This request was sparked by this particular question. The vote to close as a duplicate on meta, in contrast to the main site, does not require for the duplicate to have an answer. Yet, the closure message still says:

This question has been asked before and already has an answer.

...even when this is not the case. Perhaps we should either only show this particular sentence if there is indeed an answer, or remove this altogether for meta.

Note: I fear this might be a duplicate request, but I was unable to find one. (Not even one without an answer :) )

  • 2
    Good to see that I contributed something useful :)
    – user210003
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 21:27
  • Often the best way to notice issues with the site is for people to run into them @Akam ;)
    – Bart
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 21:30
  • 3
    Also, duplicates by the same user do not require an answer. The notice on them should not have the part "and already has an answer", either.
    – 40 votes
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 21:45
  • I think questions on META should has at least one clear answer in order to mark it as reference for another duplicate question. At this case no changes required to be made for This question has been asked before and already has an answer.
    – user210003
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 21:47
  • 1
    That has already been discussed here @Akam.
    – Bart
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 22:37
  • Isn't this (ironically) dupe of this one? Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 9:19
  • Them is fighting words @ShaWizDowArd. And one is a feature-request where the other one is a bug? .... meh
    – Bart
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 9:20
  • @Bart hmm... still think it's close enough but it isn't very important. Let them both live! :D Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 9:24
  • This isn't limited to Meta. I just closed this question as a duplicate of this one. The first one has the same "and already has an answer" wording, even though the second one has no answers. Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 22:17
  • @KeithThompson It isn't limited to Meta, but don't hold your breath for an answer -- I found this because there's a whole set of other questions from other people asking the same thing, closed as dupes, leading back here, and, of course, none of them has an answer either. Obviously the message from on high is "we do not care and don't bother asking again". Oh well oh well.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 23:40
  • @goldilocks there is actually official answer, but in a comment: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/179355/… Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 8:07

1 Answer 1


This was (mostly) implemented in March 2016. When the target question is unanswered, a different notice from the one you quote is now shown:

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Note that until May 2018, this suffered from a bug, in which it checked to see if the closed duplicate question had no answers, instead of the target, when deciding if this notice or the other one should be shown. However, it now properly checks the target question and changes the notice as appropriate.

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