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This topic has been raised previously on individual site metas, but I observed it as an issue on main Meta as well.

Ordinarily, holders of gold tag badges have the privilege of "dupe-hammer" (binding VTC vote as a duplicate) on questions that have a tag they have the gold badge in.

The rationale for the privilege is that, for a subject matter tag, having a gold badge is indication of subject matter expertise, and thus likelihood that the holder is expert enough to figure out if something within said area of expertise is a duplicate.

However, this rationale breaks completely for meta-tag on Meta sites. There are no "experts" in "discussion", as a subject matter topic, and therefore nobody is 5 times more qualified than an average VTC-privileged community member to decide whether something is a duplicate just because it is tagged as .

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    The expertise is being bludgeoned from seeing the same requests and topics rehashed but with a new timestamp and different words – random Oct 14 '16 at 14:44
  • @random - as a gold tag badge holder, I am well aware of the huge difference between "being bludgeoned by same topics" and being able to distinguish between truly different questions and ones that merely touch on the same topic. Having had to fix errorneous dupehammering before (and been wrong myself, for that matter) I see dupehammer as a tool that needs deep understanding and judicious use. The former seems unlikely for "discussion" tag, no matter how experienced a Meta user is. – DVK Oct 14 '16 at 15:25
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    I agree that it's lots of power, e.g. by now I can close about 80% questions here as duplicate (all except bugs), but I want to believe I'm using this power for good use, saving time for the moderators (SE employees in this case) and for other users. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Oct 14 '16 at 17:59
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Of course they should have that privilege. They have shown he has a track record of 'knowledge' in the subject, discussion or not.

When closing a discussion question as duplicate of another one you use the very same rules as you would vote to close a programming question on Stack Overflow, so there is really no difference. Why would Meta be different?

Having the C# gold tag badge on Stack Overflow doesn't make me an expert in every subject discussed under the tag. I should have enough knowledge to see when a question within my expertise is a duplicate or not. When in doubt, I simply don't vote to close.

If a user makes a mistake, as it does happen everywhere, just a few votes are necessary to correct the mistake.

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  • in what way is it useful? (I'm genuinely curious). – DVK Oct 14 '16 at 15:24
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    In your first sentence you talk about your observations. I was curious if those were fact-based or inspired by a bad experience. – Patrick Hofman Oct 14 '16 at 15:25
  • @ptrick - I'm too lazy to bother with Data Exchange query to offer precise counts, but I assure you that I saw far more than 1 example of dupehammer used on "discussion" tag on main Meta. So it is most certainly fact based. – DVK Oct 14 '16 at 15:28
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    But since when does that quality as an "issue"? – Patrick Hofman Oct 14 '16 at 15:29
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    it's an issue because it offers too much power for wrong reasons, not necessarily because the closures themselves are incorrect. But if you want a list of incorrect dupehammers, I can offer ones from my practical experience as gold badge tag holder on actual SME badge, both as perpetrator and more frequently, as observer/fixer. – DVK Oct 14 '16 at 15:32

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