When I was doing vote cast for Close Votes that time I have found that a question is marked as Duplicate with a question which has negative scores.

So here is raising some questions:

  1. Is it is good to mark a question as Duplicate with reference of negative score question?
  2. A question which does not have answer, should be refer for marking Duplicate for other question?
  3. Is there any Standard or FAQ for Duplicate question marking?
  4. What should do if we have found such any scenario?

I want clarification regarding these questions so please provide your answer in descriptively.

  • 1
    The answer would depend on a number of things: If OP asks the same question and the latter is marked as a duplicate of the negatively scored question, then it's perfect. There might be other scenarios where it would be ok too.
    – devnull
    Apr 8, 2014 at 9:43
  • @devnull can you please give some more scenarios. Apr 8, 2014 at 9:44
  • Can you cite the specific example?
    – devnull
    Apr 8, 2014 at 9:45
  • @devnull like a question with downvote and have no answer is eligible to refer for duplication for other question just for it has been ask before. Apr 8, 2014 at 9:47
  • 2
    I believe question without upvoted/accepted answers cannot be referred for dupe, or is it the other way around? Apr 8, 2014 at 10:20

2 Answers 2


Is it is good to mark a question as Duplicate with reference of negative score question?

The quality of the question is irrelevant to whether or not the post is a duplicate. The point of duplicates is to point a user to answers that should address his/her problem.

A question which does not have answer, should be refer for marking Duplicate for other question?

This is not permitted. In order to close a question as a duplicate of another question, it must have an upvoted or accepted answer. The only exception is when the OP of both questions is the same. The reason is that it is not uncommon for someone to repost a question that didn't get any answers or was closed or heavily downvoted, so the ability to close those types of duplicates is necessary to keep the site clean.

Meta sites are also exempt from the "requiring an answer" rule. The reason for this exemption is to deal with frequent repeatedly asked feature-requests and discussions, and also bug reports in general. It is not uncommon for Meta questions to never get an answer (for various reasons), so if the requirement was in force, it would be much more difficult to close questions. Having multiple posts with the same topic only splits the discussion and makes it more difficult for the SE team to track problems and issues.

Is there any Standard or FAQ for Duplicate question marking?

Not really, at least not from the perspective you are asking for. This is because interpretation of the close reasons can vary based on the individual, so there is no one true guide. For example, some people think that the questions need to be exact duplicates before it should be closed. Others feel that as long as the answers address the problem and the questions are very similar, then it is good enough.

What should do if we have found such any scenario?

I think this is pretty much addressed in the response to your other questions, but in short you do nothing different than you would do for any duplicate question.

Now you ask what if none of the answers on a duplicate question doesn't address then problem, is it still a duplicate. That is somewhat of a gray area as everyone is going to intepret that differently, but in general, the close message on duplicates covers this:

marked as duplicate by <5 random people> 2 hours ago

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.

So if the answers are not sufficient, you are invited to ask a new question. What this means is if this is your question and the duplicate target question has answers that don't address your problem, you need to address why the question is not a duplicate by editing that explanation into your question. Such an edit would put the question into the reopen queue so other 3K users can vote to reopen it if they feel the explanation accurate covers why it isn't a duplicate.

  • The whole "This is not permitted.." paragraph isn't true for Meta. Here we can close as duplicate of any question, including questions without any answers. Apr 8, 2014 at 12:05
  • @ShadowWizard this is concern of mine that this is not correct way. there should be something else. Apr 8, 2014 at 12:07
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard I forgot about the Meta except, I will note that. Apr 8, 2014 at 12:15
  • @BrokenHeartღ looks like you commented in the wrong answer, anyway I don't really agree. Feel free to suggest a change, but I don't think it will be very popular. Apr 8, 2014 at 12:15
  • @ShadowWizard I don't have idea that how to suggest any change here. can you please let me know. Apr 8, 2014 at 12:30
  • @Brok new question tagged feature-request and explaining what exactly you want to change and why. Remember, if I understand what you want I fear you might get lots of disagreement meaning downvotes, but it's your choice. Apr 8, 2014 at 12:38
  • @ShadowWizard hmm thanks for advice and suggestion. This is really valuable knowledge for me. Apr 8, 2014 at 12:47

A duplicate is a duplicate, and that shouldn't be influenced by whether or not the original question had a negative or positive score. If the question has been asked previously, it's a duplicate.

If the person who asked the duplicate feels the answers to the original question aren't sufficient, they can always put a bounty on the question and see if that draws some new answers.

  • If any user doesn't have sufficient points or OP is a new user then how such user can start a bounty? Apr 8, 2014 at 10:12
  • In that case, they can't. But that doesn't mean they can ignore the rules and post duplicate questions, either. That does present a bit of a connundrum, although I'm sure in practice it's actually quite rare. Apr 8, 2014 at 10:17
  • I think in that case the older question should be marked as duplicate or delete such question. what you think? Apr 8, 2014 at 10:19
  • 1
    @BrokenHeartღ low rep user can always ask high rep user (via comments, or chat) to place a bounty. Older question can be closed as dupe of newer question only if the newer question got better answers. Apr 8, 2014 at 12:10

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