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Lets say a person asks a question that is on its way to being closed. For simplicity, let's say as off topic. Then someone answers a perfectly valid answer to the question as asked. Within the world of the question, it's a helpful answer. But within the site, it is not a helpful answer. Is it best practice to upvote such an answer as helpful, as it does answer the question?

This would apply equally to after the close-voting was finished and the question was closed.

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I don't see a need to downvote the answer (if it isn't wrong), but answers to off-topic/unconstructive questions should not be encouraged as that encourages the questions themselves. So I usually just don't vote on it.

  • Follow up question: would you remove an upvote from a question that was voted closed? – Y     e     z Apr 30 '14 at 20:44
  • @Yez did I close it? Then I might not think it should be closed – Double AA Apr 30 '14 at 23:17
  • OK I'm just asking if the community's decision to close it would lead to the broader community not wanting to encourage such questions. – Y     e     z May 1 '14 at 2:06
  • @YEZ I don't know that there is a perfect rule. The line between community chooses to close it and not is sometimes very grey. Consider the scores of these questions. – Double AA May 1 '14 at 4:49
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Folks naturally want to share an answer if they know it, human nature and all. It might not be a great question for the site, but it does show that there's a very friendly and helpful community here - I don't see the harm in them - vote however you feel comfortable but there's no reason to down-vote an answer just because it addresses an off-topic question.

I don't think we'll ever see a point where people take advantage of this - e.g. asking deliberately off-topic questions here because they know folks will answer them. It's nice if we send folks that arrived here by accident off with an answer, and direction on where they could get more information.

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