I have seen a few questions which have been marked as duplicate although they the questions have been asked before the question they are marked duplicate of.

For eg,

This question (I will call this as Q1) has been marked duplicate of this question (I will call it Q2). But as you can see that Q1 is asked a year before Q2, then how can it be flagged as a duplicate?

Another example -

Q1 and Q2 and the Q1 has been asked 2 years before Q2.

Isn't it necessary that the time of asking should be considered before marking a question as duplicate.

But also what I can see is that the newer question has better answers than the older ones. But this is unfair to the asker.

How should StackOverflow deal to such problems?

One solution of which I could think of is merging questions. I know that moderators have merging question permission but it's hardly used and according to me, it should be done on every question marked as duplicate.

So instead a marking a question as duplicate and closing it, merge the questions together. Older reputations earned by the question should be retained by the user while newer ones earned after merging the question should be retained by the person who asked the question earlier. This might probably work on all the questions marked as duplicate, so when a user clicks on link of question which is marked as duplicate, he should be redirected to the original question (message of redirection could be shown). Answers should be merged too.

This will prevent users from earning free reputation by rephrasing a question.

marked as duplicate by Martijn Pieters discussion Oct 2 '14 at 17:45

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.


If the new question have better answers, provide more information, the old one will be marked as dupe of it (and then maybe merged).

Taking your second example with first and second questions: answers on the first one do not provide much information, they are simply links. In the second one, you can see full answers (at least accepted one), they are better than in the first question.

If this happens, the first is marked as dupe of second.

  • Merging questions isn't that common. I hardly ever saw it. – Confuse Oct 2 '14 at 16:35
  • And isn't the new question asker getting free reps for asking a question which is actually dupe of older one? – Confuse Oct 2 '14 at 16:37
  • 1
    @Quan what do you mean by free reps? – nicael Oct 2 '14 at 16:39

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