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I think it would be a good idea if you merged "Exact Duplicates".

All the answers are relevant and useful so if they are closed and lost forever they become useless and people lose out on points.

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3 Answers

We have the capability to merge any question into any other question, but we generally don't do it unless the dupe has valid, legitimate answers that aren't present in the original.

The benefit of not merging is that people searching (and asking) using the search terms of the duplicate (and not the original) will find their way to the original. When you merge, you lose that.

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AFAIK, even if "the dupe has valid, legitimate answers that aren't present in the original", merge usually is not used –  Michael Freidgeim Jun 13 '13 at 13:21
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I support this motion (and was thinking of posting something similar myself).

This is the thing that aggravates me the most about the closing of so-called "exact duplicates" - that you take the time to add an answer and before you can pick up any votes or even comments, the question gets closed. And yet if the question truely is an exact duplicate, my answer should be just as applicable to this other question, so merge it!

My suspicion is that a large percentage of the time questions closed as "exact duplicate" are in fact just similar and that's why they don't get merged - because the moderators think it would create a jumble of anwers. If it was understood there was automatic merging of duplicate questions, it would cut down on the excessive closing of questions under this rule.

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A huge potential problem with this is that even exact duplicates do not always put a question identically. "Is it possible to do x?" and "is it im possible to do x?" can be duplicates. Answers to those questions might start with "yes" or "no" - with entirely opposite meanings.

Many questions are impossible to merge without lots of manual editing.

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