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So we have a few questions on similar scenarios on meta, but generally the answer seems to have been 'mark as dupe'.

In this case, a user has created multiple account sand asked the same question twice. Normally we'd be able to mark the question as a duplicate when the user is the same, but since this user has two different accounts, the normal rules of duplicates get applied and it requires one of them to be answered.

Question 1 - https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/52452/uk-visitors-visa-refusal-reapply Question 2 - Reapplying for a UK Standard Visitor visa after a refusal

It looks like people have started trying to close under other reasons, but yeah, at present, even though it's clear to all involved, there's no way to close as duplicate until one is answered - which could be a day, or it could be months.

Surely this is a case that needs addressing? I get that we don't allow dupes when there's no answers, but perhaps if it's the same user, it should be allowed?

  • Are you sure the two question were by the same user? – James Aug 9 '15 at 17:18
  • @James, yes, both posted by travel.stackexchange.com/users/32667/april - even checked the usernumber – Mark Mayo Aug 9 '15 at 17:19
  • @animuson - odd edit, it's the same account, not multiple accounts, unless I'm missing something? – Mark Mayo Aug 9 '15 at 17:28
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    @MarkMayo I've since merged them all together. They weren't the same accounts, and they had different Gravatars. – animuson Aug 9 '15 at 17:29
  • @animuson I take it they both said April though? Otherwise I'm confused how we've been thinking it's the same user all day (apart from the obvious same question). – Mark Mayo Aug 9 '15 at 17:35
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I get that we don't allow dupes when there's no answers, but perhaps if it's the same user, it should be allowed?

That's how it is supposed to work already; if the system isn't allowing it, then that's a bug.

In this case, the problem was caused by something else: the users were not the same... At first. The person behind them created at least three different accounts while trying to post; those have now been merged, but when you were voting to close the system still saw them as distinct users.

In situations like this, it's best to get a moderator involved - they can not only close (or better yet, just delete) the posts, they can also delete the unnecessary accounts and direct the author to instructions for registering or merging as necessary.

  • One has been deleted now, but we were getting the 'can only mark as a duplicate for questions with answers' or whatever that wording is. – Mark Mayo Aug 9 '15 at 17:16
  • Doesn't look like it was the exact same user. Same person, perhaps, but multiple profiles. There were some merges about 20 minutes ago. – Adam Lear Aug 9 '15 at 17:20
  • It gave me a popup that faded out; very similar in style like the one where you try to vote twice or something like that – Gayot Fow Aug 9 '15 at 17:22
  • @AnnaLear ahh, that explains the recent edit above to my question... – Mark Mayo Aug 9 '15 at 17:28
  • @Shog9 "best to get a moderator involved" - yes, we'd already flagged it a while ago. But it seemed odd we couldn't dupe them. Now it makes some sense, although it's still frustrating that high level users who have some sense can't close them as dupes :/ – Mark Mayo Aug 9 '15 at 17:37
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    @MarkMayo I bumped into similar issue two days ago. I flagged for moderator to take care of strange user accounts and suggested questions merge in case if accounts have to stay separate for some reason. Besides that, I also simply commented the post pointing out that there is an identical question, so that regular users could see it while my flag is waiting for moderator review – gnat Aug 9 '15 at 17:42

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