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There is currently a question on the front page that is on hold; it is explicitly an off-topic question according to the What topics can I ask about here? page.

However, before the question was put on hold, another user added an answer. It was a fairly good answer, and satisfied the original question. On its merits as an answer alone I would have upvoted it.

However, it's an answer to a question that should not have been asked. If the question were to be edited to be on-topic, the answer would no longer be a suitable answer for the question, and would not deserve an upvote.

What is the right course of action?

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Scores carry over to other sites when questions and their associated answers are migrated. This suggests that it is perfectly acceptable to upvote an answer in the general case you outline.

1

Without seeing the actual question and answer, I can't say exactly whether I would have upvoted the answer in this particular case, but in general I tend to upvote good answers, irrespective of whether the question was off-topic.

If nothing else, that answer may well be useful to future users of the site.

1

As others have stated, the answer should stand on its own. But, answering a bad question, in my opinion, is encouraging bad behavior, and perhaps should be avoided, not rewarded. As such I never upvote an answer to a bad question.

  • That's a reasonable point. This has been debated on the SE:meta as well. There was no clear consensus there either! – sempaiscuba Nov 17 '17 at 17:23

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