Just now I was looking at this question:


It is true that is a very frequent question, there are similar ones very easy to find.

The problem is that now this question contains a single answer, and this answer is not very complete.

So, I wonder if it will not be a good idea:

a) allow the possibility to add more links to the duplication flag.

b) remove existing answers.

  • But the answers on dupes aren't always bad... Why default delete potentially good answers?
    – Catija StaffMod
    May 23 '15 at 22:39
  • Could someone be so kind to clarify me if the big amount of downvote is because this is not the place to open a discussion about stackoverflow functionality? I though this was the place for this kind of subjects, but it is obvious this is not my place. May 24 '15 at 8:54
  • @pasabaporaqui voting can be different on meta. Take a look here. Even though your post isn't tagged as a feature request, people are likely interpreting it as a feature, and some may be downvoting due to disagreement May 24 '15 at 9:07

While I understand your issue, the idea isn't practical. The whole point to duplicates to try to direct users to good answers for the same issue, not delete content simply because someone decided it was a duplicate.

Sure, you would solve the problem of bad answers posted to duplicate questions. But what other "problems" would you be solving:

  • Someone posts a decent answer to a question and it is closed as a duplicate 3 years later after amassing 1000+ upvotes. Why should that answer be deleted simply because the question was closed as a duplicate?
  • Someone mistakenly closes as a question as a duplicate. Should the answers be deleted?
  • An older question (with a good answer) is marked as a duplicate of a newer question because the newer question had a better answer.
  • A user answers a question because he doesn't know it is a duplicate (and it is marked as a duplicate at some point in the future). While the answer may not be significantly better than the duplicate, it doesn't suck.

And there a lot of other variations on the same theme. But the answer would still be the same. People answer duplicates. It might because they want to get easy upvotes, it might be because they didn't know it was a duplicate, it might because someone decided it was a duplicate well after the question was answered. Regardless of "why", the short answer is the same.... why should we deprive the community of these useful answers simple because someone thought it was a duplicate.

Rather than automatically deleting good content to prevent the occasional bad answer, maybe you should just deal with the bad answer. The solution for bad answers hasn't changed in 7 years..... downvote crap.

In regards to your other idea about adding additional links, they system already does that in a way. In the "Linked" section of the sidebar, all posts that are linked as duplicates to the question you are looking at will appear there.

enter image description here

While it is not in the question itself, it is a handy way to scan through all of the duplicate and linked questions.

Trying to add them to the question itself is going to be messy. There are 55 linked questions. While not all are doing to be duplicates, a majority probably are. Even if it is just 25 questions that are actually marked as duplicates, how would you design a user interface to hold 25 links without appearing too messy.

The example I used above may not be the norm, it is certainly not unusual. There are plenty of questions with dozens of duplicates, so it will come up more than enough to be a problem.

  • Thanks a lot for the answer. What about allow to add more links to the "duplicated" message?. May 24 '15 at 8:55
  • @pasabaporaqui all linked questions are already in the sidebar May 24 '15 at 8:57
  • The cases you presented, all them perfectly reasonable, points to the posibility of join two questions or create something like "supra" questions. May 24 '15 at 8:59
  • About comment from @psusee2003: yes, but I can add more links after close due to duplication? In order to provide a more complete list of references. May 24 '15 at 9:01
  • @pasabaporaqui moderators can already merge questions, but it is a messy process. And adding links to the question body is probably not ideal. Adding them as comments is probably better. Ultimately, it looks like you are trying to find a better way to group duplicate questions so you can find all of the answers to the duplicated questions more easily. I'm pretty sure there has been some discussion on that in the past, so try looking for it first, but if you have a concrete idea, you can try a new feature request to implement it. May 24 '15 at 9:12

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