The following chain questions are currently all closed:

Here is another chain:

Moreover, the first two questions are marked as "duplicate" to the last one which is closed as "missing context or other details".

Because of the current status, no one can add a new answer to any of these "duplicates". This essentially blocks out any possible useful future contributions to the question (one of the questions in the chain), assuming that they are really "duplicates".

How do we handle such questions? Particularly, if one wants to add useful answers that may be significantly different from the existing ones, what can one do?

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    $\begingroup$ An alternative would be to write a "canonical question and answer pair", and nominate all of those questions as duplicates of the canonical Q&A you have written. If you believe that you have a great answer to a poor question, it is often better to attempt to write such a canonical Q&A. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Aug 24, 2022 at 22:48
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    $\begingroup$ The question math.stackexchange.com/questions/110708/… already has 6 answers. Do you think you can write one more which would be genuinely different from other answers? $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2022 at 23:46
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    $\begingroup$ @MoisheKohan: Well, assuming you are using the generic "you" in your comment, who knows? $\endgroup$
    – user1046533
    Aug 25, 2022 at 1:28
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    $\begingroup$ I have voted to reopen this. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2022 at 4:50
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    $\begingroup$ These things happen. Both the chains you dug out are FAQs. A dupehunter may not always find the most canonical target. Or, the best target has good answers, but the question (often old) has since been closed for missing context because the standards have evolved. It may be worth our while to discuss the wisdom of closing old questions with good answers, but also lacking context. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2022 at 5:39
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    $\begingroup$ (cont'd) The motivation for closing (but not deleting) the question is exactly because several newer threads refer to it, so we should make it extra clear to the new readers that the question itself is poor by the current standards. Of course, the people who don't like closing poor questions with good answers may object. Anyway, the site is self-correcting on all trigger happy closures (I have been on both sides of such incidents), so they aren't worth much meta drama. The dedicated thread is a neutral way of soliciting more opinions. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2022 at 5:40
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    $\begingroup$ Now that you brought it up, I somehow doubt that in the latter chain the duplicate target is the first incarnation with "canonical answers". The date is telling. My guess would be that we surely handled that question to death earlier than 2014. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2022 at 5:48
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    $\begingroup$ @martinsleziak I raised a similar issue here math.meta.stackexchange.com/q/34051/505767 $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 25, 2022 at 6:28
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    $\begingroup$ One thing to notice is that search engines tend to prioritize questions that are older and have more views, which usually correponds to the original, so most people are not going to have to click through the dupe chain. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Aug 25, 2022 at 6:47
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    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar It is reopened, and I'm thinking that your actions in this situation are perhaps the best in general. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2022 at 12:03


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