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I've seen the behavior on occasion and are a bit curious of the ruling. How can a post be marked as a duplicate of post which wasn't there at the time of the original post? The most recent example I've seen is this:

Why does Stack Exchange require you to click to be turned down?

Posted February 12 and marked as a duplicate of

Why are vote buttons on Stack Exchange shown when they can't be used?

Posted March 14.

I'm told its because the second post had better answers. I'm curious if this is correct. Shouldn't the answers on the later question be merged to the first one, which is the original one?

marked as duplicate by Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard, michaelb958, Hugo Dozois, Josh Crozier, Martijn Pieters Mar 18 '14 at 0:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Duplicates are chosen for many reasons: Which one is asked better? Has Better answers? More Votes? More Views? You'll notice that 'date' isn't one of the criteria anymore (though years ago, it was). – George Stocker Mar 17 '14 at 20:55
  • Already discussed many times, found what appears to be the best in the chain - not the oldest but with best answers. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Mar 17 '14 at 22:24
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Who is better off if we direct future visitors away from the question with quality answers and to the question without as high a quality of answers?

Why does a question being asked first mean it should remain open?

You should always keep whatever question is most valuable open, and close any duplicates as duplicates. If there are multiple questions with valuable content, then the posts should be merged. Again, here whichever post is more valuable should have the other post's content merged into it. Keep around what is of the highest quality, not what is the oldest.

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