Imagine someone asks a typical gimme the codez question with no care or research or explanation. Just "how do I [common thing] in [language]?" And you happen to know that there's a pretty good question that has accumulated good answers over the years that answers this poor question.

There's no doubt the poor question should be closed. One argument is that it should be closed for not showing a minimal understanding, it can't be answered as-is, and the user should be taught that this isn't acceptable asking here on the SE network.

Another argument is that if we close it as a dupe right away, the asker will get what they want and that will make them like the site. Also there will be no effort put into editing the question into shape, reopening it etc. However I feel that some people worry this is rewarding bad behaviour.

I often see both such close votes on crummy questions. Do we have a consensus on which to use?

  • 7
    Duplicate over "minimal understanding" without a doubt. Duplicates provide information for everybody. "Minimal understanding" basically only says "not good enough".
    – Bart
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:01
  • 1
    You could show them that it's not good enough with comments/downvotes
    – StephenTG
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:01
  • 4
    IMO, closing as a dupe is less of a slap across the face for a new user. So be kind whenever possible. Closing as minimal understand conveys a bit of a, "You suck. Now go away." kind of a message.
    – Mysticial
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


I'm no voice for the community, but if the question can be identified as a duplicate, it should be closed as dupe. Duplicates help not only the OP, but also everyone else. And that's our mission right? Make the Internet better.

If I have that same question, and I look it up in Google, maybe my wording matches the low quality question, so Google shows that first. If I click, and am directed to the duplicate, I have a solution and I'm happy. If you get the dreaded "I found the exact question that should have the answer to my problem but it's closed", I'm right where I started.

Please close as duplicates.

  • 4
    +1 for closing as a dupe. I look at it this way: if the question is closed as off-topic and the user improves it to the point of it being on-topic, it is still likely a dupe. So why waste anybody's time on the intermediate steps if in the end it is going to be closed as a dupe?
    – chue x
    Aug 15, 2013 at 16:09

Closing and redirecting the duplicate is important in my point of view because if the OP is redirected to the original question this will also benefit the one who originally answered the question at the first instance.

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