Down voting, closing, and deleting content on this site are important tools to help ensure the quality of this site. My impression is that there is a distinction between these tools, though.
- We should vote down a post when it is sloppy, incorrect, or just shows no effort.
- We should delete posts that are extremely off topic or of very low quality.
My approach has generally been to down vote poor content but to save deletion for profane, ridiculous, or off-topic content (as in "How do I prepare an over-medium egg?"). Some others view mathematical content without context as off-topic and, therefore, vote to delete it. Perhaps, this is reasonable - I'm honestly not quite certain.
As I understand it, though, the purpose of these steps are to help organize the site. Thus I wonder:
To what extent is deletion of poor content that is already down voted necessary?
In particular, is it not the case already that such content will not appear highly on searches? In the case of unanswered questions with negative score, does not that content get auto-deleted anyway?
Note: This is meant to be a technical question. I'm not asking for opinions on what kind of material should be tolerated. I'm curious what the effect on the network would be if poor content stayed on the site. Would searches slow down? Would we no longer be able to find good content?