What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 127 Stack Exchange communities.

This is a two in one question:

Should the asker of a duplicate question gain reputation for asking the duplicate question?

Should the answerers of duplicate questions gain reputation for answering them?

By asking a duplicate question you are diluting the value of the site. It takes lots of TLC to find the dupe and merge it in, yet you are still rewarded for producing that work.

The answerers of the duplicate question are also diluting the value of the site, because good and valuable information becomes splintered and harder to find.

share|improve this question
2  
I added the feature-request tag. This is a good idea and it should be considered for implementation. –  Vaccano Mar 24 '10 at 21:00
7  
Could you elaborate on how it dilutes the value of the site? As long as there is a link to the original question Im not sure I understand the logic that it becomes harder to find. Different people phrase questions differenly and if they are searching for it some key words might show up in one question that dont in another. Either way there is a link to the correct answer. Assuming your splintering logic is sound, then all duplicate questions should be deleted instead of closed. –  Locutus Mar 24 '10 at 21:11
    
@Qui-Gon Jinn, the SO Rulers have deemed that lots of dupes are bad for the site. If not they would have not made the rep changes to try and stop them from doing it to gain rep. If there was ultimately no rep in it for the questioner who asked a dupe then it would become a lot less attractive. (And leave real questioners out of the war path in the future.) –  Vaccano Mar 24 '10 at 21:17
1  
According to the majority of people here, the value for the questioner is a quality answer, not the rep. in my opinion the majority of duplicates are from new users with little to no rep anyway.. why should they care? –  Locutus Mar 24 '10 at 21:23
    
@Qui-Gon Jinn, >>in my opinion the majority of duplicates are from new users with little to no rep anyway<< If that were true they why did they make the rep change to try and stop the dupers? –  Vaccano Mar 25 '10 at 0:56
    
@vaccano where are you getting that information from? –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 2:34
2  
@Vaccano, most people aren't asking questions to gain rep, they're asking because they want the answer. –  Lance Roberts Oct 21 '11 at 23:55
add comment

6 Answers

up vote 35 down vote accepted

One big pet peeve of mine is when someone answers a duplicate question with the link to the duplicate instead of doing the proper thing and commenting and/or editing the post itself. The posting of the duplicate link as an answer always seems to me to be a very cheap rep gaining ploy. So if people didn't get rep on questions closed as duplicate I probably would not be upset.

On closing a question as duplicate:

  • Question asker loses all rep gains or losses
  • Answers lose all rep gains or losses

On reopening a question that was previously closed as duplicate

  • Question asker has the rep reapplied
  • Answers have rep reapplied.
share|improve this answer
3  
Is that what does happen, or what should happen? –  waffles Jul 3 '09 at 0:56
26  
I actually think the only person that should be rewarded is the person who found the duplicate. –  waffles Jul 3 '09 at 0:57
2  
That is what I believe should happen. –  TheTXI Jul 3 '09 at 1:00
    
Sam Saffron: As far as your suggestion about the person who finds the duplicate, that is a little bit hard now with the way the duplicate close votes are given. It is entirely possible that it could be closed with 5 duplicate votes and all of them are pointin to a differen question. Who then would get the rep? –  TheTXI Jul 3 '09 at 1:01
1  
well, the person who found the "original" duplicate first, I guess, but on second thoughts it would open the system to gaming. –  waffles Jul 3 '09 at 1:06
    
@Sam: Not really common anymore. It happened a lot before the comments system and the auto-linking on close for Exact Duplicate. Sometime you still see low rep users do it. –  dmckee Sep 1 '09 at 3:52
1  
How about an exact duplicate of a question, but in a different language? Does that apply?! –  Dan Atkinson Sep 14 '09 at 13:12
    
Why should a user get their rep back when their down-voted question get closed? It's not really an encouragement to check for existing questions. –  hypercrypt Oct 22 '11 at 8:00
    
