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Consider a situation when a user votes to close a question as duplicate (or flags it as a duplicate if they do not have sufficient rep to cast close votes), and then the post is not closed. If the user still thinks that it is a duplicate, what they should do next?

  • Is it enough to make a comment on the post, in the hope that later, when other users see the comment, they might vote to close?
  • Another possibility could be mentioning this in chat. There is a chat room for discussion of closing, reopening and similar issues. However, the activity in this chatroom fluctuates. There were times when several user visited this room quite regularly, but it is much less active these days. So it is possible then nobody will notice it there.
  • Should they ask on meta? (In fact a recent post on meta of this type is the reason why I asked this question.)
  • My impression is that if we had a meta post about every unsuccessful close vote, there would be too many posts of this type on meta. We have a separate thread which serves for reopen requests. Should we have a similar thread for duplicate close votes? (In such thread users could suggest duplicates or ask for an explanation why their close votes/flags were declined. If individual close votes are supposed to be discussed on meta, it is probably better to have such discussion in one thread than in many different questions.)

Of course, similar question might be asked about close votes in general. The reason that I only ask about duplicates is that deciding whether a question is a duplicate seems to be less contentious than close votes in general, considering many meta discussion about what kind of questions should or should not be closed and some heated discussions about close reasons and their formulations. (Although even for duplicates not everybody will always agree.)

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    $\begingroup$ The "reopen" thread is titled "Reopen & Undeletion votes, etc.", and it says it is for posts requiring exceptional handling, not just ones you want reopened/undeleted. IMO posting there would be fine in this case. $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Jul 11 '16 at 8:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Najib: I think that separating closure and the likes from reopening and the likes is probably a good idea. If we see that the new thread has sufficiently low traffic, then it might be a reasonable suggestion to merge it in in the next iteration; but I'd suggest to start with an iteration of separate threads. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 11 '16 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with Asaf; at the moment, the Reopen/Undeletion thread is quite long that a separate closure thread is warranted. Back in the day, when there was a more manageable number of both people and questions, we usually used a chatroom similar to the one Martin linked to, and it was fine to have both pleas for closure and reopening there. Now... well, let's just merge the threads should it be determined that it is a more suitable action. $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Jul 11 '16 at 10:38
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    $\begingroup$ I would shut down my computer and go get some fresh air outside. When I get back online, I might have decided that either a) the others were right and I was wrong, or b) I'm still sure I'm right but I have more important things to do, like trying to get my paper published in a journal. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Jul 12 '16 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ If the reviews seem like outliers and it is not urgent, an option is to cast one's vote again after it had expired for sufficiently long (14 days, IIRC). $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 15 '16 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ So far the discussion seem to be concentrated about the possibility of creating a specific thread for this. Perhaps I should repeat that the original question was what would be advice for somebody with failed duplicate close vote or flag, like in the question I linked. A new thread, if it is created, would be one possibility. But still, if there is other reasonable advice, I'd be glad to hear it. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 16 '16 at 4:37
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe now with the new thread launched, you should accept an answer? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Sep 11 '16 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila That sounds reasonable. I also thought that link to the thread might be edited either into your answer or into the question. (Maybe we should wait a bit before that, to see whether the newly created thread is closed/deleted...?) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Sep 11 '16 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I think that giving it a couple of weeks to see how it goes is probably the wiser idea. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Sep 11 '16 at 7:04
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I think that a separate thread might be a reasonable idea. I feel that we're running close to the end of the current reopen/undelete thread. So having two fresh threads, one for reopening and undeleting, and one for duplicates, should be fine.

Next year, or early 2018, when we run the cycle of the reopen requests thread (read: when it has many answers and a new thread is in order), we should take a look at how the duplicates thread was accepted. If it was marginally used, perhaps merging it into the reopening requests is not a terrible idea. But this is a problem of "future us".

One thing should be decided prior to starting this thread, and that's whether or not we want to require the poster to have a duplicate suggestions at hand, or do we want to allow people who are certain something is a duplicate to ask others to find the copy. I'm in favor of the former.

