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In some cases, I find some question titles followed by [Duplicate], I am trying to know if Stack Exchange merges the duplicate questions later or not? If yes, why? If no why?

8

There is no automated system that merge duplicates, but moderators can merge questions manually. This is rare, but still in use.

I don't think this should become automatic, duplicates are good as they are, and sometimes there are subtle differences so different set of answers is good.

If you do see a question with good answers which is closed as duplicate of other question also with good answers, you can just flag the question and ask a moderator to merge.

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  • I prefer to merge duplicate question. This help stack exchange to be more professional – Mike Darwish Oct 3 '17 at 18:00
  • @Mike not really, see the other answer with better explanation as to why. (the part with breadcrumbs.) – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Oct 3 '17 at 19:28
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Merging is messy.

In a few cases it's handy, but having duplicates leading back to a canonical question leaves a set of breadcrumbs to the canonical question. In some cases it's actually possible to distinguish a 'dupe' from the original enough for it to be a standalone question.

As a moderator, practically speaking unless I somehow find 2 posts with the same question, and utterly fantastic yet distinct answers, I won't even consider merging. I think I've done less than 2-3 merges in my time as a mod.

It's also really hard to undo a merge. Having oversight from a human means at least we have people thinking hard - both from the perspective of "whether this is actually a dupe" and "whether merging is worth it". Its often worth a hard think and discussions before doing it.

As such? Its a useful tool in very rare cases, but for most part dupes pointing at a master question works well enough, so we rarely merge.

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  • In what cases did you merge questions? – Donald Duck Oct 3 '17 at 17:27
  • I don't even remember the last time I did - probably as a newbie mod. – Journeyman Geek Oct 3 '17 at 22:52

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