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I wanted to flag a question X as a duplicate of question Y. The latter had been posted a few days earlier. However, question Y didn't get upvoted or any accepted answer, so when I tried to flag it says "This question does not have an upvoted or accepted answer" and I cannot flag the question. Does this mean it is OK to post a duplicate of a question that didn't get upvoted or any accepted answer?

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    Well will that similar(duplicate) question be able to help the person asking the second question if it doesn't have an accepted answer? If you close the question then the person has to rely on the old question getting new attention to solve the problem.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 19:37
  • In this case, yes the similar(duplicate) question is able to help the person asking the second question as it contained interesting ideas. In fact, it could almost have been posted as an answer. I added links to those two questions in my meta question as a matter of example. Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 19:39
  • While that may be true in this case there are many other cases where you can find an older question that was not answered and would not help the person asking the new question. So at least in my opinion it is better to only be able to flag a question as a duplicate if it has an accepted answer.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 19:46
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    So if someone sees an old post with no answer/upvote he can simply rephrase and repost? Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 19:55
  • What about bumping the old question?
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 20:24
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    I'd expect it to be fine to re-ask the question if you aren't the same person who asked the previous one. If your question then gets answered, you could go back and mark the old question as a duplicate of yours. (assuming the two questions actually are duplicates)
    – Kevin B
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 21:24
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    Question A could always be closed as a duplicate of Question B should B get some useful activity - don't be bogged down by trivial details like which question came first.
    – slugster
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 21:37
  • Just because there is a similar question out there doesn't mean it will have all the information needed for solving the problem that the new poster has and it wouldn't be fair to have them edit the old question.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 22:25
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    FWIW, this "feature" seems silly to me. Here are two Qs (1, 2) by two different users the same day. They are duplicates IMO, but even if you don't think so, let's assume so for the sake of this discussion. Why shouldn't one of them be proposed to be closed as a duplicate? What's the logic behind keeping open multiples of the same question, and why does it matter whether one of them has an upvoted answer?
    – Drew
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 0:04
  • The related request we-should-be-able-to-close-questions-as-duplicates-of-any-question Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 20:38

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Leaving aside the general principles, the two specific questions you've linked to are not duplicates. This one is asking why he sees people under the Mutual Friends section despite having no friends at all (and thus clearly no friends in common with anybody), whereas this one is asking how Suggested Friends are generated. It's not obvious that there's any overlap at all between the two questions, but even if it happens that there is, simply closing as a duplicate without explanation won't cut it: that overlap will need to be explained via an answer.

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  • I don't think the OP sees people under the Mutual Friends. At least he doesn't say so explicitly. He just says that as he "was searching, some people were mutual friends". I agree, it's not clear. Anyway, for the sake of this meta question, let's assume they are duplicates. Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 19:57

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