When I see some question when OP doesn't show any effort, just throws the exercise in, but is something relatively simple, in my conception, I answer it just giving general directions, not elaborating too much. However, it is clear to me that said question will be closed soon, for being "off-topic", or whatever other reason.

My question is: Like here, for example, it happened that the same question appeared for me when I was reviewing Close Votes, and, since it was indeed not showing any effort, I voted to close it. Is my behavior wrong, by doing this? (answering it, but voting to close it after)

It is considered not coherent, in any way? Is there another approach I can take so I can improve my participation on MSE?


2 Answers 2


In general, I agree with This is much healthier: if you vote to close a question and answer it, you're being tacky. Effectively, you're saying "I'm getting the rep from this question, and I'm not sharing."

However, there are (at least) two instances under which I think it's fine to vote to close and answer:

  1. If I answer, and then the OP provides more information which then makes the question close-worthy (but the answer is still relevent), I sometimes leave my answer up and close it. For instance, if the OP asks a question, then becomes insistent in comments that they wanted a different thing than they asked. In this case, I'll vote to close as "unclear." My answer may help someone in the future, but this poster is not being clear in what they are looking for.

  2. If I provide a too-long-for-comment-hint, but think that the question should be not be answered. Sometimes, things just can't be condensed to a comment. In this case, I make a "HINT:" answer, and vote to close.

That said: my answer votes are based solely off of the quality of the answer (plus a little bias towards users whose work I know to be good already). I don't downvote answers to "punish." This is a big difference, I believe, between myself and This is much healthier (although we agree on lot of ideas, our actions based on these ideas tend to be different).

  • $\begingroup$ Nice. I understand, and you've made your point of view very clear. I, particularly, don't like downvoting questions, either. I'll keep in mind what you both said. I see that it becomes a matter of analyzing the situation at hand. Thank you very much, too! $\endgroup$
    – Ivo Terek
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 4:03

My take on this.

  1. If you vote to close, you are saying that the question should not be answered.
  2. If you also answer it, you contradict yourself. In effect, you are telling others "do as I say, not as I do".
  3. I do not like the combination of 1 and 2. If I see it, and I'm not out of daily downvotes yet, one is for you.
  4. Suggestion: put your non-elaborate answer in a comment.

Exception: if you find that the question is a duplicate after answering it, voting to close makes sense. Generally, duplicates stand apart from other close reasons.

  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough. Thanks by the suggestion, also! I just didn't get your third item, you referred to the generical question, or my question here on meta? (although, for me, receiving suggestions comes first than having upvotes) $\endgroup$
    – Ivo Terek
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 2:16
  • $\begingroup$ @IvoTerek Item three refers to the combination of 1 and 2. Your question here on Meta is fine. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 2:30
  • $\begingroup$ Probably the same person downvoted my question and your answer, then. Oh well. Let's wait for more opinions (; $\endgroup$
    – Ivo Terek
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 2:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ With the exception of duplicates. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 7:25
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Why the exception? Closing as a duplicate says any answers should be posted in the original place. And then one goes and posts under the duplicate? OK, I guess you meant finding a dupe after answering. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I meant closing after you answered, obviously. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ Here's another exception. Some question is so-so, and you answer trying to make sense of it, then the OP shows even less coherence than before. In that case, I find it reasonable to vote to close as unclear as well as leave your answer since it might help clarify why this is unclear. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Maybe. But in such cases I'd rather get the question deleted. Then there is no need to explain why it was unclear. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 2:59
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I really appreciated the "...and I'm not out of daily downvotes yet...." (one should be safe after 10am local time probably). $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 4:06

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