I was surprised to find that duplicates can still garner upvotes and badges.

What is the motivation for this?

How should upvotes (and downvotes) on duplicates work, and influence rep?

  • 3
    I think that a better question would be "why do closed questions in general earn rep?" – Nissa Dec 8 '17 at 16:50
  • @CarInsurance, too true. But as Monica points out below, Dupes are a little different. – NH. Dec 8 '17 at 16:50
  • 3
    Lemme give you an upvote ;-) – user0042 Dec 8 '17 at 19:38

Because a well-asked duplicate question can act as a signpost to help people find the original question. If a search turns up the duplicate but not the original, it's helping.

Duplicates that are doing something useful should be able to receive votes. Duplicates that aren't doing anything useful should be deleted.


[Closed] is not treated like [Deleted] because it has not yet been determined if the question will be fixed (and re-opened) or eventually removed. Reputation is only removed after the content is deleted because (ideally) the post's usefulness is still to be determined. In the meanwhile, reputation earned is preserved.

Now in the case of [duplicate] questions, typically the question will never be deleted because the post provides more search opportunities to direct folks to the canonical thread. But in a textbook-ideal SE workflow, folks should also be either merging the duplicate answers with the original question, or moving the ones that are helpful… and deleting the rest.

That would leave the duplicate post answer-free so useful information is not hidden behind a [closed] banner. Everything should be gathered up into one canonical post with the best information rising to the top — that is happy-happy land in a well-ordered Stack Exchange world.


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