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The existing system of "possible duplicate" comments is not perfect. One of the problems with it is that quite often it requires experience and research to understand that two questions share the same root cause. But even then, the OP becomes busy to clear their name from the accusation, instead of learning from the linked answers.

I believe that "duplicate" is not a derogatory term. A few duplicates will not harm the asker. It may actually help discoverability of the original question (search keywords may not be same for the two). There are often big "stems" of duplicate questions on SO that look at the same general problem from slightly different angles, and by seeing the whole cluster, the person who comes to ask a new question may understand that the answer is already published.

This question was inspired by a conversation that luckily resolved in a good spirit, except the question has not yet achieved the mandatory 5 votes to get closed.

  • One of the few implications though is that duplicate questions are most always heavily downvoted, most of the times even after beeing marked as such. Many members correlate having asked a duplicate question with lack of due dilligence on the part of the author, and downvote such heavily for this reason. – Magisch Nov 6 '15 at 13:59
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    This is not what I see in the fields of my interest. Many questions marked as duplicates are voted higher than the originals. One of the factors may be that the OP succeeded to describe the issue in a more concise language, or used a keyword that is more likely to pop up in search. – Alex Cohn Nov 6 '15 at 14:04
  • speaking from someone browsing mostly the cand vba language tags on SO, I've yet to see an upvoted duplicate that was made after I joined. – Magisch Nov 6 '15 at 14:05

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