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Here's the scenario. A user asks a poor quality question that is difficult to understand, let alone answer. As a result, nobody feels confident enough to offer an answer. A few comments are made asking for clarification, but the poster doesn't provide anything useful.

Later the same user, frustrated with the lack of response, re-posts essentially the same question again. However I can't vote to close this second question as a duplicate, because the first question has no accepted or upvoted answers.

What's the best thing to do in this situation?

share|improve this question
Tell OP to improve the first question instead of posting a new one. – devnull Dec 4 '13 at 13:38
If it's the same author, you should be able to vote to close it, shouldn't you? Edit: Yep "Second, you can always close as dupe if it's from the same user, to cover the case of problem users who post the same thing multiple times.". – Bart Dec 4 '13 at 13:40
Thanks. Actually it's a different user ID, but the wording and content is almost identical so I suspect it's the same person with multiple accounts. – Neil Bartlett Dec 4 '13 at 18:08
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You should be able to vote to close it if it has the same problems as the original post. It doesn't have to be closed as a duplicate, it can be closed as 'unclear what you're asking' (if that's the actual problem you have with the post).

If, for some strange reason, a user re-asks a question, and the new question has no issues with it whatsoever, then your best bet is to leave a comment letting the user know they should edit their original question, and flag the new question for moderator attention, with something like the following:

This user posted this question previously here (link to question). Could you merge the two questions and delete (this/that) question because the (new/old) question is asked better?

share|improve this answer
Great advice, thanks. – Neil Bartlett Dec 4 '13 at 18:10

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