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This question was (rightly) closed as an exact duplicate: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1717381. (If I'm not mistaken, only moderators can do that.) The message at the top differs from the normal duplicate message and says "This question is an exact duplicate of:" without claiming that the referenced question has an answer. But the message at the bottom is the normal one and says "This question has been asked before and already has an answer.", even though presently the other question (Three fake rocks) doesn't actually have an answer.

Related (but as far as I can tell not duplicate) questions:

Closing duplicate questions by the same poster

Meta-Meta question: Duplicate for previous question without actual real answer

Meta duplicates don't require an answer. Don't suggest there is one when that's not true

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  • $\begingroup$ I feel this is essentially a dupe of the last question you list. It is known this sometimes yet rarely happens, but no-one that could change it cares enough to fix it. (Note that comments there mention it is not only an issue on meta.) $\endgroup$ – quid Mar 28 '16 at 18:09
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    $\begingroup$ @quid: Thanks. I hadn't read far enough in the comments to see that they mention the problem outside of meta. Since meta is generally frequented by more experienced users, whereas new users might be put off if they get their question closed and are erroneously told that it already has an answer, I see a bit more urgency on the main site than on meta. $\endgroup$ – joriki Mar 28 '16 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the situation is not very clear there. (Personally, I also do not see why it is not just fixed by just choosing a formulation that strongly hints at the existence of an answer but does not commit to claiming as fact it exists.) $\endgroup$ – quid Mar 28 '16 at 18:33
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Yeah, that's inconsistent.

I've changed to bottom message so no promises about having an answer are made if the duplicate target does not indeed have an answer.

This will be in the next build (rev: 2016.3.31.3410)

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  • $\begingroup$ Cool, thanks!${}$ $\endgroup$ – joriki Mar 31 '16 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ It seems your change applies to all duplicates: e.g., this one has the new terse notice on the bottom, although answers exist. Was this intended? The old message was a bit more informative. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Mar 31 '16 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @404 - I may have switched some booleans around. Will take a look when at my dev machine (probably tomorrow). $\endgroup$ – Oded Mar 31 '16 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Oded Did you have a chance to take a look at the logic of that notice? $\endgroup$ – user147263 Apr 4 '16 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ @404 - I did. Looks like the logic is right, more a matter of the data being there or not. I will probably need to get back to the original logic and rephrase :/ $\endgroup$ – Oded Apr 4 '16 at 20:26

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