I can understand that it makes no sense to close a real question as a duplicate of an not yet answered question.

But this also doesn't permit me to close an exact same question (with only a few formatting changes; text is the same) which has been closed as not constructive.

I think it makes more sense to show that the question was already posted by closing it as a duplicate.

I saw this question: Closing for exact duplicate - does the duplicate have to have an answer too?, but it doesn't answer the case of a not constructive question / not a real question. It only considers questions nobody is able to answer.

So I'd ask for being able to mark questions as duplicate of a closed question (which is closed because it is off topic / not constructive / not a real question / too localized) when they're nearly exact duplicates (only formatting changes, minor text changes).

  • Why mark a question destined for closure / deletion as a duplicate of anything?
    – Oded
    May 28, 2013 at 10:50
  • @Oded I feel that the duplicate would be the right option. It shows that the user simply reasked his question and has not improved it etc...
    – bwoebi
    May 28, 2013 at 10:52
  • 1
    To highlight such a thing, use a comment and link to the duplicate.
    – Oded
    May 28, 2013 at 10:54
  • @Oded This is how I do it now. But it should be contained in the more highlighted close reason.
    – bwoebi
    May 28, 2013 at 10:55
  • If it's the same user then you can close it... are they then different users? What are the questions? May 28, 2013 at 11:37
  • In such case the newer question should just be deleted. No point leaving two exact copies of the same thing around. Closing something as duplicate means it's the same, but still using different wording or somehow different so useful to keep around in addition to the other post. May 28, 2013 at 11:38
  • 1
    @benisuǝqbackwards In the specific case: stackoverflow.com/questions/16789719/… and stackoverflow.com/questions/16788109/… I cannot prove that it's the same user, but I can think it...
    – bwoebi
    May 28, 2013 at 11:42
  • @ShaWizDowArd @<s>shadowwizard</s> You mean I should simply flag it? (have no delete votes rights yet...)
    – bwoebi
    May 28, 2013 at 11:42
  • @bwoebi usually there will be enough high rep users to delete, if you see it's still around after a while then yes, flag it totally legit in my opinion. May 28, 2013 at 11:44
  • @ShaWizDowArd Okay, but we still should be able to close it as a duplicate as it may faster let high rep users who only quickly look over the question delete vote it.
    – bwoebi
    May 28, 2013 at 11:46
  • @bwoebi might be, but I'm not sure it's worth the risk of less careful users closing questions as duplicate of crap. (e.g. NARQ) May 28, 2013 at 11:51
  • @ShaWizDowArd eventually there should be some checkbox Exact duplicate you can only check when the levenshtein distance is inferior to 5-10% of the post size or so; the only option to bypass the has-no-answers-check...
    – bwoebi
    May 28, 2013 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


If a question is not constructive / not a real question, I would rather close it for one of those reasons, rather than closing it as duplicate of a not constructive / not a real question.

If you close a question as duplicate of a not constructive / not a real question, everybody who is voting to delete the duplicated question would get a confirmation dialog asking if the question needs to be deleted, since there is a question closed as its duplicate.

Since the duplicated question doesn't have any answer, it doesn't make sense to point users to the other question that has been already closed, and that will never get answers.
If you need to point the OP to the other closed question because there are some interesting comments, leave a comment with a link to the other question, and vote to close as not constructive / not a real question.

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