If a question is a clear duplicate but is not accumulating enough close votes (e.g. due to the short list of close nominations), how do we handle these?
- Flagging for moderator attention?
- Ignore it and hope they will get closed some day?
- ... ?
I can't speak for the "real," appointed moderators (my ♦ is administrative), but here's my take on "handling duplicates" through any means except community moderation.
From the blog post, A Theory of Moderation,
"...what it is, exactly, we expect moderators to do. The short answer is, as little as possible! We intended Stack Overflow and Server Fault to be mostly self-regulating..."
If you see a duplicate post, vote to close it. That's your role. If you feel the reason is too subtle for the average reader to act promptly, leave a comment. If the post still isn't closed, move on. Everyone does not have to agree with your assessment, no matter how sure you are of your convictions.
Flagging for moderator attention is intended to handle egregious problems such as harassment, blatant spam, or illegal content. They are the human exception handlers. Moderators are not your super-vote-by-proxy.
Can't really speak for the actual moderators, but on Super User, given
The word is usually to flag for moderators, when voting is not enough (or when you can't vote). But this is a particular case, I guess, as it goes indeed against the "theory of moderation", that the community runs the site.
And I think it was actually useful, because thanks to that, I see more and more 1000-2500 users commenting about the FAQ, doing their community job by pointing out when a question should be closed, or what should be changed. So it is quite encouraging for the following, and I think that by its anniversary, the community will be on its tracks, and moderation won't have to be as direct. Moderators will still be needed of course, but the "flagging when voting doesn't work" will probably disappear by then.