Whenever a new feature is announced by the SE team, it's typical for people to report bugs and request features by posting answers to the announcement. However, it often happens that some people who also come across the same bug or have the same feature idea don't notice the prior answer (probably since it's buried in answers) post the same thing as a new question.

If that happens, should that question be closed as a duplicate of the announcement, since it was already requested as an answer there, or should it be left open?

Personally, I disagree with closing them as duplicates (since you can only really close something as a duplicate of a question, not an answer, and there's no way to cleanly provide a link to the specific answer where it was requested earlier), but I've noticed others doing so on other metas. I'd like to see if the community thinks any differently.

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    If you disagree and think that they shouldn't be closed as duplicates, feel free to explain why in an answer. If you believe that there is something missing in this question that needs clarification, please explain so that I can improve my question. Jul 12, 2019 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, we should close these questions as duplicates, for the simple reason that it's best to keep information in one place. When the company chooses to elicit feedback related to a certain new feature as answers to a question (which does have its merits; the entire 'discussion' around a certain topic is centralized, and the front page isn't flooded with 20+ questions – remember the Documentation mess on Meta Stack Overflow?), we should stick to that format. Is that an abuse of the Q&A format? Maybe, but Meta itself isn't 100% Q&A either, except for questions.

The FAQ states:

Questions may be duplicates if they have the same (potential) answers. This includes not only word-for-word duplicates, but also the same idea expressed in different words.

The 'answer' in this case is an employee who slaps a (or one of the other status tags) on the feedback. It doesn't really matter if the feedback is in the form of a question or an answer.

and there's no way to cleanly provide a link to the specific answer where it was requested earlier

That's a valid concern, but I think a comment linking to the answer suffices. Those used to be auto-deleted after closing the question as a duplicate, but that's no longer the case.

  • How about if it's in the reverse order: someone posts a question about it, and then someone else posts an answer? Should the answer be deleted, or the question ex post facto closed as a duplicate? Jul 12, 2019 at 14:52
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    I have commented on such questions before, asking the author to post an answer to the announcement instead; that seems reasonable. (I'm not sure if I've actually voted to close such questions.) If another user posts the same 'idea' as an answer meanwhile (maybe even without seeing the question at hand), that's unfortunate but I guess unavoidable.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jul 12, 2019 at 14:56

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