepts and answers, and users still gain reputation for answers on closed questions.

I tend to find this more commonly happening with new users.

My Question Is this behavior correct? Should it be changed?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't think it should be discouraged. One way for users who don't have the appropriate privileges to voice their opinion on the quality of a question is using the voting mechanisms.

As far as answering questions, this one is a little bit more of a gray area for me. For most of the close reasons, I could see why it would be reasonable to not allow for accepted answers. But for things like Duplicate Question closings, if you can get in your answer faster than it closes and it is right, more power to you if you get accepted (and I don't think we should necessarily turn off the OP's right to accept an answer to their question if it is closed as a dupe).

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Fair comment, however with no way to comment until 50 rep, and no way to vote at 25 rep, most of these users are not aware of how the system works? Yes, I am nittpicking but I tend to see this behavoir more under new users. – BinaryMisfit Oct 7 '09 at 10:17
Behavoir: the new French verb. Je behavai, tu behavas, il/elle/on behava, nous behavons, vous behavez, ils/elles behavent. Or maybe it conjugates more like buvoir? Je behois, tu behois, il behoit, nous behavons, vous behavez, ils behavent. Those -oir verbs are always messed up. Je beheux, tu beheux, il beheut, nous behavons, vous behavez, ils beheuvent. At least the first and second persons plural are consistent. That's French for you. Thanks for the new verb, Diago! – JSONBog Oct 7 '09 at 12:21
FYI: I am Welbogue now. – JSONBog Oct 7 '09 at 12:22
@Welbogue: you are missing a ` somewere there... – perbert Oct 7 '09 at 13:02
@voyager: You're right! – JSONBog Oct 7 '09 at 13:42
Also, W is not a very French letter at all! Behold! I am become Ouèlbogue! – JSONBog Oct 7 '09 at 13:43
J'ai aussi revisité mon profile, parce qu'il n'était pas assez français! – JSONBog Oct 7 '09 at 14:09
I can't pronounce Ouèlbogue. Mind if I call you "Ye Olde Welbogge" instead? – mmyers Oct 7 '09 at 16:43

I'm not particularly thrilled about the idea of allowing users to vote on closed questions and to accept answers. If it's closed, it was probably closed for a reason. You should be allowed to comment on it but not do anything that alters users reputation.

The reason most questions are closed is because they are duplicates. Allowing users to vote even after they are closed means that some people actually profit from these questions, even if they shouldn't. If you manage to answer a question right before it gets closed, even if you just copied the answer from other duplicate questions, you can still gain quite a lot of reputation. It doesn't seem all that fair.

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You are missing the fact that if you have a question closed you should also be open to being punished by the community for posting a bad question. Being able to downvote serves this purpose because I doubt there will ever be anything in the works that causes you to incur a rep penalty if your question gets closed (only if it is deleted via user flagging). If I see someone posts a crap question that deserves to get closed, I am going to vote to close AND downvote them as is proper practice. If a question gets closed that I liked, I will upvote. If it was crap, I will downvote. – TheTXI Oct 7 '09 at 10:26
Downvotes are only -2. If they get 1 upvote, it still saves their lucky behind... – alex Oct 7 '09 at 10:29
And they have talked about at some point jacking up the penalty to -5. – TheTXI Oct 7 '09 at 10:33
I know about that:… – alex Oct 7 '09 at 10:36

I don't have a problem with this behavior per-se. The semantics of a closed question are simply that no further answers will be accepted, because the question is not appropriate for whatever reason. I don't think its primary purpose is punitive, but editorial. In particular, you have to keep in mind that closed questions could be re-opened later. Therefore, nothing drastic should take place; that's what locking and deletion are for.

In particular:

  • I don't see why voting should stop. Sometimes seeing a question's popularity can influence the potential re-open votes. Voting on the answers can have a similar effect, if some truly excellent responses are given to an otherwise marginal question, that might influence the community to re-open the question.
  • I don't see why a closed question should not have an accepted answer. Again, it could be re-opened later. I don't see how precluding a question from having an acceptance improves the quality of content on the site. Any question, even a closed one, is potentially (though not necessarily) better for having an accepted answer.

Again, all of this is part of the editorial process. The effect on reputation is secondary, and shouldn't dictate the semantics.

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I would say no (voting should not be encouraged or allowed), for the reasons discussed in this question: Give an incentive for finding duplicate questions. Currently there is no incentive to post on the original question (which will see fewer views than the new duplicate). If the user has something new to add, he should add it to the original question.

Things might be a bit different for posts that are closed for other reasons, as there is no other place to comment -- but if the question was closed for being off-topic or otherwise is inappropriate, we shouldn't continue to reward (and encourage) the answers posted there.

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On SU there are a couple of users who enjoy downvoting answers posted on dupes. It's just too much fun. – random Mar 18 '10 at 0:58
@random: I do that sometimes, if it's a really egregious dupe and the poster really ought to know better. – Ether Mar 18 '10 at 1:04

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