Let's say a question is closed as duplicate and someone provided the link of the original question:

Wouldn't it be better that duplicates are deleted off of the site? Or deleting them would be a waste of time and generally does no improvement to the site?
I have no idea whether deleting duplicates permanently does technical improvements to the website.. So if anyone can help regarding this issue, it would be much appreciated.
Also, if there's no significant improvement resulting from the permanent deletion, then it is definitely a waste of time.

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ Many closed duplicates are useful to funnel duplicate traffic to the main duplicate because of their variations in titles and statements. In some cases a duplicate does not even add this value, and is fair game to delete. $\endgroup$
    – rschwieb
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 12:07
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ A related older discussion: Is it okay to delete unanswered, marked as duplicates questions? It was pointed out there (and in the above comment) that duplicates actually can be useful in some cases. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 12:58
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Some of them, when they are PSQs, should be deleted, and should have been closed as not fit for this site due to lacking context. But some dupes are very well asked questions, and, as @rschwieb argues, can help to funnel duplicate traffic to the main traffic. But I think PSQ dupes serve no purpose. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 15:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your responses. It is fair to say that everyone has his own way of expressing his/ her question. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ Duplicates seem to shield poor posts from being deleted, as well as bounties apparently do. This is not good. If there are good reasons to delete a question, it should be possible under all circumstances. $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Peter Can you please elaborate what you mean? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ I often wanted to vote to delete already closed and downvoted questions , but could not because of a duplicate or a bounty. $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Peter Yes, that was one of the reasons that made me ask this very question. Some duplicates are better off deleted in my opinion. But, then again, moderators certainly know what they are doing $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


This is a combination of the comments mentioned by the kind users:

  • Everyone has their own way of expressing their problem/ question.
  • Closing duplicates instead of deleting them helps in funneling the duplicates and redirecting those who asked the original question hence building up a series of duplicates leading to the main question.
  • This answer by a moderator proves to be helpful as well: https://math.meta.stackexchange.com/a/22183/784761
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I find it somewhat ironic that the sentence reading "Everyone has his own way of expressing his problem/question" (which was the particular expression of the original author) was edited to change the pronouns (thus depriving that author of their original expression). While I have sympathy for making attempts to make the language here more gender-neutral, (1) editing a post just to change the pronouns isn't really appropriate, and (2) in this case, I think that it is doubly inappropriate, as the answer author is also the question author, and the "his" appears to be self-referential. :/ $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 3:54

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