We are seeing many off-topic questions these days. Specially personal advice questions. When someone asks a personal advice question, it is obvious that it gets closed. Is it allowed to vote on them? Below are couple of personal advice questions.

What should I do if I already have a small metal Shivalinga?

Attainment of Siddhi(super-powers)

  • When these are off-topic, what is the use of voting them? (IMHO They should be VTC rather than an upvote. Only few people are participating in review.)
  • Is it encouraged to vote only if the OP is a newbie?
  • What is the SE policy on upvoting off-topic questions?

I agree that voting contribution should be increased but what about contribution in moderation?

  • 1
    I think its neither encouraged nor discouraged.
    – Rickross
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 5:42

2 Answers 2


When these are off-topic, what is the use of voting them? (IMHO They should be VTC rather than an upvote. Only few people are participating in review.)

Whenever you see a question that doesn't fit as per the scope of site, it is encouraged to vote/flag to close it. VTC is very important moderation privileges as it keeps the site clean of unnecessary posts. Similarly reviewing is a good job of moderating the site. If we've inadequate users participating to review queues, we should draw attention to high reputation users regarding it by explaining the importance of it.

Now, talking about upvoting and downvoting off-topic questions, You'll find the general idea from tool-tip (hover the mouse over buttons):

Upvote: "This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear"
Downvote: "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful."

In other words, Upvote encourages users to ask such type of questions whereas Downvote discourages users to ask such type of questions.

When the question is off-topic:

  • You should alwaysencouraged consider to VTC (vote/flag to close)
  • You may also consider to downvote altogether to discourage asking such type of questions.
  • If question is well researched, you may upvote it.

Related posts on MSE: Dealing with off-topic questions, Should an off-topic question always be downvoted?

  • Thanks for answering. First question has 3 upvotes.(I am not against upvoting) but I didn't find enough research effort in that. many questions with research effort won't get upvote Accepted answer to the 1st MSE question says downvote if you want. I rarely see VTC on personal advice questions. One of the moderators is single handedly handling them. Participation from users is declining day by day. :( Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 6:05
  • Please use the review tools to help keep the site clean. I've also discussed to use moderation privileges here & here.
    – Pandya Mod
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 6:12

There are no hard rules for upvoting. Moreover, it solely depends on user when to upvote. Different users have different reasons for upvoting, though official policy says we can upvote if we feel "a question shows research effort; it is useful and clear".

There may be many reasons to upvote an off-topic question. A user might have wanted to ask the same question and he found the same question on this site after googling. Others users might have felt OPs question was genuine. But as of now, no of upvotes don't deter closing a question as off topic.

We should also note tags with more number of followers will get more upvotes and more views. At present, (22 followers), (20 followers) and (20 followers) are most followed tags on Hinduism SE. So, there's no suprise in getting more upvotes or views for questions with these tags.

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