The questions Why does Meta Stack Exchange have privileges that don't have any effect? and Meta Meta Privilege were both marked as duplicates.

However, one of them has a different "marked as duplicate" notice below from the other. The first says "This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question", and the other one says "This question has been asked before and already has an answer".

I thought that maybe the messages were different because one of the questions is mine and the other one isn't as explained at Why are there two different duplicate post notices?, so I logged out and saw that there were still two different messages:

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

There are two differences that I noticed. First of all, the first one was closed by someone who had a gold badge in one of the question's tags, whereas the other one was closed by five normal users. Second of all, the first closure is much more recent than the other one. Is the reason to the different wording one of these? Or is there another reason?

Why are there two different duplicate notices? What is the difference between them?

This is not a duplicate of What decides what to prepend the duplicate question list with on a duplicate question?, as that question asks about the link to the target question above, while mine asks about the "marked as duplicate" notice below.

  • @hichris123 The answer of the other question didn't really answer my question. It says that the "exact duplicate" message is only used when the question is close as a duplicate of a question which doesn't have any upvoted answers, but "Why does Meta Stack Exchange have privileges that don't have any effect?" is closed as an "exact duplicate" of a question which has an answer with a score of 12, and "Meta Meta Privilege" is closed as a duplicate of a question which also has an answer with score of 12. Jan 29, 2017 at 22:21
  • 1
    See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/197452/… - pretty sure it got the chain of duplicate/target mixed up.
    – hichris123
    Jan 29, 2017 at 22:22
  • @hichris123 Yes, that makes more sense. However, since the answer contains mistakes, I'm not sure if I should edit the existing answer or post my own answer. Could you please tell me which is more appropriate? Jan 29, 2017 at 22:26

2 Answers 2


This was caused by a fix for this bug a couple of years back: prior to that point, the lower banner text would always say "already has an answer", while the upper banner (the one that lists the originals along with the number of answers for each) would change from "exact duplicate" to "already has an answer" based on whether there was at least one upvoted answer to at least one of the target questions.

That fix was supposed to fix the bottom banner so it would also show "exact duplicate" when the same case applied for the top banner. That, unfortunately, looked at the closed duplicate question instead of the targets.

As of today, both banners rely on the same test: if at least one of the linked "originals" has at least one non-deleted, positively-scored answer... Then both banners will indicate this via the text "already has an answer".


Per Shog9:

The former notice is shown on unanswered questions. The latter one is shown on questions with answers. It's supposed to check the target question instead, so that the notice makes sense based on whether or not the target has answers; that it checks the closed question instead is a bug.

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