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While doing my time in the review queue, this question (question A) came up as a possible duplicate, with this question (question B) cited as the "best original." Being a thorough person, I checked out question B and noted the following:

              A      B
          -------------
    topic:  very similar
pageviews:  ~13k   ~125k
    votes:   16     241
  answers:   5      12

I don't claim to be a JavaScript expert, but the top-voted answer to B seemed a lot more comprehensive and explanatory, as opposed to A's which was a basic "just do it this way." The answers also don't perfectly agree with each other, so I may be missing something that Crockford might catch, but overall B looks much better.

So, perfect reasons to close, right? Then I looked at the dates: A was asked May 6 '10 at 6:23, while B was asked Aug 2 '10 at 17:53 - three months later. And so my question: should we be marking something as a "duplicate" of another question even though it was asked first?

I think most would agree that B is the better question, has a more searchable title and text, has attracted more and higher-quality answers, and would probably be of better use to future visitors. But, A was asked first, so labeling it a dupe is problematic. There is nothing inherently wrong with the question, and depending on your personal preferences you may like its answer better.

So, with these doubts, I declined to vote for closure, and left a note for the initiator of the close process that s/he should check dates before marking dupes. I now see that other reviewers either didn't see the comment about the date discrepancy or didn't care, as the question is now on hold. I have nominated it to be re-opened, but figured I should bring the discussion here to get the community's view on things.

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  • This is the second duplicate for this topic today Oct 15, 2013 at 22:40

1 Answer 1

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Yes, if the new question has better answers than the old one.

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  • I'm not entirely sure it's such a clear-cut case, but since I'm not a JS expert I could be wrong...
    – MattDMo
    Oct 15, 2013 at 21:15
  • @Matt: I also believe the later question's top answer was better than the earlier one. Oct 15, 2013 at 23:54
  • The problem with doing that is you're penalizing the person who asked the question first, since duplicate questions factor into the question-ban formula. Mar 29, 2015 at 19:56

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