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[meta] How should successive duplicate questions be handled?

asked 2012-12-13 14:33:36 -0500

Jomoos gravatar image

The reason why I am asking this question is, after I joined this Q&A forum, I have seen a lot of new users posting duplicate questions. They are intently posting duplicates. The difference between those questions usually will be in title, or tags, or some line like thanks, thanks in advance, etc. See, following questions for example

I don't know what they are thinking when posting duplicate questions. Maybe 'more questions = more answers', or 'more questions = I need to get it answered fast', or just for fun?

Now the question is, how to handle these kind of exact-duplicate questions?

  • Should I comment it?
  • Should I downvote it?
  • Should I answer it?
  • Mark the question with duplicate or exact-duplicate instead of closed?
  • Delete one of the duplicated question?
  • Auto filter duplicates when asking a question?
  • What about updating the FAQ with this information?
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answered 2012-12-17 12:48:50 -0500

ThomasMcA gravatar image

The best answer depends on your intent. If your intent is to minimize clutter, then just delete one of the duplicates. But if your intent is to send a message, then do a combination of the other options:

1) Downvote it
2) Append Duplicate (auto-closed) to the subject
3) Add a link to the other question
4) And close it

It would be great if duplicates could be auto-filtered for questions and/or searches.

Yes, update the FAQ.

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+1 for "intent"

Jomoos gravatar imageJomoos ( 2012-12-17 23:27:34 -0500 )edit
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answered 2012-12-13 14:33:53 -0500

Jomoos gravatar image

Well, here are my thoughts on above questions!!!

Should I comment it?

Yes, comment with a link to the duplicated question. It also helps to alert later readers that the question is a duplicate. And politely asking why they posted duplicated the question or telling them it is not welcome is also a good idea.

Should I downvote it?

Even if the question is a good one, downvoting one of the question will tell them that duplicating is not good idea.

Should I answer it?

Answer only one of the question, so that the other on can be closed or deleted.

Mark the question with duplicate or exact-duplicate instead of closed?

I suggest to mark those questions as duplicate or exactly-duplicate when closing them, will send a clear message.

Delete one of the duplicated question?

If it is implemented, then we don't need to waste time for marking it duplicate, or commenting it. It also avoid that questions unnecessary existence.

Auto filter duplicates when asking a question?

It will be great if we can implement it.

What about updating the FAQ with this information?

Currently, the FAQ says nothing about duplicates. If it is there, then we can point new users to the FAQ, and tell them to have a look at it.

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Thanks for posting meta questions and answering them. I looked at your history and based on your profile, I have made you a moderator now. You are free to moderate questions but generally we limit ourselves to basic tasks like deleting spam questions, retagging. rewriting questions to be clear and concise and closing duplicates.

mether gravatar imagemether ( 2012-12-14 19:49:24 -0500 )edit

@mether Thank you, it's an honour for me

Jomoos gravatar imageJomoos ( 2012-12-17 00:16:42 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2012-12-13 14:33:36 -0500

Seen: 172 times

Last updated: Dec 17 '12