Too bad this is not how it works and I doubt it will get implement any time in this life time, hoping it does but without any faith on further improvements on SO/SE. People should get points for closing questions but only if a majority vote with the same duplicate if there are multiple choices none gets the point which would force people to at least check if the selected duplicated answer does resolve the question or if there is a better one up for the job. –  Prix Sep 27 '13 at 6:02
    
@DanAtkinson an exact duplicate in a different is not always possible. Asking to how to join two lists in LISP and Python are two different things.. –  Loïc Faure-Lacroix Oct 22 '13 at 15:05
add comment

No, there should be no rep for asking a duplicate question. Answering it with a real answer should garner reputation. I don't want to require everyone to be duplicate cop and search for the duplicate before deciding to answer.

OTOH, I don't think there should be extra rep for the accepted answer to a duplicate.

This is one of several steps that should be taken around closing duplicates, linking to the duplicates, and creating a FAQ of languages and topics. I'd like to see some integration among these.

share|improve this answer
    
This is slightly related, the questioner just got 40 rep for stackoverflow.com/questions/1077390/… and the answered is no up to 60 rep ... is this really a metric of trust? –  waffles Jul 3 '09 at 1:10
    
I really wonder where those upvotes came from. –  John Saunders Jul 3 '09 at 1:42
add comment

I disagree that duplicates dilute the value of the site. Most people asking the duplicate questions aren't asking to manufacture rep (yes, there are probably a few exceptions), they just want an answer, and haven't figured out how to search SO yet, or just can't get the right words put together to get the search done right.

The real answer is more merging. If questions are merged, then the answerers still get the rep for their contribution. The question stub will be left for other searchers using that word combination, and no more rep will be gained on that question.

share|improve this answer
3  
My problem is with people copying answers from the previous incarnation and posting them for the new incarnation. That dilutes the site. –  PengOne Oct 22 '11 at 2:21
    
Yeh, direct copies aren't that great, but I think in merging the merger should kill the later copy, so the rep would go away with the next recalc. –  Lance Roberts Oct 22 '11 at 7:18
    
+1 about merging idea: The question may be cleared away as a duplicate but for example fresh new answers, coming to which ever question (the major one or the duplicate), should be always saved. –  mico Oct 28 '11 at 19:21
add comment

I don't really have an opinion on whether the asker should not gain reputation from a duplicate question. I certainly don't mind that they do, and don't think I would mind if they didn't. However, I believe answerers should maintain whatever rep they receive. No one can know every question that has been asked, and as an answerer, you shouldn't be expect to first search and ensure it's not a dupe (that's the askers responsibilty). And so, the answerer is attempting to help build the community and should be rewarded if people find their answer helpful. At times this means an answer that is just a link to the dupe will gain rep, but in that case I have more of an issue with the upvoters than the answerer.

share|improve this answer
    
I think exactly the opposite here: "you shouldn't be expect to first search and ensure it's not a dupe". What is happening are inexperienced users asking easy "FAQ" type questions. They are not aware it is FAQ, they are unable to find the duplicate, but an experienced user answering it should be. It happens again and again, and currently the rep incentive is clear: it is a lot better for my reputation to answer the question than to identify it as a duplicate and vote for closing. –  Suma Mar 15 '11 at 16:47
add comment

There has been a lot of discussion about the problems caused by those who post tons of questions just to get reputation.

Now with the latest rep change and recalc, those who abuse this have had their points halved. (Along with those that did not abuse.)

I think it be a good idea that any question that is closed as a duplicate has the points given to the questioner revoked.

share|improve this answer
add comment

As an example of what happens in such copy-and-paste answers for duplicate questions. Hopefully, it becomes a stalemate as such, see:

Duplicate question: How to encode a string for url param in python

Copy-and-pasted answers: How to encode a string for url param in python

Possible duplicate of: Python urlencode string

share|improve this answer
    
Here the question is not for duplicate answers. It's about answering duplicate questions. –  hims056 Jan 3 at 11:08
add comment

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .