I think it shouldn't be possible to up or down vote a closed question.

Here is an example: Ask a stupid off topic question, and ask someone to quickly answer it before it is closed by moderator. You don't have the possibility to delete it (because it has an answer), and you will lose reputation for this until the end of time (each time someone will fall on it).

EDIT : OK, I have to explain it carefully : The example up here was "how to make it to test the situation I talked about". Ok Ok Ok. That was not clear for everyone.

Here is a better explanation :

  1. You ask a question that you find really interesting, but you didn't notice that it was quite off topic on the SE website.

  2. Someone answers your question, because he find also that this question is interesting or he/she had the same problem once.

  3. Other people read your question and ask for closing

  4. Your question is closed and commented as "off topic"

  5. You agree upon this closing and since it's already -12, you want to stop the get bad reputation and decide to delete your question

  6. The system tells you that you can NOT delete your question because there is a answer with upvotes.

  7. As a consequence, you will lose rep until the end of time.

Is this more clear ?

  • Once a closed question has down-votes it becomes eligible for deletion regardless of how many answers it has. You normally have to wait 48 (?) hours before the option becomes available unless you have > 20K reputation.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Nov 18, 2011 at 13:08
  • 3
    The example you made is not a good one: Asking an off-topic question, and then pushing somebody to quickly answer it before it is closed by a moderator is an invite for being down-voted. You ask an off-topic question, knowing that it should not be asked; otherwise, you would not ask to somebody to answer it before it gets closed.
    – apaderno
    Nov 18, 2011 at 13:12
  • 10
    The solution is this: don't ask "stupid off-topic questions". Nov 18, 2011 at 13:26
  • 2
    I want to close your question so that I may downvote it while closed and thus open an ironic wormhole into the hipster universe. And, no, this nuclear warhead is a conversation piece, I'm not going to toss it through that wormhole.
    – user1228
    Nov 18, 2011 at 13:33
  • 1
    @ಠ_ಠWon't: Down-voting a question once it's closed is too mainstream. I used to down-vote before it was closed.
    – David
    Nov 18, 2011 at 14:04
  • 3
    To address your new scenario: If your question really is so terribly bad and/or off-topic that it attracts a significant amount of downvotes, it'll probably end up deleted anyway. If it's not gone after 3-4 days of being closed (which should give 20k and 10k users ample time to cast their vote), or if you wish to get rid of it ASAP, you can simply flag it for moderator attention and tell them to delete it. If it's your own question and the answers aren't particularly valuable, I'm sure they'll be happy to help.
    – a cat
    Nov 18, 2011 at 15:13
  • 1
    Is it really mandatory to have "as much" downvoting as possible to "push low quality content to the bottom"(as @lunboks says) ? Is there really a part of the SE-engine that push bad content to the end of the internet ?
    – Rabskatran
    Nov 18, 2011 at 15:20
  • 2
    Now don't go putting words in my mouth, I never said you should downvote as much as possible. It's just that voting, both up and down, is an important part of the site, and having closed questions in particular be exempt from that makes no sense to me. For duplicate questions, I might just agree, but all other close reasons typically indicate a bad question, at least for the current site (which is why downvotes are stripped if the question ends up migrated).
    – a cat
    Nov 18, 2011 at 15:32
  • 1
    Don't get me wrong : you just are the father of the part of the sentence between "" ;-) => "push low quality content to the bottom"
    – Rabskatran
    Nov 18, 2011 at 15:35

4 Answers 4


What? No. Downvoting should be done to push low quality content to the bottom, and being closed is often a good indicator of this (exempting duplicates).

If you know full well your question is bad and off-topic, you should delete it (which, incidentally, lets you recoup reputation lost from downvotes), or, failing that, flag or vote to close it. Or even better, don't post it in the first place.

Really, if you ask people to "quickly answer before it is closed by a moderator", instead of taking it to proper channels (like another site or the chat), you deserve every additional downvote this gets you.

  • 2
    Read my edit please. Sorry for having not been carrefull about the way I explained the problem.
    – Rabskatran
    Nov 18, 2011 at 14:52
  • 2
    Your new scenario doesn't necessarily invalidate my answer. It sounds like your problem really is that you cannot rid yourself of questions with upvoted answers, but this is still a feature request about disallowing downvotes on closed questions, which I still think is a bad idea.
    – a cat
    Nov 18, 2011 at 15:07
  • -1. Downvoting as much as possible is sadism. It only makes people less willing to stay active members on meta, and promotes agression. It's like "oh yeah, you will feel my anger now, moo-ha-ha!"
    – user199936
    Nov 6, 2012 at 15:33
  • but what about those question that are down-voted based on ethical ground ? A different point of view or a simple misunderstanding could be severely punished since SE allow downvote for subjective notion. Any controversial question will be necessary push down and close.
    – JinSnow
    Dec 14, 2015 at 20:29

There's a German acrynom for that: SSKM; Selbst schuld, kein Mitleid (your own fault, no compassion).

Okay, to add something constructive. If you post a question which is bad, it needs to be downvoted. Additionally, on the Metas downvotes are used to express your opinion about feature requests.

Basically, this would also mean that people can get away with bad questions, because a mod saw it first and closed it right up, so no more downvotes would be possible.


If you can't delete the question yourself because it has answers flag it for moderation attention -- a moderator will happily delete it for you.

Once deleted, you will also regain all the reputation you lost when you recalc your rep.


Yes it should.

If a question is closed and the original poster isn't willing or able to better the question enough for it to re-opened then the optimal solution that requires the least work from the community and moderators is that the poster self-deletes the question.

Allowing downvotes on a closed question is a method of bringing about this result. As a reward for helping everyone do less work the question asker gets the lost reputation back once they've deleted their question. The are limits on when you can delete, i.e. if you have gained an answer that was subsequently upvoted. Once you've reached this situation you've wasted someone else's time.

Remember that downvotes and deleted questions/answers can trigger the automatic question/answer ban. So, if you get multiple questions closed deleting them isn't going to help you to continue asking questions on the site. The simplest solution is to ensure that you don't get any downvotes and therefore don't get put in this situation.

Ask great questions.

Take your time over them and respond to criticism with edits or comments as appropriate immediately. If your question get's closed pay attention to any comments and edit your question to make it better. It might get reopened. You can always flag for moderator attention to ask for this to happen.

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