I made my way to this question:

apache2.service is masked

and there is a box purporting that it is a duplicate if this question:

systemctl, how to unmask

Question A is arguably a special case of Question B, but not really – because Question B is arguably just a special case of a different kind of question about the same underlying system.

Is (or should there be?) a way for to advocate for the removal of the "duplicate question" declaration?

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    If you have the cast close and reopen votes which you get with 3,000 rep you can vote to reopen the question. You can raise a question on the relevant meta site, here meta.askubuntu.com. On stack overflow you can propose reopening on SO Close Vote Reviewers Chat Room, but I don't know if anything like that exists for askubuntu.com. And with 5 rep you can comment on the question saying why you don't think it's really a duplicate.
    – dbc
    Feb 20, 2020 at 5:57
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    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog - in this case it's not the OP who wants the question reopened, it's a 3rd party who thinks that it's not a proper duplicate. The OP got the answer they wanted (which now has 20 votes) before their question was marked as a duplicate. So editing the question may not be the way to go here.
    – dbc
    Feb 20, 2020 at 6:01
  • @dbc The advice in those posts still applies. There is explicit advice in one of them on how to react if it's someone else's question, and the advice in the others still works. I've often edited a notice indicating why a given question is not a duplicate into someone else's question, and no one has complained about it. Feb 20, 2020 at 6:03
  • Just delete this question and post it instead on meta.askubuntu.com. If other users agree with you that it isn't a duplicate, they can cast reopen votes. But the discussion should be had on the Ask Ubuntu meta, not here.
    – terdon
    Feb 20, 2020 at 9:42
  • terdon -- the ubuntu question is just meant to be illustrative. My question here (which has been adequately answered at this point) was a general question regarding any such marked-as-duplicate questions, i.e., across the whole StackOverflow network. So I think this is the best home for my question (now itself amusingly marked as a duplicate), as per meta.stackexchange.com/tour.
    – billc
    Feb 20, 2020 at 17:37
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    Marking as a duplicate doesn't come with a statement as to whether the question is on-topic or not. A question can be perfectly on-topic, but have been answered before. There are several places in the system where it excludes duplicate questions from "closed" question checks. Feb 21, 2020 at 0:52

1 Answer 1


Edit the question to more clearly demonstrate that it's not a duplicate, and if it gets 5 reopen votes from users with reopen privileges, it will be reopened.

In this particular case it doesn't seem to matter since the OP got an answer that solves their problem anyway, but I do see that there was a follow-up "how did this happen?" query in a comment. But comments aren't for follow-up queries, so maybe edit the question to include that, or ask it as a separate question.

  • Considering the age of the question, I'd suggest a separate question for follow-ups.
    – Mast
    Feb 20, 2020 at 6:36

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