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Writing a question that is later closed is not a good thing. Enough of these will lead to a question ban.

Two things that mitigate against a question ban, are upvoted answers, and upvoted other questions.

What about upvotes on the closed question itself? And does this change if the question is later deleted?

On the other hand, if a closed question receives a large number of downvotes, might deleting it be the "lesser evil?" The reason I ask is because "sanctions" (e.g. lighter text) are imposed after three downvotes. Also, there is a "peer pressure" badge for deleting a three downvote question.

From the above, I conclude that for some downvote number X, above three, deleting the question (and removing the X downvotes) will incur a lesser penalty than leaving it on the site. Is this, in fact, true?

  • My understanding is it is both probably simpler and yet more complicated. The algorithm attempts to measure how well someone contributes and takes into account everything that is associated with their account (open, closed, deleted, upvoted, downvoted, etc). But we have no idea how particular votes on particular questions factor into it and if they are weighted any differently because of the status of the question. The only thing I think we know is that deleted content does not weigh any differently just because it is deleted. – psubsee2003 May 3 '15 at 14:40
  • I certainly hope not. Why would heavily downvoted questions count less in a quality metric than slightly downvoted ones? Doesn't make sense. The encouragement do delete downvoted posts is intended for regular users that post something not so good every so often. The ban's intention is to get rid of people who consistently post crap. – Mat May 3 '15 at 14:44
  • @Mat: People who "consistently post crap" will consistently get the deletion penalty. That will be "more" than "slightly" downvoted questions. But if someone has -10 or -15, maybe deletion will "cap" the penalty at say, -5, or its equivalent. That helps "regular users that post something not so good every so often" more than it helps the consistently bad kind. – Tom Au May 3 '15 at 16:50
  • @gnat: My question made a distinction between upvotes on OTHER questions, versus upvotes on the closed question ITSELF. So it is a two-part question. – Tom Au May 4 '15 at 1:37

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