This request for re-open votes gives an example of a question which has been closed as a duplicate but the "duplicate" question has an answer while the original does not. Curious.

I do not think that such situations should happen, as the answer is more important than simply "who asked the question first". If you are looking for a solution to this problem you will be directed to the unanswered one rather than the answered one. Note that the unanswered question is silent - there is no way of finding an answer by looking at it (no link exists to the answered question - although I might put one there soon...but in general, no link exists).

I would propose either not allowing a question to be closed as a duplicate if the above situation holds (that is, if the "original" is unanswered but the "duplicate" has an answer), or that if a question is an "original" then a list of associated "duplicates" is available and made obvious. (Actually, I think this latter feature should exist anyway.)

Or should someone just flag a moderator to merge the questions?

Or is the best solution to just put in a re-open votes request?...

(I have flagged this as a bug as it might be a bug. I dunno.)

  • $\begingroup$ Marking as status-bydesign, as this is a specific situation that does with questions by the same user. $\endgroup$
    – Oded
    Sep 24, 2013 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Note that if the two questions were asked by two different users, there already exists a software check that only allows one to select a duplicate target that has an answer on it. So in general the feature you are asking about is already there.

The only reason that the software has an exception for the case that the questions are asked by the same user is that sometimes due to a software glitch or migration from other sites, there may be two verbatim copies of the same question ending up on our doorsteps within a short period of time. In this case for expediency we are allowed to close one as the other.

Of course, in general it is a good idea, even in this case, to not close an answered question as a duplicate of an unanswered one. But in those cases generally we can merge the duplicates since the questions are exactly, word-for-word, identical.

  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I didn't know about your first paragraph, and I hadn't actually realised that the users were the same. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Aug 30, 2013 at 9:23

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