Should questions that are marked as duplicate have their upvotes (not the total votes) set to halve of the original post's upvotes, if the dupe's total votes is more than the original's?

For example; I ask a duplicate question (A). My question (A), gets a total of 200 upvotes and a total of 50 downvotes; so my post (A) has 150 votes in total (upvotes - downvotes = total votes).

My question (A) is a duplicate of post B, which has a total of 150 upvotes and a total of 10 downvotes; so post B has 140 votes in total.

So if we were to implement this idea, my post (A), would have 75 upvotes (halve of B's upvotes), and 50 downvotes (same as before); giving my duplicate post a grand total of 25 votes instead of 150.

This way the original post: will always have more upvotes than the duplicate (which, well, just looks more natural), will help keep duplicates "lower" in the community (if that makes sense) & will help to discourage users from posting duplicates.

Anyway, this is just a suggestion. What do you think? Would this be helpful?

  • 6
    What does how well written a duplicate question B have to do with how well a question A is written? Oct 7, 2013 at 15:57
  • 3
    So then... your motivation behind this is that duplicates shouldn't have more votes than the questions they duplicate? That's not really a problem we care to solve.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Oct 7, 2013 at 15:58
  • Duplicate questions are less of a problem than answers on duplicate questions. A dup question is good to point to another question that might be worded better or that has a different title. But answering a dup now spreads answers out amongst multiple posts. We should reducing the incentive for answering dups, not asking them. Oct 7, 2013 at 15:59
  • @RichardTingle It's not how well written a post is, it's the fact that A is a dupe.
    – Sam
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:04
  • And? duplicates help create more markers to lead into the question. If the original was horribly written and impossible to search for and the new question is beautifully written and clear then all those good answers are more exposed. This is a good thing Oct 7, 2013 at 16:07
  • @RichardTingle Isn't this one of the reasons why we can edit poor posts?
    – Sam
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:12
  • You assume people search only one way, a question I answered could legitamately have had 3 different titles "Finding the intersection of two 3D polygons", "Polygon clipping algorithm in 3D" and "Finding the collision manifold between 2 colliding polygons". Very different search terms, not one good and 2 bad Oct 7, 2013 at 16:14
  • @RichardTingle Keep in mind that a very large percentage of duplicate posts aren't really well written and don't improve the visibility or searchability of the canonical question (i.e. don't use different terms). Some do, sure, but most don't. Not all duplicates are bad, but not all duplicates are good/helpful either.
    – Servy
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:14
  • @Servy And presumably the ones that aren't well written won't be upvoted (or else something completely seperate is broken) Oct 7, 2013 at 16:15
  • 2
    Wait, so under your suggested system, if I ask a question that's closed as a duplicate of this, my duplicate will immediately get 2923 upvotes? Oct 7, 2013 at 16:16
  • @RichardTingle True enough.
    – Servy
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:16
  • @RichardTingle Lets label good duplicate as "Markers", instead. ;)
    – Sam
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:27
  • @DavidRobinson Ok then, if the votes total is more than half of the original then it'll be capped.
    – Sam
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:28
  • 1
    So a duplicate of a question that got +100 can get up to +50, but a question that is a duplicate of a question that got +2 can get up to +1? Even though the two duplicates may be of equal quality? Oct 7, 2013 at 16:35
  • Then just flag the lower quality post as a duplicate.lol (just kidding) Yeah, you've caught me out, that would be a big problem with the idea. I'm stumped for words.
    – Sam
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


Duplicates are often hard to find, as such creating a well written duplicate that then points to the answers of the original can be a good thing. As such it can be rewarded.

Additionally given that duplicates can be hard to find it makes sense to treat a post as normal; upvoting well written, well researched questions. This encourages the kind of questions we want to see.

Finally the proposal as written could have bizarre effects; two questions are asked, one badly written but manages a +2, another is very well written and receives a +50. Later a duplicate of each is asked, both of high quality; arguably the duplicate of the badly written question adds more value that the duplicate of the well written question. Despite this the duplicate of the badly written question can only receive +1 while the duplicate of the well written question can receive +25.

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