A few times now I've given an answer on a question which was initially well received, but the question has then been locked and my answer has been downvoted (despite being perfectly valid). Equally, all other answers given have also received the same downvotes. I'd understand this behaviour on questions which were closed as duplicates, but this doesn't really work when the question was closed for being too localized, not constructive or not a real question - especially as these are usually determined by the individual rather than being based on fact.

Is there a reason why it's still possible to vote and comment on closed questions (along with making edits and comments)?

  • 3
    Being close should not protect content from being voted on. Often, closed content needs voting at least as much as that which is still open. – Andrew Barber Mar 18 '13 at 12:07
  • Looking through your reputation changes the only answer of yours to a closed question that I noticed that was down-voted is the following, taking that question as an example I think its likely that your were down-voted because someone thought you should not have answered such a poor question. – Jack Mar 18 '13 at 13:34
  • @Jack this isn't really specific to just me. This is more something I've noticed over the few months I've been active here. That said, surely downvoting an answer because the question is terrible shouldn't be a done thing anyway. – James Donnelly Mar 18 '13 at 13:36
  • @JamesDonnelly I don't personally down-vote that way, but I can understand those that do. By answering terrible questions (and by terrible I don't mean beginner but rather questions that clearly ought to be closed) you encourage further questions of that sort and contribute in a certain sense to a downward pull of the sites quality. – Jack Mar 18 '13 at 13:45
  • @Jack but the problem is that unless it's a duplicate it's usually entirely based on opinion. That question you're referring to was missing a bit of information, but in my view it wasn't a bad question, it was just badly asked. Nothing that a quick edit couldn't have fixed. Equally, it took an hour for that question to be closed - so clearly not everyone who viewed it thought it was close-worthy. – James Donnelly Mar 18 '13 at 13:51

Just because a question is closed it doesn't mean it isn't beyond repreive, hence why it can still be edited.

And just because the question is perfectly valid for you doesn't mean it is a good question. Members are not required to justfiy their down votes, but normally this would happen if the question was ill conceived, lacked detail or coherency, etc. If your answer is down voted then it is possibly seen as either not up to scratch, or someone casting a down vote because you answered a bad question. This doesn't mean you shouldn't answer bad questions (I sometimes do it myself), but your answer still has to be of good quality.

but this doesn't really work when the question was closed for being too localized, not constructive or not a real question - especially as these are usually determined by the individual rather than being based on fact.

I disagree - in general the community is pretty good at spotting questions that fit into these categories and is a candidate for closing. It also takes five regular members to agree or the binding vote of a moderator - IOW a single person cannot close your question arbitrarily (except for that binding vote from a ♦ mod).

And just in case you are wondering: down votes are different on meta.

  • If a question is asking something like "how can I select the text from my input in jQuery" and my answer provides a working example of how this is done it isn't valid for me, it's valid as an answer to the question. Equally if 50 people view a question and only 5 vote to close it then it probably means that more people thought it was fit to stay open. For me it seems like every time I post a completely valid answer on question which is later closed that answer will inevitably receive downvotes. – James Donnelly Mar 18 '13 at 12:15
  • I have the impression you thought the OP of this question spoke about his questions being downvoted when closed. He isn't. It's his (and others') answers to subsequently closed questions being downvoted he's talking about. And the reason "you shouldn't have answered this question" IMO only works for really crappy questions. – Daniel Fischer Mar 18 '13 at 12:32
  • @JamesDonnelly I've added a small clarification. – slugster Mar 18 '13 at 12:58
  • @slugster what if the questions are good enough quality to be generally accepted on open answers? By "initially well received" in my question I meant that the answers themselves had a score of at least +1/2 but ended up with at least -1/2 only after the question was closed. Surely downvoting a perfectly valid answer because the question could have been worded differently is something which should be prevented. If I had felt the question wasn't good enough I wouldn't have wasted my time answering it and would have flagged it instead - I'm sure that applies to everyone who answers questions. – James Donnelly Mar 18 '13 at 13:08
  • @james I agree an answer shouldn't be down voted simply because the question is bad, but you've offered no evidence that this is the cause of your down votes, you've simply alleged it. Maybe people haven't liked your answers? There's a difference between 'perfectly valid' and 'great answer'. – slugster Mar 19 '13 at 0:33

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