Sometimes I found question marked as duplicated but the original question is missing so the answer is lost forever.

Should SE avoid deleting question refered to "marked as duplicated"?

Is it possible to unmark a question as duplicated or should SE introduce an auto unmark as duplicated when the refered question is deleted.

  • 2
    I am not sure if this feature is exists or not, but few days back when i try to flag a question as duplication then it gave me an error that the first question hasn't any answer so this can't be a duplicate question.
    – Raynold
    Mar 20, 2013 at 10:26
  • 1
    FWIW, you get warnings (maybe an error now) if you try to delete questions that have duplicates pointing to them. Thing is, often, when this happens, the dup should be given the same fate as the original (i.e. deleted). When that's not the case, I'm pretty sure you should flag the question for mod attention. They could undelete or do some fancy merging.
    – Mat
    Mar 20, 2013 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


This should not be a problem going forward for new questions, since recent changes to the closing system look out for this.

However, there are some questions still in the database and stuck in this state - where the duplicate named by a question that was marked as a duplicate has been deleted independently of the question pointing to it.

If you see this, just flag it for moderator attention as 'other' and let them know that you've found a dead end. If the question itself seems reasonably good, it may be able to just be re-opened, or pointed at a better canonical question that has plenty of good answers. If you have a suggestion either way, it would be very helpful to include that in your flag.

Other times, especially if it's just remnants of a user asking the same question repeatedly, a speedy deletion is probably in order.

  • 1
    Maybe someone could write a Data Explorer query to find all of these... Mar 20, 2013 at 12:53

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