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Especially when they should know better:

What is the use of F#? What is the purpose of F#?

PS: And someone wants to reopen it!

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Obviously, if you think this one should be nuked, don't answer :) – Benjol Jun 15 '11 at 13:40
    
I've noticed that f# and r often have many reopen votes for questions that should be closed. – user7116 Jun 15 '11 at 14:00

It is never wrong to downvote.

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Not me, but you did ask for that :) – Benjol Jun 15 '11 at 13:48
    
It's just people disagreeing, it's not wrong at all. – juanformoso Jun 15 '11 at 13:49
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@Juan atta boy, sticking to your guns – Daniel DiPaolo Jun 15 '11 at 14:31
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Paradox: downvote this answer to show that is wrong to downvote ;-). – Toon Krijthe Jun 15 '11 at 14:46
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Is it therefore wrong to never downvote? – Adam Davis Jun 15 '11 at 15:35
    
@Adam, no. When you downvote, it's not wrong. – juanformoso Jun 15 '11 at 15:51
    
Agreed. Downvoting shouldn't be taken personally (nor should it be meant to be taken personally when applied). It's simply a way for the system to self-correct. If an answer or question is unhelpful, poorly presented, or in any number of ways not a constructive addition to the community then downvoting is simply the community's way of expressing that. – David Jun 15 '11 at 16:51

If the OP has a fair amount of rep then I tend to downvote - they should really know better. Having lots of questions that are the same is not awesome so the question is not awesome - it is very bad.

If they are a new user, I will probably just vote to close and add comment hinting that they maybe should have spent a few minutes searching etc.

However, if the question is a question that has been repeated many times over and it's pretty obvious the OP didn't bother searching at all then it's an immediate downvote from me.

Just my 2¢

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Sorry, I'm talking about people who answer questions when they ought to be closing them. – Benjol Jun 15 '11 at 14:05
    
@Benjol - I think what I have said still applies to answers too :) Especially if they answer after the close vote has been cast – codingbadger Jun 15 '11 at 14:12

I don't think it's wrong. I've done it myself a few times, usually only when a high-Rep user (10k or above) answers a question that is pretty clearly out of bounds.

Note that when you hover over the downvote arrow it says "This answer is not useful", and an answer from a high-ranking site user on a nuke-worthy question is just that: not useful. In my opinion, it sends the wrong message to other users on the site, because it is a tacit approval of the inappropriate question from an experienced user. In short, it sets a bad example, and usually I'll leave a comment when I downvote saying as such.

However, it should be noted that it can be easy to accidentally answer a duplicate without realizing. I probably wouldn't downvote for that, unless it is such an obvious many-times-over duplicate that they should have been able to find one with a trivial search. Not all duplicates are easy to find. I usually reserve this kind of "you should know better" downvoting for really off-topic or totally subjective poll questions.

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"It sends the wrong message" is exactly what I thought. And in this case, it was a very low quality duplicate... – Benjol Jun 16 '11 at 4:37

I typically don't down-vote the answers because many times the one answering the question does not realize it is a duplicate or it is arguably an edge case type question. They get more slack because they are less responsible for searching than the Asker.

If it is a super awful question, I might down vote. I don't think it is wrong either way.

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