I just came across this support request in the close-votes review queue, where it was proposed as a duplicate of this feature request. The answer to the support request is “no, you can’t do that”, and the feature request is to be able to do that.

On the one hand, you could argue that a support request can't duplicate a feature request; they're asking for different things, and the close reason is exact duplicate. On the other hand, if the answer is no, the person looking for support (either the OP or readers to come later) is probably going to want to head over to the feature request next, so perhaps this is expeditious.

In this situation, should we close as a duplicate even though they’re different types, or should we leave an answer saying “no you can’t” and link to the feature request?

  • Side note: The close reason is not exact duplicate anymore for a long time. The word exact only survives in meta tags.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jun 29, 2015 at 8:07
  • Ah, thanks -- I hadn't had the "exact" there at first, then went looking for tags, then added that because of the tag. Oops. Jun 29, 2015 at 13:08

3 Answers 3


should we close as a duplicate even though they’re different types, or should we leave an answer saying “no you can’t” and link to the feature request?

I think we should be duping when it's appropriate, as a dupe link is more substantial/prominent than an answer. An answer could be below other higher voted answers without the link.

However, I don't believe there is a definitive answer to your question regarding "should we dupe when different types", as each scenario is very different, and decisions are case-by-case based on the specific questions and answers.

So as it's such a minefield with varying opinions and scenarios, I don't think we can discuss here to get a golden rule as to when to dupe or not if the mandatory tags are different.

When reviewing (on Meta) I do take into account when a proposed dupe has different mandatory tags, however that is never a deciding factor alone.
I sometimes choose to close or leave open based on different mandatory tags, but only in conjunction with the two questions' scopes, answers, and what the overall aims of both questions are.

The general rule on Stack Exchange sites is:

If another question does or could answer this question, it is a dupe

However this is not really true for Meta, mainly because we have discussions.

For example:
I've seen a asking why something is X with an answer from Staff explaining why it's like that and why it won't ever change.

So it can be argued that a is therefore pointless as staff have already stated it won't change, so duping the feature-request to the discussion is okay, as the answer on the discussion answers the feature-request.

And some users will close as dupe based on the above.

However, it is also arguable that although the feature-request is answered in the discussion question, an open feature-request might still be viable as there may be some brilliant ideas, and with votes and counter arguments, the staff might re-think and implement the change.
Which is less likely to happen on the discussion question because its scope, and therefore the discussion is about "Why is this like that", not "should we/can we change this".

And so some users will vote to leave open based on the above.

So, users vote differently, and for very different reasons, and differently on different scenarios and questions, with or without taking into account mandatory tags.

As such, we can only discuss specific examples really.

Regarding your example

I voted to close on the example questions you linked to, and the discussion question closed as dupe is essentially:

How do I track voting activity on meta sites which do not give rep, as there is no notification?

The answer to that question is simply:

You cannot.

It's useful to send any users with the same request for info to a feature-request proposing to implement what they want, because they get the same info from the feature request plus more.

Being linked to the feature-request, they:

  • Are told it is not possible
  • Can be involved in trying to make it possible
  • Can see any updates by staff for the potential implementation of their requirement
  • Won't make a (dupe) feature-request themselves

Whereas the discussion question not being duped, they are simply told:

You cannot


No, we should not close support questions as duplicate of feature requests. A support request may be fulfilled without adding a feature to the site, e.g., if someone develops a userscript later, or a 3rd party provides the functionality sought.

Although answers with alternative client-side solutions are sometimes posted under feature requests, they may get lost among popular answers that are arguing for or against the feature. Keeping the support question open allows them to be in their own place, instead of intruding on the discussion of a request.

  • A support request may be fulfilled without adding a feature to the site – or in this case by telling the user that checking all their posts manually is probably the best (though admittedly unsatisfying) way to do this.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jun 29, 2015 at 8:12
  • 2
    It is common for a user script to be an answer to a feature request, so I don't think that argument is a strong case Jun 29, 2015 at 9:08
  • @psubsee2003 I do recognize that, and address it in the second paragraph. It's not optimal when the best available client-side solution is in an answer near the bottom, because the higher voted answers present popular arguments for why the feature should not be implemented.
    – user259867
    Jun 29, 2015 at 19:06

I think it's normally fine to close them as dups.

For example, yesterday I voted to close this question asking about how to ignore/block users as a duplicate of this feature request that asks for a feature to ignore/block users.

Needless to say, feature-request questions should not be closed as dups of support questions, like probably never.

Should older support questions be closed as duplicates of newer feature-request questions? I don't see any problem with that. Would help to keep things organized, since when people find out the answer is "you can't do that" or "we don't have that", they may think of asking a feature-request question. So might as well point them to it in the duplicate right away.

With that said, I'm sure there's probably some cases where they shouldn't be closed as dups, just have to use best judgement.

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