I was reviewing close votes on stackoverflow.com, in one question i found this kind of behavior and it's not allowing me to close the question.

enter image description here

What should be causing this? Any explanations?

Should i leave it open?
Should i edit it?
Should i skip it?

Any explanations are welcomed!

Thank you!

Edit: Now the question is closed! Why that popup appeared? How that question closed?

See Screenshot below:

enter image description here

  • I am only guessing, but it appears to say that it would end up in a circle of duplicates. Meaning: A duplicate of B. B duplicate of C. C duplicate of A.
    – Josh Mein
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:44
  • 2
    I don't know if it detects that deeply; But I've definitely seen these when the other you would mark as original has already been closed as a dupe of the one you are reviewing. This can happen when both have dupe close votes pending, and one of them is marked dupe first. Feb 27, 2014 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


Let's say Question A is in the review queue with a dupe close vote of Question B, and you get that message.

The basic explanation would be that both questions had dupe close votes of each other, but were not yet actually closed, at the same time. The votes can't be cast to dupe each other if one is already closed - but the votes can be cast until the closure has actually happened on one or the other.

So, while both had pending dupe close flags waiting, Question B was closed as dupe of Question A. But Question A still has the vote(s) for closure of B.

I'm not sure if it happens enough to be worth adjusting something, but that's the basic cause.

  • hmm thanks Andrew! Now it's little bit clear to me. But may be it will be adjusting something with each-other until one of them is closed. Feb 27, 2014 at 15:51
  • 1
    Infrequent as it may be, the error message is pretty...perplexing. If the system knows the questions in the "circle", might not it make sense to present a message that better leverages that knowledge? Something like "This question cannot be closed as a duplicate because (another question|question q) was marked as a duplicate of it and already closed as such."
    – J0e3gan
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:55
  • 1
    @J0e3gan Hmmm... I see your point definitely, but I've always thought the message that shows does get that point across. Feb 27, 2014 at 17:53

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