When a question gets closed as an exact duplicate, I often see that the original, which the question gets closed as a duplicate of, is itself closed.

This is not very nice behaviour.

My proposal is for the system to check, when a question gets closed, if the original is itself closed, and if so, don't show a link to that original, but to the original's original.

Or in other words, if question B is closed as a duplicate of A

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(and B has a link "Possible duplicate: A") then when question C gets closed by people as a duplicate of B, let the system show a link to question A instead of B.

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So that new readers of question C won't end up in another closed question when they click the "Possible duplicate" link.

  • 3
    I mostly agree with you, except that there's a substantial percentage of questions where the OP merely re-asks their closed question. Better solution: close as duplicate of the original question, not a closed duplicate. There's already a warning stating that the question you're linking to as a duplicate is closed.. – user102937 Jun 10 '12 at 15:34
  • @mrlister, if you accepted the answer, that the idea is not good, should you add the tag "status-rejected"? – Michael Freidgeim Jun 16 '13 at 13:14
  • I can't add tags like those to my own questions. Thse are moderator-only tags, that can only be adeded by staff. – Mr Reenlist'er Jun 16 '13 at 13:32

I don't like this idea.

By removing the inner link you are removing possibly useful information and changing a series of questions that someone can click through finding out more information into a single node with a lot of single links coming off it.

It assumes that the "original" has the best / most appropriate answers, which is not always the case.

Freehand red circles... what happens if a poster finds Question C; this doesn't quite solve their problem but Question B would. In your scenario they might not find Question B and post their question. We want them to find Question B.

red circles

However, by doing the same work you can list all the duplicates in the chain when a question gets closed as such. This may be an improvement as the chain is now in one easily visible place. If a new poster doesn't quite find the answer they're looking for in the original question there is an immediately obvious list of questions and answers that they could look for, which might make it less likely that duplicate questions would be avoided.

  • I don't like the idea either. It assumes all questions closed as duplicates are perfect duplicates and interchangeable. This is not the case in the real world. The closed question may actually be a better match. – Martin Smith Jun 10 '12 at 15:41
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    @MartinSmith if they're not perfect duplicates they shouldn't be closed as such – Ben Brocka Jun 10 '12 at 16:03
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    @Ben My apologies. I had no idea the freehand circles were supposed to be red! In fact, this reminds me of the war of the cats. But never mind about that. – Mr Reenlist'er Jun 10 '12 at 16:10
  • There are some blue ones going around at the moment ;-). – ben is uǝq backwards Jun 10 '12 at 16:13
  • If the closed question is better than the original, doesn't that call for merging? – Flimzy Jun 11 '12 at 3:20
  • By disabling new answers in the closed questions, we are trying to say that, the answer already exists in the linked question. So by rule, we shouldn't expect better answer to be present in the closed questions. – Tᴀʀᴇǫ Mᴀʜᴍᴏᴏᴅ Dec 13 '15 at 5:43
  • Also we cannot assume that all the people who are reaching the site are well aware of SO / SE rules. (If so, the questions shouldn't be publicly displayed). What if they just leave SO, not getting their desired answer in the first question they arrive at and they may not trust another link of SO, which may be below that one in the search? – Tᴀʀᴇǫ Mᴀʜᴍᴏᴏᴅ Dec 13 '15 at 5:50

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