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I recently flagged a question as being a duplicate to another question, all posted by the same user (current open question). Now I've seen that the user, in response to my close flag and the

possible duplicate...

comment, deleted the previous question. This renders my flag useless as there is no duplicate question anymore. How should I handle this(if an action is required)?

Now, I've searched a bit here on meta and mainly found this post but the answer from Shog9 doesn't seem to apply here as the question is valid(probably, I would say) and it should stay open. Ether's answer from the question above represents a summary of the situation I explained above.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Normally I'd have starred the duplicate question after voting to close it as a dupe, to come back to it later and vote to delete the post. No point in having practically identical copies cluttering up the site.

Since the OP now has deleted the other post, the desired result has also been achieved: only one copy of the question exists. I have added a comment to the OP to tell him to next time just edit the original question instead of creating a new post.

As for the close vote, people will see the original has been deleted and ignore the close vote. It could be robo-voters close the post anyway, in which case the OP has only him- or herself to thank for that, and can request a re-open. If the post garners enough views (over 100) then the vote will automatically expire after 4 days, provided no other votes are added.

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Right, but the OP has now successfully gamed the system. If necessary, they can rinse and repeat as many times as they want unless the question becomes undeleteable. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 12 '12 at 12:02
@Asad: "gamed the system"? No, he has added strikes against himself when it comes to the automatic question ban. Otherwise, if he had edited the old question it would have been bumped onto the homepage either way. – Martijn Pieters Dec 12 '12 at 12:05
A heavily downvoted question, once edited, is unlikely to get anyone's attention. Making a new question gets you a clean slate. I didn't consider the question ban though, true enough. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 12 '12 at 12:08
@Asad well since self-deletion penalizes, this is not totally free for "gamer" – gnat Dec 12 '12 at 12:09
@gnat Yeah I know, Martin just pointed this out. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 12 '12 at 12:11
@Asad: The original question had received no votes whatsoever. – Martijn Pieters Dec 12 '12 at 12:12
@MartijnPieters Yes, in this specific case. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 12 '12 at 12:16
I understand, the question was more about the system leaving in this situation(in my opinion) "leftovers" which maybe should/could be avoided somehow. – Luksprog Dec 12 '12 at 13:58
If you try to VTC as a dupe of the indicated question, you get "No eligible question found at that url." I haven't tried to go further, so maybe the most ardent robo-close-voters could vote to close as dupe of a no-longer existing question, but it shold be safe from the average robo-voter. – Daniel Fischer Dec 12 '12 at 16:33

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