I would assume part of the role of closing questions is to disincentivize users from asking such questions as they are not welcome in this community. However, often these questions, in particular and very often with the too localized or nonconstructive homework questions, and often with duplicate questions, will be answer-grabbed for easy experience, as the exact point of experience is to incentivize certain behavior, which in turn incentivizes such questions.

It not only seems to me that closed questions shouldn't award experience to the OP or to anyone who answers, but further that it contradicts the entire philosophy of having a category "closed question" to award as such.

I've seen this covered once here: Reputation for Closed Questions - but the discussion failed to make this point regarding encouraging undesirable behavior, which I think is critical (and amended this question's title as such), so posted this on meta as a new question.

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    On the other hand, even if it's not appropriate for the site somehow, if it's useful to someone, getting reputation because of that is not all that unfair. And if it really does not belong on the site, it will most likely be deleted anyway, reversing any rep-gain as a result.
    – Bart
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 19:03
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  • Aren't the voters to blame for this though? If people didn't want users to gain rep on closed or "poor" questions, why upvote them? Should rep changes from downvotes also be negated under your suggested policy?
    – user159834
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 19:19
  • It's entirely possible to have a stunning answer to a poor question, and it's entirely possible that poor question will get closed. Why penalize the person who provided the excellent answer?
    – slugster
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 20:06
  • @WesleyMurch - yes, if you can come up with a stronger way to effect a change in voting culture I would be interested, but this is all I see currently.
    – djechlin
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:02
  • @slugster - as explained in the question, to discourage asking poor questions.
    – djechlin
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:02
  • @Bart - this is false, the vast majority of closed questions are not deleted.
    – djechlin
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 21:03
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    That's because you don't see the closed questions that do get deleted. Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 2:17

4 Answers 4


What about duplicate questions. They should be closed as duplicates, but they are still very valuable to the site. Do you want to discourage people from answering something that might possibly be closed as a duplicate?

Even Jeff Atwood said that duplicates are good, so why should the answered be punished for it?

While I get your point, I think you are missing the point on what deserves to be closed and what is truly an awful questions. Bad questions are what we do not want to be answered so we do not encourage more bad questions, but in general most of the really bad questions do get dealt with via deletion or editing, but closed questions are not always bad, so I don't think discouraging people from answering questions just because they might be closed will accomplish what you are hoping from this proposal.


Closure is the state in which we put questions that need improvement. Closing a question prevents further answers, but if someone posts an answer that is good enough to attract upvotes, I don't see why we should penalize them for that.

If you don't want users to gain rep from bad questions, be diligent about casting close votes, so that the question gets closed before anyone can post an answer to it.


You can discourage poor questions but you cannot eliminate them.

As I pointed out in my comment, we have the gold Reversal badge for outstanding answers to poor questions. This isn't meant to promote poor questions, it's to encourage people to still give a quality answer. I encourage you to take a quick look through the list - there are some truly awful questions there (some of which have been closed and deleted) - but if someone is going to take the time to provide a quality answer then they shouldn't be penalized for it.

If you look closely enough you will see another phenomenon in action - reverse reputation. This is where people can continue to down vote the bad question even though it is closed, which means the reputation of the asker takes a hit. If this doesn't discourage them then nothing will.


Close means not-valid but useful.

Delete means not useful and shouldn't be public.

Closed still allows rep gains and such, because it's still useful, and usefulness is protected on this site. It's like in America where the justice system is balanced on innocent until proven guilty. Information is innocent until proven detrimental.

If you want to disincentivize actions, we use the delete option.

If you're concerned about incentivizing inappropriate actions, you're real question is whether we correctly apply close or delete.

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    "Close means not-valid but useful." Huh??? Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 2:19
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn that was not well thought out. Just delete it, because I'd have to rewrite it anyway. I meant to say that the question has potential but needs work, therefore not-valid in its current state, but potentially useful, or at least there's an answer that's useful. If the question was not useful (meaning in a state that can't be improved, then it should be deleted). Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 14:33
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    There's a delete link right below your answer.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 15:55

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