Basically, add a new question view: Common. This would contain questions that have had both 10 or more upvotes and have 1 or more other questions closed as duplicates.


I suspect some at least can be avoided by adding the "Common" view for questions and a note in the FAQ to direct users to it.


2 Answers 2


It won't change much. There's already a list of possible duplicates shown when asking a question and it's completely ignored by some. Adding a common list won't change much, it will only add clutter. Also, on a site like SO, which has a lot such questions, that list will be almost useless, because it will be huge and almost impossible to follow.

I forgot to mention one thing: no one reads the FAQ.

  • Wait, there's an FAQ? Commented Dec 24, 2009 at 15:20
  • 1
    Yeah, there's a FAQ? I should probably read that. Commented Dec 24, 2009 at 16:22
  • I musta been one of the 5 people that read the FAQ out of the gate...
    – RCIX
    Commented Dec 25, 2009 at 0:07
  • I read the FAQ as well, but most don't or they simply forget what they read.
    – alex
    Commented Dec 25, 2009 at 0:12

There are a few problems. First of all, some duplicate questions aren't that common to begin with. Considering the amount of questions asked already, it's very likely that questions have been asked before, yet no one noticed it.

Also, some questions appear to be duplicates but aren't because some important condition is completely different from the situation in the original question. For example, someone might ask how to retrieve a list of files in a certain folder. Plenty of people have asked this so you could consider it a duplicate. But then there could be an additional twist, like how to do this on a Mac? Or on a PlayStation? Or in Pascal? Or in GWBasic? Or in ADA on a Linux system? Or maybe even in Assembly for MS-DOS? (Yeah, I'm old. I still remember DOS.)

There is no automated solution from filtering away duplicate questions. Worse, focusing only on the most common questions means you'll get a lot of duplicate uncommon ones.

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