Now and then, a questioner will be given the advice in comments that his/her question would be more appropriate at another SE site (say, a question about LaTeX would fare better at tex.sx than at stackoverflow). Sometimes, the questioner will then proceed to ask a carbon copy of the same question at the site he/she was pointed to. A few hours later, the former question is migrated. The target site now features two questions that are literally the same (perhaps with the exception of tags).

I'm aware that the consensus for "normal" duplicate questions (those with different wording) is that they should only be closed, not deleted. But does this also apply to word-for-word duplicates? Is there any gain to be had from keeping them around (although closed), or can/should they be deleted to keep the (migration-target) site tidy?

2 Answers 2


This situation shouldn't be an issue now.

If an exact, word-for-word copy of the question exists on the destination site, the migration will fail and the question will just be closed as off-topic.

  • Sorry, when exactly did this change to the way migrations are automatically handled happen? Oct 3, 2018 at 12:28
  • @Mithrandir24601 For years now. Note that it must be an exact, word-for-word duplicate. Oct 3, 2018 at 12:29
  • Ah - I'm guessing 'already has an answer' (I can't remember if the particular example I've got did or not, but it looks likely that it did, before getting merged) means it's no longer an exact duplicate then? Oct 3, 2018 at 12:37

"Normal" duplicates are useful because they make it easier to find questions through search since people often use different words to describe the same problem. Identical duplicates offer no such benefit, and should be deleted or merged if both have answers.

  • 5
    Well, not necessarily deleted, but possibly merged. Dec 5, 2011 at 0:34

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