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This question is really just to suggest an equal and fair treatment to all the stack members on all subsites. When an OP asks a duplicate question, there is no saying if the question will be upvoted because people didn't realise that it is a duplicate or downvoted for asking the same question again.

Here are some examples where even after asking a duplicate, the question got upvoted:

  1. Is it possible to remove or hide the 'Careers' advert

  2. Why do so many people give incomplete answers then edit them?

  3. What to do about users who search for spelling mistakes

  4. Burn: [standalone]

Then there are questions that get downvoted (and the original questions were upvoted):

  1. how to get the right answers marked as accepted

  2. http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/169395/stackoverflow-sites-have-no-css

  3. http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/169299/why-dont-i-have-unsung-hero-yet

I understand that it really depends on the users upvoting or downvoting and nobody can be forced into how to vote. But then the question becomes if it is fair for this inconsistent voting to exist. At times, it almost seems like a good idea to ask duplicate questions because you can still bag some votes. It has been said so many times on stack exchange that duplicates are becoming a hassle, so upvoting the duplicates almost seems like rewarding the OP for asking the same question again. Why not treat the duplicate questions equally and once that a question is marked as a duplicate, remove all the upvotes from the question and penalise with only 1 or 2 downvotes.

I did look at these questions, but they don't really address the inconsistent voting or only answer the question partially:

  1. Revamping the Duplicate question System

  2. How should we vote on duplicate questions?

  3. how should I vote for answers of duplicate questions

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There really isn't a problem here.

I understand that it really depends on the users upvoting or downvoting and nobody can be forced into how to vote.

Exactly. And besides that, opinion might change over time. The sites evolve, the community evolves. What was once agreed with might no longer make sense. What was once a bad idea, might upon review not be so crazy after all. And all of that affects the vote on a duplicate. That does not mean you should ask the duplicate. But it might be an indication that offering a bounty on the duplicate for renewed attention might not be a bad idea.

Keep in mind that not everybody might know it's a duplicate either. Just this morning we had a question asking how that user doesn't find duplicates when searching, yet most of his questions were closed as duplicates. It's not always easy to find them if you don't spend insane amounts of time here.

But then the question becomes if it is fair for this inconsistent voting to exist.

Sure. If that is a "fair" vote by the member casting it, there really is no problem. And keep in mind that Meta votes only represent a part of the community.

When you have a total score between +10 and -10 (most of your examples hovering around +/- 5) you don't necessarily have that much of a representative sample of the complete community. The balance can be easily shifted by a couple of users. I wish users (especially on Meta) would keep that in mind when making feature requests which are not immediately met by upvotes.

Why not treat the duplicate questions equally and once that a question is marked as a duplicate, remove all the upvotes from the question and penalize with only 1 or 2 downvotes.

I really see no need for that. This is a Meta site. Its reputation doesn't mean a whole lot. And in fact, this is a unique Meta site in that it has reputation at all. All the other Meta sites (afaik) don't have any reputation. This is Meta, you win some and you lose some.

In summary, I really don't see a problem here that needs addressing. Do inconsistencies happen? Sure, but it's not a real problem.

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