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I have been on a few SE sites for some time....I'm now seeing a lot of the same repeat questions and errors being repeatedly made by the newer users to each of the SE sites. Of course, I understand that this happens but increases the work for the community in weeding these out (via closes or flagging to busy moderators).

I am wondering if it might be appropriate to add basically a speed bump for users below 125 reputation points such that the SE site poses a specific question asking the user to verify that this is definitely not in the similar questions list, and possibly meets the SE site purpose? And to be sure it is not automatic have the "not human" type of question entry be used (where you have to type two words from the graphics).

Do you all think that something like this would be helpful in reducing this type of issue?

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migrated from meta.serverfault.com Feb 11 '13 at 21:31

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for system and network administrators.

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Any reason closing as duplicates doesn't work? (besides the fact that we have to be bothered to do said closing...) –  voretaq7 Feb 11 '13 at 20:44
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A wise man once said "There are no new questions, only new users who can't seem to figure out how the bloody search box works!" –  voretaq7 Feb 11 '13 at 20:44
    
If something like this does happen (perhaps not as a roadblock, but as a "please see these common questions"), I'd like to see "canonical website name (i.e. no-www to www)", "How do I make my web server accessible from the intertron" and "My server is borked and I don't have any logs or any idea of what's going on, how do I fix it? LOLKTHXBAI" –  Mark Henderson Feb 11 '13 at 20:45
    
I'd see the "roadblock" as BOTH presenting the alternatives already asked and SE purpose as well as eliciting specific input on their understanding. I'm trying to use "roadblock" as something informative and helpful to the end user as well as stopping a lot of repeats. –  mdpc Feb 11 '13 at 20:48
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As this seems to encompass several SE sites then I think a better home would be mSO. When you ask a question you already get Questions that may already have your answer and the Related (on the right) but unfortunately no one appears to ever read them. –  Iain Feb 11 '13 at 20:55
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I think a lot of the problem is that everyone is convinced that their special situation is unique. Like maybe that question on saving files into ~/cheese doesn't apply to them because they're trying to save into ~/bacon and everyone knows how different cheese and bacon are. –  RobM Feb 11 '13 at 21:07
    
@Iain -- I think that you are right....can you transfer this question over? –  mdpc Feb 11 '13 at 21:30
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@mdpc: you have 2 types of users who ask duplicates; those who think they are special and those [who could care less/are ignorant to/do not understand] what the site says. Ultimately there is no solving this problem technologically. –  user7116 Feb 11 '13 at 21:59
    
@sixlettervariables - Ultimately a lot of problems have no holeless solution....my solution is at least an attempt to reduce the amount of these type of errors. I thought it was a reasonable suggestion really. –  mdpc Feb 12 '13 at 0:11
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FYI, there's no such thing as an "SE Group". I believe you may mean "SE Site". –  John Saunders Feb 12 '13 at 3:38

1 Answer 1

Take a look at http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/dr-strangedupe-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-duplication/. Some bullet points:

  • duplication is not necessarily bad. Quite the contrary — some duplication is desirable. There’s often benefit to having multiple subtle variants of a question around, as people tend to ask and search using completely different words, and the better our coverage, the better odds people can find the answer they’re looking for.
  • it’s OK for duplicate questions to have duplicate answers
  • I have learned to stop worrying and love (some) duplication. And you should too.
  • bear in mind that cultivating and supporting a moderate amount of natural duplication actively helps the community.

I would say this is not a problem that should be addressed by creating additional technical barriers to asking questioins.

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