I've noticed a pattern here on Meta (this is a meta-meta post!)

Namely, people seem to like answering questions by marking them as a duplicate. For example, 'why didn't I get rep from these two upvotes' could be marked as a dupe of 'How do CW posts work?'

What's the policy on this? The close reason says something like

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

These kinds of duplicates probably match the already has an answer part, but what about the first part? There's nothing saying that the question has been asked before - it's only been answered in the big, overreaching question.

On the other hand, these questions would serve as signposts to the big FAQ question.

So, should these kinds of questions be closed as dupes and let the OP find the answer in the big answer, or should we answer them pointedly and link to the big FAQ question?

  • Assuming that people have the patience it does seem more helpful to answer with which part of the huge generic answer is relevant and then reference it – Richard Tingle Jul 11 '13 at 14:46
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    A good current example of this is meta.stackexchange.com/questions/188408/… a question about low OP effort regex posts being closed is itself marked as a duplicate of this meta.stackexchange.com/questions/97958/… a question about titles of regex questions and marking as duplicates. Are they vaguely related; yes. Are they anywhere near the same; no – Richard Tingle Jul 11 '13 at 16:06
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    You know that by asking this question more than one user is out there looking for a duplicate of it in the meta site history, right? This just begs to be flagged as a duplicate. – JoshDM Jul 11 '13 at 17:37

Once again, Meta operates a little differently, and generally, this is a matter of social quorum more than anything. Generally, I see:

  • Questions can be closed as duplicates if reading the duplicate would have answered the user's question
  • All FAQ and FAQ proposed questions are fair game for such closures
  • Many popular questions are acceptable

With particular frequency:

  • We close banning questions as duplicates of the banning FAQ
  • We close basic reputation questions as duplicates of the reputation FAQ

So, duplicate closures often have a slightly different, though similar meaning. You can read it as, in most cases, if the user's question would have been answered by the proposed duplicate, it's probably a good close.

Now, this begs the question of changing the close reason. Still, this is what I've seen.

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