I've noticed that with the new question asking form, sometimes, attempting to submit a question will post two, or rarely more than two, identical copies of the same question with identical timestamps and sequential post IDs.

I've had this happen to me once before (double post), but at the time, I assumed it was just a temporary fluke. As far as I remember, I just reviewed the question, saw no errors, and submitted it. (That's all the info I have.)

However, I just saw this happen to someone else, so it can't just be a fluke on my end. This is the question they tried to post, and this is the double post. The author claims there that they did indeed double click the "Review" button, but their question didn't go through since it didn't have a required tag, but when they tried to submit the question with the required tag, they only clicked it once.

There was also this case where five identical copies were posted (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).

Also, now that I think about it, it could not have been just a temporary client-side issue on both our ends. The system is supposed to prompt for a CAPTCHA if one tries to post more than one question in 30 seconds. Neither of us got a CAPTCHA. This means that the server accepted the double post, and so it's a server issue.

This has the effect of denying users badges that they would have otherwise qualified for, since a single negatively-received, closed, or deleted question will make that day not count for the Curious, Inquisitive, and Socratic badges. This means that even if the double post is deleted and the original is upvoted, the user won't qualify for that day since they've made a "bad" question on that day. (While they may be able to later reverse this 60 days later by undeleting and re-deleting their question - questions deleted more than 60 days later aren't considered "deleted" for the check - they often won't be able to, since most of the time, users will have downvoted the double post, which also disqualifies one from the badges.)

Can an employee go through server logs to see what happened in both these cases, and add some safeguards to prevent accidental double submissions of questions? This seems to have come up when the new asking form was deployed.

This SEDE query, forked from a query rene wrote in the comments, lists instances of this bug. Note that it does have some false negatives (cases retained question's tags were later edited, as the only content that can be queried for in deleted posts is the tags), and it may also have false positives where two questions with the same tags happened to be posted at the same time by two different users, one of whom was later deleted or dissociated from the post.

  • 1
    Is it a bug (such that even if a question is submitted once, the software processing may put 2 entries in the database), or is it a UI problem that leads to accidental re-submissions? I think these are 2 distinct possibilities, and the fix may be different for the 2. Commented May 30, 2020 at 7:30
  • @auspicious99 It's not the latter. As I said in the post, if it were, then the system wouldn't accept it and would prompt for a CAPTCHA (those are generated server-side). It's the former. Commented May 30, 2020 at 7:39
  • Hmm, ok, got it, yes, looks like a bug in the programming logic. Commented May 30, 2020 at 7:46
  • 3
    Approximately the same can happen with answers, here is one example. I tried to submit the 1st time and the system said:"error posting the answer"...I continued editing the answer and when I tried pressing the submit button again I realized both editions of the answer had been posted. (This has happened to me more than once, especially in longer answers that take a while to edit into shape.) It's hard to report because it's not reproducible, I suppose it's a client-side glitch but there should be a more descriptive warning or double-check by the system.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 10:22
  • 18
    One important issue that isn't mentioned in this thread is the possibility of this contributing towards a question or answer ban, especially for new users.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 10:23
  • Another example: stackoverflow.com/questions/70332773/… - stackoverflow.com/questions/70332774/…
    – CherryDT
    Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 10:08
  • 1
    Again today: stackoverflow.com/questions/70931256/… and stackoverflow.com/questions/70931255/…
    – Barmar
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 20:38
  • 2
  • 6
    Happened to a staff post with this and this :)
    – cigien
    Commented Jan 30 at 15:46
  • 3
    @cigien which is the only reason it's now in review. lol (Otherwise, if it happens only for us mortals, no big deal) Commented Jan 30 at 16:47
  • 2
    @ShadowWizardLoveZelda Well, yeah. If you can't reproduce a bug, how are you ever supposed to fix it?
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Jan 30 at 17:15
  • 2
    @wizzwizz4 but a dev never tried to reproduce it, that's my point. It's pure chance. Commented Jan 30 at 18:30
  • 1
    @Dharman That assumes that the title of the retained post wasn't edited later. Commented Feb 7 at 20:46
  • 1
    This just happened to the same question 5 times 1 2 3 4 and 5
    – cigien
    Commented Feb 9 at 11:38
  • 1
    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog The Q&A you link above has some seriously flawed reasoning on the part of SE, and at least Journeyman Geek's answer and multiple comments. While it clearly happened, it's a very poor example.
    – Makyen
    Commented Feb 9 at 12:16


You must log in to answer this question.