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I have a question on Super User that was closed as an exact duplicate. In my opinion this is in error, the other question is similar in that they both revolve around the presence or lack of the same feature however the two questions approach the feature from distinct use cases. At present the answer to the two questions IS the same, however in time, because their purposes differ, a third party solution could arrive to one or the other which does not solve both use cases. Having one queston closed prevents it being (potentially) answered.

Admittedly, in the initial versions of the question was not worded so the differences were apparent, so it was valid to close it. Now it has been revised so the differences are clear. Adding a comment or editing and old question doesn't get fresh eyes on it, no front page exposure. So what does one do? Ask a question like this here on meta? Ask the question anew with the better phrasing?

There is another meta question asking about this, Should there be an appeal process for Closed or Locked questions?, but the theme is quite different, being about appealing a closure in the milieu of flamewars and offtopic debates.

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For background, here is the SU question mentioned: superuser.com/questions/66454/…. Not in the body so as not to dilute focus. –  matt wilkie Jul 14 '10 at 18:53
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FYI, the kind of people who both care about this kind of thing and have the ability to do something about it typically hang out on Meta, so you pretty much just submitted your appeal. –  Pops Jul 14 '10 at 18:55
    
I wouldn't have voted for that alleged duplicate (but I don't have the power on SU in any case), however I will note that many of the answers to the early questions probably are useful in your case. –  dmckee Jul 14 '10 at 20:13
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In the current system, there are two approaches towards appealing your closing.

  1. Appeal within your post. This involves either posting comments on your post, or editing the post body, to defend your case and explain why you think the question should stay open. Edits, in general, are focused to reshaping the question so that close reasons no longer apply (solidifying the question if "Not a Real Question", distinguishing yourself if "Duplicate", etc.), while comments are focused on explaining why the unmodified question does not deserve to be closed. This is generally aimed to try and catch the people who just voted to close, since in good scenarios they will still be milling about. Remember to be civil when stating your case, and listen to what the closers have to say. If your case is good enough, you will get it reopened.

  2. Appeal at Meta. Basically, do what you just did - post a question on Meta tagged [specific-question], and link to the question you are referring to, and state your case. The process is otherwise identical - be civil in stating your case, listen to any justifications given towards the closing. And if it is deemed that your question should be reopened, you'll have attracted some users over to vote-to-reopen.

Do NOT re-ask the question, especially if it's just going to be the same question. You'll just get that one closed of a duplicate of your original one, as well as probably a few knocks at your reputation (both numeric and social) for willingly duplicating content.

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In general, I would modify your question to highlight why you feel it is different, what about the focus of your question is different from the previous question. And then perhaps flag it for the attention of a moderator. Naturally people may still disagree and your question may remain closed, but at this point that's the only mechanism exposed by the system as far as an "appeals process" goes.

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