This may sound a bit strange when reading the title, but sometimes I've seen people answer questions that they Voted To Close. In these cases I am always refering to a rather old discussion:

Rules of Peer Moderation, Rule 8:

Don't answer a question that you voted to close.

I think this is the correct way to go about this. You shouldn't vote that a question can't or shouldn't be answered on this site and at the same time answer it.

That makes no sense. It's confusing.

This is especially true when realizing that it's often newer users who then see that someone closed their question and answered it at the same time. They won't know how this voting process is supposed to work and they will just think we are a weird bunch.

Most of the time the person retracts their vote when I mention this. But sometimes it's already too late and the question is closed, which means that this paradoxical behaviour persists.

This goes hand in hand with a similar issue. Sometimes people start their answer with something similar to:

This question is way too broad, but anyway, to get you started:

While this is nice for the person asking this is clearly undermining the design principles of StackExchange. People doing this seem to know the scope of the site and that means they probably know that they should flag or VTC such a question so that the OP edits it to make it on-topic and answerable. They, however, decide that they still want to answer it.

You can see some of these examples by searching for "too broad" is:a.

Because of these issues which I feel have been coming up more often recently and the fact that the only useful reference I could find is the older question I refered to at the top of this question I would like to start a discussion to get our current understanding of how these cases should be handled.

How should these cases be handled?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To my knowledge, the policy is simply don't answer. If this isn't the policy then some of that 'taking a step back and thinking very hard' needs to be done. In other words, I would give you many upvotes if I could $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ I feel that this is close enough to the existing question to qualify as a duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ "...and they will just think we are a weird bunch." <-- But, we are. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre While you are certainly right with that I was referring to the "inconsistent in what they say and how they act" type of weird, not the normal Let's weaponize jellyfish type ;) $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


You're voting to close often not because the question can't be answered but because in its current form, no matter how tempting, it shouldn't be answered.

Consider an opinion based question on which you have an opinion

You should vote to close such a question as opinion based, not use it as a platform to express your opinion then vote to close to prevent others from doing so. If you're posting an answer you're saying the question is valid, and can and should be answered, in its current form.

or a question that's too broad

Comment to get the question trimmed down to something answerable don't answer a fraction of the question. We don't want lots of partial answers to overly broad questions lying around, we want full and complete answers to clean answerable questions.


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