When I read about Stack Overflow or the Stack Exchange network in various other places on the internet, a lot of it are complaints about the moderation. There is one specific complaint I see a lot, and that is that questions are wrongly closed as duplicates.
Getting their question closed as a duplicate should actually make users happy, it is in many cases an even better response than an direct answer. A proper closure as an exact duplicate means there is already a hopefully excellent answer to their question, and we just told them where to find it. And a frequent duplicate target is likely to be a much better answer than something a user wrote quickly just for the new question.
But it does seem that users are often not happy to have their questions closed as a duplicate. While I suspect that the extent of complaints I've seen about this exaggerates the problem, I have seen a fair share of overzealous and careless duplicate closures, that aren't actually exact duplicates.
There is a way to get your question reopened, by editing it and putting it into the reopen queue. But that is not obvious or transparent to new users in any way.
What I propose is to show the asker a dialog similar to the existing one shown for questions with duplicate close votes that are still open, where the user can short-circuit the voting and close the question immediately. The user would have two options in this case for their closed question:
- Great, the duplicate answers my question. Thanks!
- The duplicate does not answer my question, my question is actually different, please reopen it.
If the user clicks on the option challenging the closure, it probably makes sense to also require them to edit it at that point and clarify how it is different from the duplicate. And then the question would be put into the reopen queue.
I've no idea how often this would be misused for proper duplicate closures. But then, this feature would also provide us with statistics about how many of these closures are perceived as wrong by the askers, and what the community thinks about those and whether they are reopened.