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    $\begingroup$ I thought that a reasonable rule for such thread (if we start one) would be to include only the requests where the usual process (close vote + review queue) has failed. My idea is that chat - especially the room created specially for closing and reopening would be better for things like "I am sure I've seen this before but I cannot find the duplicate". But, as I admitted in the question, probably there are not too many users who follow what goes on in that room. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 15 '16 at 8:27
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    $\begingroup$ Do you think there will be any additional significant traffic on this page? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 18 '16 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Not me. I just came here to propose we try this out. Shall we discuss what the "question" should say or just somebody goes ahead? cc @MartinSleziak $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 18 '16 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: I'd do it, but then I'd be blamed in stealing yet another "requests thread" from someone. Might as well let Martin do it... :P $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 18 '16 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ You shall not morph! $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 19 '16 at 0:11
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Hot questions (although I do not know how exactly they are determined) are shown in community-bulletin for 14 days after posting. So at least during that period there is possibility of gaining more views and some additional feedback. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 19 '16 at 9:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin: Fair enough. We'll wait another week. But I don't expect much more feedback, to be frank. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 19 '16 at 9:48
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    $\begingroup$ Even though your stealing comment was meant as a joke, I will say that I have no problem with it if somebody else posts such a thread. (After all, I did not suggested creating it, I only asked a question where it was mentioned as one of possibilities.) I should have pinged @quid in the previous comment, so I will do it now instead. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 19 '16 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin: All that changed in the past few days was one more vote on my answer and the removal of a bunch of comments from the main question. I doubt the weekend will bring any new blood into this conversation. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 22 '16 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ Asaf and @quid: I have started writing down some suggestion what the introduction might look like here. There is certainly a space for improvements and clarifications. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 22 '16 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ Asaf and @quid: Since there was no activity from some time, I cleaned up the post in the sandbox. Here is link to the relevant revision and also link to the source. And I will also add a link to this conversation in chat. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 18 '16 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak shall we launch the thread now? $\endgroup$ – quid Aug 18 '16 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ @quid I am not sure. (Is +4 sufficient to consider a community consensus?) I certainly do not have anything to post in that thread at the moment. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 18 '16 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin: I think that we should keep this as a get out of jail card for now. When it's useful to have this, let's pull this ace out and get out jail. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Aug 18 '16 at 10:48
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak as I said in chat, what's clear is that most users simply don't care. Among those that cared enough to vote, it is 5-1, so there is a more than 80% percent majority for this. Or differently, there is exactly one user that expressed an opinion against this. // On the general subject, I might make some more remarks on the content of the thread. But then I think we should just launch it. $\endgroup$ – quid Aug 18 '16 at 13:18
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In several comments it was suggested that a reasonable possibility is to post in the thread titled "Reopen & Undeletion votes, etc.", which is the thread for "posts that may require exceptional handling" (so the purpose might be broader than the title suggests).

I am posting this as an answer, so that we can get community feedback on this suggestion.

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    $\begingroup$ I think it is was a good practice that in general close or delete requests are not posted on meta, and it should stay that way for general closures. If we start to use that thread for dupe-closure requests I fear over time we'll have more general closure requests too. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 15 '16 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: That is a slippery slope. Especially when it rains. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 15 '16 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ There is a possible ambiguity here. It is not clear if the downvotes disagree with putting the requests in the same thread, or if they disagree with placing them on meta at all (as in quid's comment). So maybe there should be another answer representing that possibility. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 15 '16 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque you misrepresent what I wrote. I support having a dedicated dupe-thread. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 15 '16 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ @quid I never said otherwise. Please read more carefully. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 15 '16 at 21:51
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque you wrote "if they disagree with placing them on meta at all (as in quid's comment)" yet there is no disagreement with placing [the dupe proposals] on meta at all in my comment. Anyway, a downvote on this post is against the idea of using the existing thread, a downvote on the other answer is against having a new thread. Somebody against posting them altogether can downvote both. But if you feel the need for an answer go ahead. Yet to repeat, a downvote here is however one reads it against using the existing thread (although not automatically for a new thread). $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 15 '16 at 22:09
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    $\begingroup$ @quid I refer to your remark about users who disagree with putting close and delete requests on meta, i.e. there are probably many users that feel the same way about dupe requests. I'm surprised that I had to spell that out given the context. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 15 '16 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque I still think that it would be simpler to post an answer as writing a comment that "maybe there should be another answer". You're probably right that voting on a separate option would more clearly indicate position against posting this type of requests/queries on meta. I have posted a third answer and made it CW, feel free to edit it if you think some important points are missing there. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 16 '16 at 3:37
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So far there have been two answers suggesting new thread or already existing thread for queries about closing as duplicates. But there were also some comments suggesting that it would be better to avoid posting such queries on meta. Again, I am posting an answer so that we can collect the community feedback on this standpoint (via voting and comments).

The main arguments against posting on meta seem to be:

  • After some time, close votes can be recast. In this way you can get them to close votes review queue again. (It is 14 days after the close votes have aged. If I remember correctly, when you try to cast close votes again and you cannot, you are shown a tooltip which says when it is possible to vote to close the particular question again.)
  • There is also a possibility to mention duplicate in chat. Comments, review queue and chat should probably be sufficient.
  • If such request were too frequent, then they would clutter meta too much.
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    $\begingroup$ Downovted, because I disagree "that it would be better to avoid posting such queries on meta" if this is done in a reasonably regulated way. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 16 '16 at 11:05
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    $\begingroup$ What @quid said and also because cluttering meta is just absolute nonsense. Adding one thread is not what is going to clutter meta. Debating everything in a Kafkaesque nightmare of bureaucracy will, though. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 16 '16 at 12:51

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