Occasionally I see a question marked as a duplicate of some other question, but that other question has disappeared. For example, " https://stackoverflow.com/questions/829338/online-time-logging-tool " is marked as a duplicate with links to "How do you track your hours?" and "Best tools for time tracking?", but when I click on those links, both of them give me a "Page Not Found" error.

How can a question be a duplicate of some other question, when that other question does not exist?

What should I do about such "duplicate" questions after the other question has disappeared?


That question (at the time of your meta post) isn't actually closed as a duplicate. Someone just went and edited the question with their own manual box at the top stating it's a duplicate. Those linked questions also happened to be deleted a while (several years) later.

A question can't be marked as a duplicate of a deleted question, and there are some ways of trying to find questions closed as a duplicate of a deleted question (so they can be resolved in some way) but since these questions aren't actually closed, they slipped through the cracks.

If you can find an undeleted duplicate, feel free to flag for closure.

  • Or maybe that was from the old days where closing a question as a duplicate edited the actual post body instead of marking it in the database. I've seen a few question like that during my time here. – Cole Johnson Jan 15 '14 at 20:07
  • @ColeJohnson It's not. They look different from what's seen here, and those edits aren't attributed to a real user either. There was a time before even that feature of automatic editing was put in place. Way, way back when users would manually edit in boxes like this (hence the origin of the feature of doing it automatically). That is what's going on here. – Servy Jan 15 '14 at 20:08

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