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My question is pretty straight forward. Why can't I flag a post as duplicate of another post, if the owner of post has accepted one of the answers? I'm asking this as recently I've flagged this question as duplicate of this question. But the flag is declined with the following comments:

declined - If they have accepted answers, don't bother to flag them. It just creates noise. 

Please note, I don't have any problem with declination of flag. I just want to know whether this comment is appropriate. If so, I'll take care of this thing while flagging post.

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Hm, one of the reasons of closing a question as a duplicate is to quickly point the asker and anyone else interested to already existing answers. I'm guessing that if the duplicate has already been sufficiently answered, there's little point in a moderator closing it. Don't get me wrong, it might still make sense for the duplicate to be closed, but if answered, closing it is low priority and should be taken care of by the community, and not by a moderator. [/guess] – Yannis Aug 27 '12 at 7:08
@YannisRizos, thanks for your reply but then what conclusion should I derive from this? Should I stop flagging duplicate questions just because they're accepting answers while gazillions duplicate questions are already asked by different users? – RAS Aug 27 '12 at 7:19
Well, it depends. If both questions already have accepted answers, I wouldn't flag, except if the questions are almost identical. Your example questions are very similar, but they are not identical, the old one is about (not) using quotes on SQL strings and the new one is about using a reserved keyword as a table name. PHP might generate the exact same error in both cases, but if we merged the new one into the old one, its answers wouldn't make sense any more. – Yannis Aug 27 '12 at 7:24
@YannisRizos,I understand your point but in that case shouldn't the comments be something else? – RAS Aug 27 '12 at 8:11
Hm, in theory yes, but in practice we can't expect SO moderators to examine every flag in such depth. The first red flag in your flag (pun not intended) was that both questions had accepted answers, and the moderator responded based on that, I have no way of knowing whether they examined the questions further... Regardless of whether the questions are almost identical or not, I'll re-iterate my earlier comment: Duplicates with accepted answers are low priority, there isn't any need of involving a moderator in closing them. – Yannis Aug 27 '12 at 8:17

Keep in mind that unregistered and anonymous users (which are the majority of visitors) are automatically redirected to the duplicate, so when closing a question as duplicate you actually block access to it for most visitors.

If that question got helpful answers, they are effectively lost and guess that's one good reason not to close as duplicate.

Instead, moderator can merge the answers to two similar questions, so for this use the "Other" flag reason and explain why you think it should be merged. Once the answers are no more in one of the questions, it can safely be closed as duplicate.

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I thought the moderator himself will merge the questions if he feels like. So flagging a question as duplicate will serve the purpose. Thanks for pointing that I need to flag as other & not as duplicate in such cases. – RAS Aug 27 '12 at 8:00
Yes, but don't it for granted that it will be actually done - it depends on the mod handling the flag. – Shadow Wizard Aug 27 '12 at 8:08

Beyond the specific response to the flag here, are those questions really duplicates?

The answers on the one you flagged would not apply to the original question, so while the two involve the same error message, they appear to have different causes. Merging the two would only make things confusing, as some of the answers would refer to an update table that doesn't exist in the first question.

I would have declined the flag here, but only for there being lack of evidence that they are true duplicates.

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Exactly that is my point. Comment should be something else. It's misguiding. – RAS Aug 28 '12 at 6:22

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