If a question is closed because it is a duplicate, the (current) explanation says:

This question covers exactly the same ground as earlier questions on this topic; its answers may be merged with another identical question. See the FAQ.

(emph. mine).

Is this done as a rule? How? By whom?

The only way you can merge these answers (that I know of, barring diamonmod trickery) would be copy-pasta, but you'd have the choice to edit it in an existing answer, or add a new one.

What is the write-it-out meaning of that sentence? Some options I can think of are:

  • It is a hint for the writers of (the good) answers that they should add/edit them to the other question or answer (and possibly delete them here). (And only them, because it is 'their' answer)
  • It is a hint to any reader with edit rights to add/edit the good points of this answer into the best answer on the other question, or if none available even add 'their own' answer, possibly with a link. The original author wont get credit though..
  • something with a new answer but community wiki? (not really sure)

1 Answer 1


Merging is done by diamond moderators at the question level.

Questions have to be pretty much identical for the merge to happen though (or flagged at some point later) as:

  1. Moderators don't always have the time to go back and do the merge, edit the resultant question to incorporate any extra information from the other question, delete any duplicate answers, etc.
  2. If the questions aren't 100% identical then there's a good chance that the merged answers won't make complete sense.
  • The sentence seems to imply some sort of action is possible/wanted, maybe even from me, that's why the question :). It's not that important, but something like "A mod might merge..." might be more appropriate.
    – Nanne
    Feb 15, 2012 at 21:09

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