I recently posted a question to SuperUser. It was quickly flagged as a duplicate and I was sent a link to the 'same' question (which contained good info). Here is my question:

Given that the link to the 'already asked' question did not come up in my original search for the info, what is next-step protocol?

  • Do I leave my flagged question, that now includes the link to the
    original, such that depending on how a person enters their search
    criteria they might get a hit on my question during future searches, due to its wording?

  • Or do I simply delete my duplicate and the next person in my situation gets the same response from a moderator, and the dance is the same?

The reason I'm asking is because of this message:

screenshot of a closed as a duplicate message with an "Edit Question" button and a "Delete Question" button

There are only two choices here: "Edit Question" or "Delete Question". My impression, possibly wrong, was if I had not misstated anything, I needed to delete the question.

  • 1
    I can see why that post notice is confusing. Typically, we would not want you to ask a new question if the duplicate isn't helpful; we would prefer you edit your question to explain why it's different from the duplicate, then we would reopen it.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 28, 2021 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


You do nothing at all. Please don't delete the duplicate! That's the whole point of closing as a duplicate, instead of deleting: the next user who will use your search terms will now find your question (the duplicate) and be redirected to the other one (the dupe target) where they will find their answers.

Also, unregistered users, web searches etc, are taken straight to the dupe target making it even more important to keep the original. This is what we call a "good duplicate" 'round these parts, and we keep them around because they act as signposts to the dupe target.

  • Just FYI here..the only reason I was considering the deletion was because the message I received (from a Moderator?) stated essentially "This is a duplicate, do you want to edit or delete your post." I did not really want to do either. Jan 28, 2021 at 19:35
  • @BentChainRing that's surprising since keeping dupes around is standard practice. I suspect either the mod was confused or you misinterpreted their comment or something. What message was this? If it's an automatic one produced by the system, that sounds like a bug. If you interpreted it that way, I'm sure others would as well so we should probably ask for a fix.
    – terdon
    Jan 28, 2021 at 19:39
  • 1
    @terdon In case you didn't see it because it didn't ping you, the OP posted a (now deleted) answer below clarifying what they meant by "message I received", which ColleenV has edited into the question. Jan 28, 2021 at 20:50
  • @terdon OP could've asked on SU Meta. You can always post on the site meta if you have a question about your own post on the main site :) It's a way too little known fact, but I've edited out that remark because of this.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jan 28, 2021 at 20:57
  • Thanks, @Tinkeringbell. I should have known that!
    – terdon
    Jan 28, 2021 at 23:21
  • @BentChainRing I completely understand why you'd think you had to do one or the other now!
    – terdon
    Jan 28, 2021 at 23:22
  • On a closely related note, meta.stackoverflow.com/q/400273/4014959 & various linked questions there.
    – PM 2Ring
    Jan 29, 2021 at 6:27

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