Suppose I see a question I think is a remarkably bad match for the site. It's already closed, but it looks bad enough to vote to delete it, and by fortunate coincidence, I happen to have enough rep to do so.

But suppose that question also has a rather good answer, making a fair amount of sense of what little of the question can be salvaged, and quite correct. Should this answer be upvoted?

Does voting to delete always imply that one does not consider even a valiant attempt at answering worth upvoting as actually useful?

I suppose one possible reason is in hopes that the answer will remain long enough (60 days) and with enough upvotes (3) to retain rep, although that seems a bit backwards.

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    You can also upvote the question before deleting it. If it makes sense to you, do it. Otherwise, don't. Or whatever. – user259867 Sep 26 '15 at 3:17
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    @NormalHuman: Well, sure, technically. I'm asking about patterns and best practices and existing rationales, not whether up- and down-votes are free to cast at one's option. I could choose to downvote only useful posts and upvote only unhelpful ones, but that would be pretty stupid. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 26 '15 at 3:18
  • what @NormalHuman said. Purpose of deletion is cleaning up content and getting rid of broken-windows, not penalizing people. That makes upvotes legitimate (though it indeed feels awkward to vote up content deemed worthy of deletion). See also: Reputation and Historical Archives: "In fast-changing professions, there should be no shame in contributing valuable information just because it eventually goes out of date - and there shouldn't be a penalty for deleting it when it does..." – gnat Sep 26 '15 at 9:15

Does it ever make sense to upvote an answer to a question and vote to delete that same question?

While answers can be useful and help others even if the question is poor, in order to have an overall quality Q&A thread and useful content, the question should not be in a delete-able state. In this state, there should be no answer, and so arguably no upvotes.

If you feel the question is to be removed, then your upvote on the answer will eventually be removed anyway, based on the outcome you feel should occur. So you are essentially saying you will upvote and then also remove it later, which is pointless IMO.

From this outcome, the answerer would gain then lose rep, which is pointless, and loss of rep from deleted questions confuses some users , and uses system resources to calculate rep, send notification, and then recalc when the question is deleted.


Can the question be edited and salvaged so the decent answer can remain and help others? If so then I would do that, and so form a decent Q&A and possibly useful to others. Then of course an upvote on a decent answer is normal play.

Otherwise, my opinion, vote to delete and move on.

Personally, I dislike when people answer questions which should be removed, or are dupe etc. I don't downvote the answer (unless it's worthy), but it is frustrating that instead of answering they could have flagged/voted to delete, and answered a question which is worthwhile and helps others (ie not going to be deleted). This goes towards attaining a better all round level of quality of Q and A.

People answering delete-able questions also means OP gets their gold, which can cause OP to ask another poor/lazy question because they got an answer last time. Your upvote can add to showing that we accept such things because there is an answer and people are upvoting it.

Bad posts should be handled as such, including the answers.

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I think this depends on the situation.

If the question seems to be of no use to the site or others (barely any views, not on-topic, etc.) then I suppose you could delete the question without any shame. If you do want to delete the question, I would recommend not upvoting the answer as the answer would not be so much of a contribution anymore... If you still want to keep the answer alive, attempt to not delete the question and try to migrate it to an appropriate site where the posts might survive and gain some upvotes. If you still want to delete the question and you desperately want to upvote the answer... then decide that for yourself. I might upvote another of the answerer's post if you want to but I would like not to be suspended.

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