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I have heard tales of fabled UI elements that can be used to mark questions as dupes, or vote for questions to be duped by others. After scouring the question page, this UI is either not there for a user of my rep level, or is harder to find than the Illuminati. Please advise.

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possible duplicate of What is a "closed" question? –  Michael Mrozek Jan 6 '12 at 6:38
Hey, I saw your other two Meta posts yesterday, and man, you took a beating. I just wanted to say thanks for continuing to try to be a productive member in spite of that, instead of going down the much lamer (and much more common) path of ragequitting. –  Pops Jan 6 '12 at 19:02
I would upvote if I could. Great question! –  nslntmnx May 17 '13 at 11:16
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2 Answers

up vote 47 down vote accepted

When you have a reputation of 3000 or more, you gain the ability to cast close votes. When voting to close, you select a reason, and one of those reasons is "exact duplicate".

Until you get to 3000, you can flag a question as a duplicate. Flagging requires a scant 15 reputation. Click the flag link, just underneath a question's tags, and select it is a duplicate. Such a flag is not binding, but brings the question to the attention of 3k+ users who can cast their own close votes.

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I will do that from now on. As a suggestion, the UX for this should really be changed. Flag links on many sites has the immediate action of flagging content as inappropriate. When you hover the link you get this tooltip: "flag this post for serious problems or moderator attention" - this makes it sound even more like a traditional inappropriate content flag. I suspect duping is a huge reason people would use this, so why not change it to something like: "Flag this question as a dupe, miscategorized, or inappropriate" - IMO, this would be more descriptive of what the flag action actually does. –  csuwldcat Jan 6 '12 at 6:46
I think you're right, @csu. Flags on SO used to be meant for just extreme cases - the verbiage you're seeing is probably a legacy of that. –  Michael Petrotta Jan 6 '12 at 6:51
@csuwldcat - The vast majority of actions on Stack Overflow are either immediately reversible or generate a confirmation dialog. If something does go wrong, it's almost certainly correctable by a moderator. Feel free to experiment! –  Kevin Vermeer Jan 6 '12 at 16:21
+1 (& +1 @cduwldcat) Yep, just fell foul of the above... found the flag link but didn't travel any further because the response sounded far too serious for what I wanted to do. Obviously a quick search on meta solved my problem ;) –  pebbl Oct 8 '12 at 10:37
I would upvote if I could. Great question! –  nslntmnx May 17 '13 at 11:16
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For users with low reputation, the following rules apply:

  1. You need at least 15 reputation to flag anything.
  2. You need at least 50 reputation to flag a question as a duplicate (or close for another reason).

This means that if you have more than 15 rep but less than 50, you'll only have the following options when you click flag under a question:

  • it is spam
  • it is offensive, abusive, or hate speech
  • it is very low quality
  • other (needs ♦ moderator attention)

Notice the lack of an "it is a duplicate" option. This is because, as Esoteric Screen Name pointed out in his answer to this question,

... flagging a question as a duplicate automatically creates a "possible duplicate" comment, and you do not have enough rep (50) to earn the "comment everywhere" privilege.

So if you have fewer than 50 rep, searching for a way to mark as duplicate is futile – you haven't yet earned that privilege.

Note: the above information may not apply to all Stack Exchange sites because they may have different policies regarding privileges. For example, here on Meta Stack Overflow, you only need 15 rep to unlock the ability to flag as duplicate because all users have the "comment everywhere" privilege (required rep: 1).

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@Cerran, looks like you tested this by flagging an answer. If you flag a question the duplicate option is always there underneath the "offence, abuse or hate speech" reason. –  Amicable Jan 23 at 16:30
The "it is a duplicate" option does indeed exist, but if the post is already closed, you can't close it again, so you won't see the option. Likewise you won't see it if you try to flag an answer. If you still aren't seeing it when you look at an open question, then you might want to ask a new meta question as to why you aren't seeing it and provide the specific post you are trying to flag –  psubsee2003 Jan 23 at 16:49
@Amicable Here is a screenshot of what I see: s16.postimg.org/ij03upqsl/duplicate.jpg The question I tried flagging there is this one: stackoverflow.com/questions/21314893/… –  Cerran Jan 23 at 17:16
@psubsee2003 You're right. I opened a new question here: Why don't I see the option to mark a question as a duplicate? I will edit or delete my answer here depending on the result of that question. –  Cerran Jan 23 at 17:31
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