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I am not that active on MathOverflow but I notice that almost every off-topic question is closed within an hour. Why is a flag (if you lack of reputation) or a close vote (and in both cases a comment) not enough and there is a need of a downvote?

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    $\begingroup$ There are reasons for down voting a closed question. Here are a few: 1. Expressing that the question was completely off-topic or severely suffers from other issues. 2. IIRC, automatic deletion system deletes closed questions with negative net vote faster than those with zero net vote. 3. Questions below -3 net vote are not displayed on the front page so it can be a way of making sure that completely off-topic question do not clutter the front page. However, in general users down vote very infrequently on MO and what Asaf wrote is the reason for closed questions having one down vote. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Jul 17 '13 at 7:46
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There is an automatic downvote given by the system to questions which are closed as off topic.

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  • $\begingroup$ ah ok mistery solved. Thanks :) $\endgroup$ – Dominic Michaelis Jul 17 '13 at 8:52
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting, I did not know about this. Here is a relevant meta.SO post: Should questions closed as “not a real question” and “off topic” get an automatic downvote?. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 17 '13 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, if there is an automatic downvote when the question is closed, is this downvote reversed after the question got reopened? $\endgroup$ – Dominic Michaelis Jul 17 '13 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Dominic: I think so, but I don't know really. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 17 '13 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ There's also such a thing as both up-voting a question and voting to close it. I think I've done that in cases where the question is a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Jul 24 '13 at 15:43

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