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Duplicate questions have somewhat ambiguous nature. On one hand, they are "bad", because the user asking a dup was just bad at searching in the first place.

On the other hand, there are some "good" sides of them, because they help other people find answers to their question, no matter how do they phrase the question (we all understand that in a lot of times it's just the impossibility to phrase the question correctly that causes duplicates).

So are duplicate questions something that should be considered "bad" and closed/downvoted/deleted ASAP, or should they be treated as "good", encouraging users not only to point the duplicate, but also to give some additional comments or information?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

They are generally bad, and a good sign that whoever asked the duplicate didn't search before asking (except in those cases where you can ask the same question without using any of the same keywords). They do have one utility, as you pointed out, in that they serve as a signpost to the original question and its answers. Duplicates should be closed, but we don't delete them because of the signpost feature. I don't think they're bad enough to downvote either.

See also: Dr. Strangedupe: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Duplication

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