Early on it surprised me that questions marked as duplicate seem to still function normally. They can be answered, voted on, and commented on.

So what does happen when a question is marked as duplicate?

Clearly the 'duplicate' banner and a comment with a link to the duplicate are added.

Does anything else happen?


They can be commented and voted on, but they can't actually be answered. What you might be thinking of is the "possible duplicate" stage, where a person has suggested that it might be a duplicate, but the community hasn't yet confirmed it. It's just like casting a close vote (it is, in fact), except it's made public so that the user--assuming it is actually a duplicate--is given their answer more quickly.

The reason duplicates aren't (generally) deleted is so that they can act as sign-posts, directing further traffic to the original question. They can be commented on just like any other closed post, because people might say "hey! this isn't a duplicate, [here's why]." They can also be voted on, because just because something is a duplicate doesn't mean it's exactly the same in presentation or research. There's no good reason to lock a question just because it's been marked as a duplicate.

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