Earlier I noticed the question 12 v xbox connection on Electrical Engineering that is now a “Duplicate of…[deleted post]”. The question followed a pattern I've seen repeated many times:

  • User posts a poor quality question that is put on hold.

  • Rather than edit the original question (or read the rules) they post one or more new questions that are essentially the same.

  • Those all get closed as a duplicate of the first question.

The problem is that the original gets deleted by the Roomba but the other's don't because they are closed as duplicates. As mentioned in answers to the above question one alternative is to close with a different reason but that would need quite a bit of a culture change and I've noticed most diamond mods go down the duplicate path as well.

On smaller sites there's often a lack of users than can / do cast delete votes so I'd like to propose a change so that the Roomba would still go ahead and delete when other criteria are met and the question is a duplicate of another by the same user. For that matter I'm not sure that the same user check is needed, maybe duplicates of any deleted question should go because they tend to be annoying dead-ends when you find one.

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    Yes, double posts (duplicates of a post by the same user) should not be given the benefit of preservation that genuine duplicates have... Until this changes, the workaround is to downvote such posts: if they have negative score and no answer, they'll be deleted anyway. – user259867 Sep 10 '14 at 2:30
  • I sympathize with and support your feature-request. Recently, I was working in a similar/related subject, so will post it here to link our posts: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/322241/… – Andre Silva Jan 15 at 0:12

You describe an egregious case of this problem, but there are also other duplicates that are preserved while their dupe targets are deleted, so it would be nice if we could address the broader problem too.

Adding dupe-handling logic into the Roomba could get complicated. If we can make the "same user, dupe, deleted dupe target" case work then great, but maybe we could also have a way to find undeleted duplicates of deleted posts? It doesn't need to be new UI; it would be sufficient if we could search for something like:

duplicate:yes targetdeleted:yes

Users who can see deleted posts could then review these cases. Sometimes the answer might be to undelete (and fix?) the target; other times it might be to delete the duplicates; other times it might be to reopen the dupe. Very occasionally the answer might be to ask moderators for a merge. Let's find a way to let humans decide.

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