When a question is clearly too broad (shopping list style or opinion based) AND it has a clear duplicate (that is already closed) with a lot of good answers and information, should we close the question as too broad or as a duplicate? At least if we close as duplicate, people who find that question can get SOME good information (since it is already here anyway), but at the same time, we don't want these types of questions in the first place.

Example Question:

Duplicate Question:

In this case, I was second to vote to close (as a duplicate) but the question was still closed as too broad.

1 Answer 1


Finding a duplicate is better than any other close reason. Because you still provide the OP with an answer.

Obviously however, it's often "easier" for the closer to close as a "too broad", because then we don't have to search for duplicates.

If you found a duplicate, use the duplicate.

  • 1
    Exactly what I was typing. So +1 :)
    – Bart
    Jul 6, 2013 at 16:30
  • Great, this is what I was thinking too. However, on the example question the first person closed as too broad, then I voted to close as a duplicate (2nd). This put the very first comment as the duplicate question, so being hard to find isn't really a valid reason anymore. The rest of the voting on the question ended up closing as Too Broad instead of the duplicate, so I am thinking that it is more than just the "easier" path and that some people are probably thinking that it is better to close as too broad in this situation.
    – lnafziger
    Jul 6, 2013 at 16:46
  • 1
    @lnafziger: You are correct. I've flagged the post to be reopened and then marked as the duplicate you've suggested. Let's see how that goes . And there we go. It's now closed as a duplicate. In cases similar to this, feel free to custom flag the post, explaining the problem and why it should be a duplicate and not a opinion based. A moderator can easily reopen and close the question with a different reason. Jul 6, 2013 at 17:05
  • 2
    Re-opening the question just to close it as a duplicate of a question that's itself unsuitable for SO is silly. I agree that someone who asks "Where can I find good resources?" and "Where do I start learning?" should be directed to the lists of resources that exist on SO. Given, though, that those lists clearly fall under the "recommend a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic..." (née NC) close reason (the one here is in fact closed as NC), there's no reason at all to keep the new question around after that. Close as anything, drop a link in a comment, and move on.
    – jscs
    Jul 6, 2013 at 18:53
  • @JoshCaswell: I disagree. Visitors from google are much more likely to read the "This question has an answer here:" notice, and not the comments. I honestly don't care about the OP in this case. I just care about 5 new users who would find his question, and will try to ask the same because it didn't get an answer for him. Jul 6, 2013 at 18:55
  • The hypothetical users from Google should be just as able to find the original question as the new one, given that the keywords are awfully similar. They probably won't because, like this OP, they aren't even going to bother to search, but since we're speaking hypothetically... It should also be noted that these list of resource questions are slowly being deleted, which, although I'd like to keep a few around to link to, is hard to argue against since no-one seems to want to maintain them.
    – jscs
    Jul 6, 2013 at 18:58
  • Re-opening just to close it seems odd to me as well, but flagging it for a moderator to change it to a duplicate seems appropriate to me.
    – lnafziger
    Jul 6, 2013 at 20:36
  • @lnafziger: That's how a moderator changes the close reason... reopens then closes again. Jul 6, 2013 at 20:39

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