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A high rep user who posted an answer to this question asked in 2014 marked my question asked in 2012 as duplicate.

As such there is nothing wrong with flagging older questions as dupes of newer ones if there are no good answers.

But in this case I see several problems with this user's action:

Not only did the older thread have an excellent answer already but the user who marked the old thread as dupe of the new thread apparently knew of the older thread and yet posted an answer to the new thread instead of marking it as duplicate.

The other problem is that I think marking as duplicate should be a peer reviewed process. In this case, one single user appears to have the power to mark as dupe.

Edit

The same user has now cast a final vote to reopen the 2014 question. By final I mean he again used his powers instead of waiting for a 5th person to agree that it should be reopened.

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    $\begingroup$ FWIW I unilaterally reopened it. My reasons: A) I tend to prefer the older question in duels like this. B) I am aware that my sentiment A does not enjoy universal support, so I look for other reasons such as question scores, which here are 5-1 in favor of the 2012 edition. So my first reaction is to unilaterally close the 2014 version as a dupe of the older one. However, I used the word "unilateral" in a post unironically, and therefore I am on a forced timeout. Also, I need to go hunt for my cellphone that I may have left at a bar last night... $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Jan 27 '16 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen B is a disappointingly poor criterion. What about the question is not mainly an image as a criterion? (But nevertheless good luck with the cell phone.) $\endgroup$ – quid Jan 27 '16 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ Point taken, @quid. I will keep an eye on the discussion here, and see if a consensus or a majority view emerges. As you may have guessed I acted somewhat hastily, and really don't want to use my powervote here. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Jan 27 '16 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ @RudytheReindeer If you would have asked me I'd have told you why I did so. $\endgroup$ – user26857 Jan 29 '16 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ "dupe": deceive, trick, hoodwink, hoax, swindle, defraud, cheat, double-cross, gull, mislead, take in, fool, delude, misguide, lead on, inveigle, seduce, ensnare, entrap, beguile; informal con, do, sting, gyp, rip off, diddle, swizzle, shaft, bilk, rook, bamboozle, finagle, pull the wool over someone's eyes, pull someone's leg, pull a fast one on, put one over on, sell a pup to, take to the cleaners; N. Amer. informal sucker, snooker, stiff, euchre, bunco, hornswoggle; Austral. informal pull a swifty on. You probably mean "dup" for "duplicate". $\endgroup$ – denis Jan 29 '16 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ @denis: "duplicate" is normally abbreviated "dupe" rather than "dup" because the latter looks like it should rhyme with "cup". $\endgroup$ – Ben Millwood Jan 29 '16 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Ben Millwood, OK, I didn't know that -- is it American ? Hate to see new meanings displace useful older meanings. $\endgroup$ – denis Jan 29 '16 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ @user26857 Just for the record: I do not agree with what you did either way. I think a proof-verification in general is never a duplicate of another question (unless two people post the same proof with the same mistakes). $\endgroup$ – Rudy the Reindeer Jan 30 '16 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ @RudytheReindeer There are some previous discussions whether and when proof verification questions should be closed as duplicates: Proof-verification and duplicates and Closing as a duplicate if the post contains OP's own proof/solution. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 30 '16 at 3:59
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    $\begingroup$ @RudytheReindeer Just for the record: You are right! A proof-verification question containing a very poor attempt should be simply deleted (after the question was answered) as being not helpful for anyone excepting the OP. $\endgroup$ – user26857 Jan 30 '16 at 8:08
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Not only did the older thread have an excellent answer already

Maybe, but see below.

but the user who marked the old thread as dupe of the new thread apparently knew of the older thread and yet posted an answer to the new thread instead of marking it as duplicate.

There is no "new" question. The dupe target is from 2014 as is the user's answer. It is not at all clear they knew about it then when giving the answer, which is what is relevant.

The other problem is that I think marking as duplicate should be a peer reviewed process. In this case, one single user appears to have the power to mark as dupe.

This a privilege of holders of a tag gold badge. One can have mixed opinions on the merits of this feature, but in any case it is not even a option for the user not to cast a binding vote.

Now, it seems there is agreement the questions are duplicates. The remaining question then is which should stay. Considerable parts of your question are only present as images which is rather a negative. Moreover a lot of the answer deals with your specific misconception. This makes it a good answer for you, yet not a good general reference.

By contrast the other one has two complementary answer, written in a style more suited for a general reference.

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  • $\begingroup$ In stead of "not to cast a binding vote" I likely should say "to cast a not binding vote" (as obviously they could theoretically just not vote at all). $\endgroup$ – quid Jan 27 '16 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ Of course both should stay. When one is closed as a duplicate, it is still there. We only have to ward off the over-eager delete vigilantes. $\endgroup$ – GEdgar Jan 27 '16 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @GEdgar yes, I meant stay open. $\endgroup$ – quid Jan 27 '16 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ Is it not possible for a moderator to merge the two questions? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jan 27 '16 at 22:29
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson I do not consider this is a particularly good case for merging. The older is a proof-verification question with an incorrect attempt. The answer there addresses this attempt before giving a correct proof. If this should be merged the first half of the answer would have to be deleted. In the other way a problem is that the important part of the older question is just a scan. (Moreover the other answers would look incomplete there.) Really, I think the original action was just fine and in line with (proposed?) policy: proof-verification q are answered but eventually dupe closed. $\endgroup$ – quid Jan 27 '16 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ If anything I could see an argument the older as proof-verification question is sufficiently different that both can stay open. But again I think the closure was correct and I vote like so too. $\endgroup$ – quid Jan 27 '16 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ Even if I'd have known the older thread I'd have posted an answer since the question from 2014 is more precise and likely more helpful for other users than the one from 2012 where the OP proposed a completely wrong proof and basically asked for a verification. The correct proof appears at some moment into the answer, but it is not complete, leaving to the reader the last shot. $\endgroup$ – user26857 Jan 29 '16 at 7:06

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