On Programmers we have the following question:

What is the minimum subset of best/well-known practices in software development for a solo programmer?

Which had been closed as a duplicate of this (now deleted) question:


The first question was closed on May 6 '13 at 15:24, while the duplicate target was deleted on May 27 '13 at 14:57 (by a single moderator vote as it happens, but that's not the point).

By allowing the deletion we are creating broken links for the vast majority of users who can't see deleted posts.

At the very least there should be a warning presented when people try to vote to delete and a message to check the links on the right. It could be that these other questions need to be deleted as well but they should be deleted first before the target is deleted.

  • Generally the solution here is that the duplicates should be deleted as well, not that the duplicate target should be kept around. That the same worthless question is asked twice, instead of once, isn't reason to keep it around. – Servy Mar 6 '14 at 15:24
  • @Servy - that may be true. I'm open to suggestions. – ChrisF Mod Mar 6 '14 at 15:24
  • Looking for the relevant post now, there was a related suggestion a few weeks back – Servy Mar 6 '14 at 15:25
  • @Servy - the post you discovered does in fact cover the same ground as this. – ChrisF Mod Mar 6 '14 at 15:38

Agreed. The whole point of closing as a duplicate is that the answer is to direct the user to an existing answer. Having a deleted dupe target makes that moot.

I would suggest, in order to make it reasonably possible for users to delete (much as I hate to enable the deletionists on old questions) that there be back-links from the root post to the questions that prevent it from being deleted. Those wishing to delete the post in question can go delete the tree from the leaves in.

Mods should, of course, have the option to nuke any dependent posts from the root.

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