One of the recent changes to closing questions makes it so that you can't close something as a dupe of something else unless the original has answers.

This is a problem when a user posts a question, gets no response, and then posts the same thing a few hours later.

It's certainly a good idea to keep a well meaning user from being sent to a black hole with no help, but this behavior breaks the ability for non-moderators to deal with double posts.

Please allow people to cast "close as duplicate" votes regardless of the number of answers a post has if the OP is the same for both questions.


From an official response: (emphasis mine)

There are some exceptions to the requirement that the original have answers. First, mods can close as dupe of anything, to handle any special cases. Second, you can always close as dupe if it's from the same user, to cover the case of problem users who post the same thing multiple times. Last but not least, this check is disabled on meta.

  • Yep, my bad. Carry on, nothing to see here. – MDMarra Feb 8 '13 at 16:06

If a user does post the same question (or a substantially identical question) you should probably:

  1. Leave a comment politely explaining that patience is a virtue, and inviting them to improve their original question (if applicable)
  2. Flag it so the janitorial staff mods can zot or merge the duplicate

Close-as-Duplicate is the big orange DETOUR sign of Stack Exchange.
Question merges are the nice new paved interstate Dot has been promising to build for 10 years.

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