What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 130 Stack Exchange communities.

Much friction is caused by someone asking a question and others swarming in accusing him of asking a question which has already been asked.

But why not make asking such questions a legitimate act? It is not difficult to add a new tag reading something like [possibly_a_duplicate] so the user can safely ask his question.

Those who are allergic to duplicate questions then can add the tag to their ignore list and voila! They will not see nasty dupes any more.

Those who are especially keen to help newbies can add the tag to their favorites and hunt them.

I think the "philosophy" of banning duplicate questions results from subscribing to a static view of the world. One where everything is allowed to take place only once and questions are "duplicates" because the world is a still picture in which the original question is already there. Come on!

Is that how the real world looks? Should infants stop tottering because some others have already tottered?

share|improve this question
5  
You've opened my eyes, sir. I shall never forgive my parents for depriving me the advantage of a Real World education comprised of isolation and a lengthy, pathetic struggle to develop a language of my own. Their static view of the world, clearly evident now in their efforts to teach me a language invented and refined by others, has forever robbed me of my birthright. I leave you a sad and humbled individual. –  Shog9 Aug 17 '10 at 5:29
    
@Shog9: Do you need to provide evidence of your failure to distinguish the ridiculous case you pinned-up from what was pictured in the question? –  Majid Fouladpour Aug 17 '10 at 7:34
    
Hurray! 8 downvotes! I don't care the least about them. Actually I find it interesting (if not entertaining) how people mistake questions with polls. If you hover your mouse over the downvote link (before you click on it), this text shows as a tool-tip: This question is unclear or not useful, I guess those who downvote think it is the latter ... that is if the clicking is not a reflex to what they don't like. –  Majid Fouladpour Aug 17 '10 at 19:29
3  
The semantics of votes are different on meta. Upvotes mean agreement, downvotes mean disagreement. People don't like you idea. –  dmckee Aug 17 '10 at 19:35

3 Answers 3

Every question is possibly-a-duplicate, whether you've searched or not; that tag is applicable to every question on the site except the first one. If you intend the tag to mean "I think this is a duplicate but I'm too lazy to search", that's just silly; people aren't going to bother using it, and it would be incredibly rude to do so anyway

Much friction is caused by someone asking a question and others swarming on him accusing him of asking a question which has already been asked.

I've personally not seen that except in rare instances; normally people just close the question as a duplicate and move on, which is exactly what they should do

share|improve this answer

Have we learned nothing of the distaste of meta tags?

It's not difficult to search the site to see what has come before. It's not entirely broken; you can find things in the system.

If a user wants to safely ask a duplicate question, they just need to show they've done prior research on the site and explain explicitly how their brand spanking new (for these few minutes) question is so not like that old school flavour.

There is no banning of duplicate questions. Just a disgust of those who don't bother.

What kind of jerk knowingly asks a duplicate question such that they will tag it so?

share|improve this answer
    
"Have we learned nothing of the distaste of meta tags?" Well, I did after I found it by your referencing it. But, what I learned is that meta-tags are a useful thing if the site cares to implement them properly. I also learned that, contrary to what your try to imply, there is no consensus regarding the issue (because I read the comments too). –  Majid Fouladpour Aug 17 '10 at 7:43
    
If a user wants to safely ask a duplicate question, they just need to show they've done prior research on the site and explain explicitly how their brand spanking new (for these few minutes) question is so not like that old school flavour. Why? –  Majid Fouladpour Aug 17 '10 at 7:47
    
There is no banning of duplicate questions. Just a disgust of those who don't bother. The ignore list will solve this. –  Majid Fouladpour Aug 17 '10 at 7:49
    
What kind of jerk knowingly asks a duplicate question such that they will tag it so? So far as you stick to the opinion that asking a duplicate question makes you a jerk we have nothing to discuss. I'm trying to bring this to your attention that not everyone feels that way. If the original poster fails to tag it, it could be easily added by the first person realizing it misses that tag. –  Majid Fouladpour Aug 17 '10 at 7:55
6  
@Majid - If someone has done some research and found questions that are on the same subject but don't have answers that work, then they can reask the question and link to those questions pointing out why they don't help. No need for a special tag. –  ChrisF Aug 17 '10 at 10:57

others swarming in accusing him of asking a question which has already been asked.

I very rarely see any evidence of that. Nobody accuses. If a question is flagged as dupe then the person flagging it has to specify which question they think it is a dupe of. It's not as simple as just clicking a hyperlink, the person flagging actually has to do some of the work the OP may have failed to do.

How should rep be doled out then if questions are a dupe? Should they be allowed to accumulate upvotes even though that question has been covered before? And because some of us like to see things sorted and stored in an orderly fashion, what should we do with the sudden overflow of dupes that are now allowed? Can you imagine the search results in Google if the dupes are not given the smack down?

There has been a recent change to the bounty scheme, where if you see someone else's question and want further discussion you can attach your own bounty to it. This addresses those questions that are roughly a dupe of what you were just about to ask but the answers (if any) don't fully cover what you want.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .