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What purpose does downvoting questions serve?

Why bother, and what's the point, behind downvoting questions posted by new users who won't see any negative rep repercussions?

Being on only 1 rep, they stand to lose no rep at all from being downvoted.

Shouldn't we just vote to close instead?

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marked as duplicate by random, Troggy, GEOCHET, George Stocker, ChrisF Nov 21 '09 at 16:14

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Did I miss the "today is make everything community wiki day" memo? – Ether Nov 21 '09 at 0:36
up vote 14 down vote accepted

There's more purpose to downvoting than simply affecting the reputation of the user -- otherwise why bother voting on community wiki questions and answers? It affects the sort order in search results, such as when searching within a tag.

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