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We have a number of exceedingly common meta questions:

  • Force a comment on downvote (my inspiration for this)
  • Why was my question closed?
  • Why can't I post questions any more?
  • Anything about flags being declined and folks crying about it
  • ...dozens of others...

Is it feasible/desirable to add some sort of check for known frequent duplicates that redirects the asker to the canonical question on that topic BEFORE they are able to post the question?

I'm sure it wouldn't be 100% effective, but if you check for (comment|anonymous) and downvot(e|ing) in the title, for instance, we could (potentially) reduce a lot of the noise.

Maybe even add a pseudo-captcha after the redirect to confirm they actually read it (What does Jeff's answer propose as popup text to encourage comments?) that must be entered to proceed.

I know we don't want to make it too difficult, but THIS IS META so barriers to entry can be a little higher I'm assuming.

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@PopularDemand Thanks, good associated resource. –  JNK Oct 25 '11 at 20:56
    
+1 because you're right about how much noise there is and I voted to close that question, -1 because i don't think your idea will work... –  The Unhandled Exception Oct 25 '11 at 21:13
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2 Answers

But... we already have this!

screenshot

The problem, I believe, is not with the system but with the people. People are generally annoying and as much as you try to get them to behave and follow rules and read directions, a vast majority will just do whatever they want.

This is why we have down votes and close votes, LOL.

What I'd really like to see is an automatic comment added linking to http://meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#vote-differences everytime someone on meta whines about being downvoted.

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+1 for "People are generally annoying" –  slhck Oct 25 '11 at 21:13
    
+1 for automatic comment on vote differences. Well, when I can vote again in 2 hours, that is. You ought to make that a feature request! –  Kevin Vermeer Oct 25 '11 at 21:35
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@Kevin: done -- I don't expect much however, other than a status-declined –  The Unhandled Exception Oct 25 '11 at 21:42
    
And I got what I expected! –  The Unhandled Exception Oct 26 '11 at 12:10
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Nice idea, but I don't know if a keyword search is the way to go about it. Seems to me that there would be a lot of false positives, and probably false negatives as well. It'd be nice to see a data dump query for your proposed checks. It wouldn't catch deleted posts, but most duplicates just languish in closed status forever instead of getting deleted.

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