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I would like to encourage users to look for dup questions before posting questions, and users to look for duplicates rather than throwing in new answers or copying answers from the dup and pasting them in to get the quick 10 minutes of upvotes before it gets closed.

Just to note, I'm taking pains to make sure that this request does not overlap with Options to Port Answers on Closed-as-Dupe Questions or Allow high rep users to migrate answers from one question to another. Its goal is not voting-to-close for high-rep users, as the previous one was closed for. This is minor encouragement for the masses without giving them executive privilege.

My suggestion is as follows:

  1. Receive notification if your question is closed-for-dup, or if you posted an answer on one that was closed-for-dup - this gives users the option to ask for their answers to get ported by moderators, as per the above links
  2. Make a new "flag" type: "Duplicate Question" - requiring a link to fold into
  3. If you flag it as dup AND do not answer it yourself AND it actually gets closed-as-dup by a moderator AND the link is the same, you get either a rep bonus (+5 or +10 maybe?), and/or some badges for helping clean up (Janitor for 25 times, Consolidator for 50, "The Cleaner" for every 100 thereafter? :-)

Optionally, maybe halve the value of questions and/or answers on duplicates. This would encourage people to look before they ask, and encourage people to distribute the responsibility (and reward the behavior) of not proliferating duplicate answers just to snag a few points. And encourage them to port answers to "real versions", thus consolidating.

As an additional benefit, if more people do port their good answers over to the "original" question, then more questions with no useful purpose will result - and can thus be cleaned up, leaving less spam around when looking for an answer to a question. Hopefully, that, in turn, will make it easier to find questions, and make it less likely to post dups in the first place. :-)

And yes, the irony isn't lost on me that this was extracted and refined from something closed-as-dup asking for closed-on-dup functionality. My brain itches. ;-P

Related questions:

  1. What is with people who answer questions that are known to be dupes?
  2. Give an incentive for finding duplicate questions
  3. Should there be a reputation cost for duplicate questions?
  4. Do we indirectly punish good citizens?
  5. Is allowing voting and accepting answers on closed questions best practice?
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How is that different from the 'Duplicate Question' close reason? Except for the rep gain (ugh) and the badges. –  badp Jul 18 '10 at 18:20
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@badp: not everyone has the option to vote-to-close for any reason, let alone dup. it's just encouragement for others to look for dups rather than either posting or answering dups. otherwise, the only people encouraged to do anything about dups at all are those that have direct power to do something about it. it's distributing the work load to get more people to identify duplicates. –  eruciform Jul 18 '10 at 18:27

2 Answers 2

I think the mechanism works the other way around.

  • When you close, you must provide a the best dupe to direct people to.
  • When you flag, you may but don't have to.

Closing as dupe is only available to high rep users because it's harder.

Lowering the barrier to entry for flagging makes flagging easier and allows more flagging to happen.

This is a good thing.

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excellent point. perhaps the flagging could require a link, and you only get the rep if it's the SPECIFIC link that it gets folded into. :-) –  eruciform Jul 18 '10 at 18:51
    
That would make flagging harder... –  badp Jul 18 '10 at 19:18
1  
how are you supposed to know its a dup unless you've seen it before? aren't specific dup flags more actionable? and with a reward, more people will be willing to put the time into finding the really useful information. –  eruciform Jul 18 '10 at 19:48

I'm missing why flag as dup is needed; how is it different from just voting to close as a dup? It seems like your proposal could be distilled to just "give a rep bonus for the person who first votes to close as a dup if it does eventually close". I personally don't think rep gained from answers to closed questions should remain (it should be the same as with deleted questions), but I'm pretty sure that's been proposed before and rejected

share|improve this answer
1  
it's just encouragement for others to look for dups rather than either posting or answering dups. otherwise, the only people encouraged to do anything about dups at all are those that have direct power to do something about it. it's distributing the work load to get more people to identify duplicates. –  eruciform Jul 18 '10 at 18:26

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