When reviewing Reopen votes on Stack Overflow this morning I stumbled across a case that was generating some heat: vote to close a question as duplicate, even though it's much older than the other. One of the users commented there (and five more people agreed):

Why was this question marked as duplicate? Mods should check the asked date before mark it as duplicate!

I didn't know how to proceed, so did some search and from Shog9's answer

If the new question is a better question or has better answers, then vote to close the old one as a duplicate of the new one.

So I commented directly to that user

Basically, the age doesn't matter. What matters is the quality of QAs measured by upvotes.

I don't really know how it's really measured and feel bad if I might be misguiding. I presume what I said isn't correct when both questions are exactly the same when it comes to votes, favorites, comments, etc. and the only difference is age.

Considering questions can have many variations (one has more upvotes, one has more answers, one has more "marked as favorite", one has more "close votes", one is older, etc.), has anyone taken the time to isolate the possible differences, understand their impact and defined how are we supposed to define what makes a question better?

  • BTW, you shouldn't treat a question being marked as Favorite as a positive thing. Sure, some people treat it as a kind of upvote, but plenty of people just use it as a bookmark. They may use it to mark bad questions that they want to visit later to see if they need to be closed &/or deleted. – PM 2Ring Nov 16 '19 at 15:10
  • Yes, there are many interpretations of that. I use it to questions be able to go back to it after for whatever reason. If i don't remove them after a while, means that it wasn't marked as favorite to intervene in any possible way. – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Nov 16 '19 at 16:46