I think the title says it all. If you think a question is a duplicate or should be closed for any other reason, should it be acceptable for you to submit an answer before you vote for it to be closed? Potentially the member is then gaining rep and then denying anyone else the opportunity to do this themselves. I am not referring to any specific instance or member - I have seen this several times and commented more than once.

My view would be that it is against the spirit of fairness that I think we all believe in.

Thoughts anyone?


As pointed out by @user56656 the rep thing is not really relevant. What is more important is that the member who has answered is then blocking other members from answering and competing with their answer. To be honest, I don't even know if it really matters. I have seen questions that have been closed which I would have had a try at and then seen that several of the people who voted to close had an answer already there. Guess it is my British spirit of "fair play" coming through. It's just not cricket!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Cross-site related. Meta SO. \$\endgroup\$
    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729, Thanks. great cross post. Some very interesting comments on there. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Apr 10, 2018 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


I think it is in bad spirit to answer a question you believe should be closed, whether it is a duplicate, unclear or other. The intention of closure is to stop new answers so the question can be fixed. By answering you are acting to undermine the benefits of closing the question.

That being said, I however do think that it is fine to vote to close a question that you have already answered. For example you might see a question, answer it and then later another user might point out it is a duplicate, or in some way unclear that you hadn't realized. In that case it is perfectly fine to vote to close if you believe it should be.

In short you should abstain from answering if you are voting to close but not abstain from voting to close because you have answered.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In some ways I really like your logic but in other ways I disagree. If you have answered then you have accepted that in your opinion the question is fine. If you later decide that it isn't then there is no way to be "sporting" and withdraw any upvotes that you have received for an answer to an unsuitable question. Blocking other people from answering would not seem the best way forward for me. Nevertheless +1 for a good answer to my question. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Apr 5, 2018 at 21:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ElPedro In the case of duplicates, I think it is very possible that one might have never seen the other question before and would have no idea that it is a duplicate, until another user points it out. I am not personally concerned rep gains users get on closed questions, I believe that there can be good answers on bad (or duplicate) questions and I think that any upvotes you get are upvotes earned as long as the poster was acting in good faith. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard Mod
    Apr 5, 2018 at 21:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Very fair point about not realising that it is a duplicate. Rep gains are not so important, I agree. I have answered many questions and got no upvotes but that is not important as I have just had fun doing it. The rep comment was just an example of why I think it is "unsporting". My way of doing it would be that if I had answered and then someone else identified the question as a dupe, I would leave it to others to decide and close it if necessary. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Apr 5, 2018 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I wouldn't want my name on a answer to a question that I had voted to close but maybe that's just a personal pride thing :) \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Apr 5, 2018 at 22:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The same logic for dupes applies to other closure reasons as well - perhaps you didn't notice some critical component was unclear (possibly because you made the same assumptions as the author), or you overlooked the lack of an objective winning criterion and just assumed code golf. People make mistakes, and it's unreasonable to tell them not to vote to close a challenge that they have answered. Additionally, suppose the author changes the challenge after it was posted, to something worthy of closure - the answerers would be totally justified in voting to close. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Apr 6, 2018 at 0:06
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ElPedro, there is a way to be sporting: you can delete your answer, and any rep changes (up or down) from votes on it in the past (IIRC) 3 months will be lost. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2018 at 9:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I did try that a bit in the past, but it came off as a little bit rude and weird. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7, 2018 at 22:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I think that's an OK thing to do if OP wants to move the challenge to the Sandbox and can't delete it otherwise. If that's not the case then I don't think deleting it has many benefits (except maybe the personal pride mentioned by ElPedro). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2018 at 7:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer. I hope you realise that this is in no way a personal comment on your actions on the post in question. I understand that what you did is completely within the rules. I am just asking whether the rules are right in this case and I respect the opinions of everyone who has answered and commented. I agree with StewieGriffin's comment. I guess is it all down to personal choice and pride. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Apr 10, 2018 at 22:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ElPedro Ah no, I didn't think of it like that at all (what is the post in question anyway?). I just replied to Peter Taylor here, having past experience of what he says in his comment. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2018 at 22:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer. here. (Sorry about the multiple reposts of my reply. Can't get the hang of doing links in markdown). BTW, I upvoted your Charcoal answer after the question was closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Apr 10, 2018 at 22:34

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