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Is it ok to close a question as duplicate with reference to another question that has been closed as not a real question? That would leave any poster or pleople coming in from search engines nowhere.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sometimes persistent people pose one poor question, have it shut down, and then proceed to post the same question again (with superficial modifications if we're lucky). In that case I would prefer to close as duplicate of the original, closed question, because it provides a clearer insight into the poster's posting patterns and helps people to avoid wasting time.

This should be accompanied by a comment to the effect of "please improve your original question so that it can be answered".

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If you're closing as a duplicate of a "not a real question" question, this question must also be "not a real question". You could close as either, but clearly the question doesn't belong on the site, so supporting people searching for it isn't really a concern

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You could close that question as duplicate, or as "not a real question."
Consider that, normally, questions closed as "not a real question" are then deleted; this means that users arriving to the question you close as duplicate could find a link to a duplicated question they are not able to see (if they are not moderators, or 10k users).

Apart that, there is no difference between choosing one reason or the other, as long as the question is closed.
I personally select the closing reason basing on the order they are listed. This means that if a question duplicates another question, and it is not constructive, I would choose "exact duplicate" as closing reason.

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