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Triggered by this question: Is this a scope issue in JavaScript / JQuery?

It's a reasonable (if naive) question... that's been asked a zillion times, and everybody knows it.

Nobody marked it as a dupe (I was on mobile), the question got upvoted, the answers got upvoted, and there's YAOLTAIAAMS1 page on SO now.

What's the canonical solution? Flag as a dupe and hope enough people notice it and agree, or...?

Edit Flagged as dupe. One issue was that the misunderstanding of the problem meant dupe detection wouldn't have been helpful. That means when it does fire correctly that everyone ignores it, because when I looked for dupes I used a reasonable title for the actual problem :/


1 Yet Another Oh Look The A In Ajax Actually Means Something

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Yep, if it's a dupe, vote for it to be closed (or flag appropriately if you can't). There's nothing to stop people from upvoting such questions. They might simply not be active enough on SO to know there is a dupe (not everybody knows). –  Bart Jun 26 '12 at 11:43
    
Aren't you missing a Q from that synonym? –  Time Traveling Bobby Jun 26 '12 at 11:49
    
Don't worry about the upvotes - once it has been closed it should start to accumulate delete votes (especially as it is a dupe), rep gained (or lost) from deleted questions gets reversed. –  slugster Jun 26 '12 at 12:12
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2 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Don't downvote a question just because it is a duplicate. Refrain from voting or upvote. And then close/flag as a dupe.

If the OP should have been able to easily find the dupe, you may downvote because it's "no research effort".

Voting shouldn't be based on external factors--it determines the quality of the post. But, these questions need to be closed. If you don't have 3k, flag it as an exact duplicate. If you do, vote-to-close.

Note that if the question has been asked a million times already, go find the best version of the question and add it to the JS faq in the tagwiki.

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@Bart: Yes, why not? Votes are independent of the user who posted it, etc. I do upvote duplicate questions (sometimes I refrain from voting) if the post content deserves the vote. –  Manishearth Jun 26 '12 at 11:52
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Asking a rampant duplicate = No research effort IMO. –  Martin Smith Jun 26 '12 at 11:53
    
@MartinSmith: Good point, incorporated –  Manishearth Jun 26 '12 at 11:55
    
I vote based on if I expect the user ought to have been able to find the duplicate themselves with a minute or two of searching and how well it's asked. That can translate into a + or a - fairly often. –  Flexo Jun 26 '12 at 11:55
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I tend to down vote obvious dupes, "this question does not show any research effort" applies when the dupe is discoverable with a simple Google search. –  Yannis Jun 26 '12 at 12:00
    
@YannisRizos: For rampant dupes, you may downvote because it's "no research effort". I think I'll improve the wording of that a bit. –  Manishearth Jun 26 '12 at 12:01
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@YannisRizos Or even an SO search ;) The problem here was that the OP's incorrect assumption led him astray. –  Dave Newton Jun 26 '12 at 12:06
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As a total newb I would say that the part-duplicate questions (perhaps 80% similar to another) actually help so do not down vote them. Questions that are mostly similar are normally found to be answered in different ways that provide better and more clearly explained insight.

I would say only down vote if most of the answers are similar as well. I like to think that these questions work like opinion polls in that a subtle difference in wording can have a large effect on the response. I have found myself looking at various duplicates and looking through the answers for all of them to find one that:

1) is understandable by a newb like myself

2) actually fixes my problem or answers my question

Duplicate questions can be wasteful but not if the answers turn out to be different - instead they can become extremely useful.

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Thanks for speaking up. I have two issues with this approach: the first is that in general, these questions are 100% dupes; if you look over some of the ones I link to in the question that brought this up, they all stem from a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of asynchronous JS calls. As such, they are all answerable in the exact same way. –  Dave Newton Jun 26 '12 at 19:47
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The second is that continued Q&A dilutes the pool. Newbs are the least capable of discerning that the questions and answers are the same: the least capable of recognizing that the question has been asked, and answered, dozens of times, with answers generally accepted as being definitive. –  Dave Newton Jun 26 '12 at 19:49
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