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I have seen many cases where my possible question would automatically stand as a duplicate of an older one that seems to have answers, but these are bad, old, or just "no" answers providing a workaround, or trying to teach the OP about what it should be asked instead, etc.

  • Should I ask a new question and explain that it shouldn't be closed as duplicate although it looks like one?

  • Should I downvote all the answers I don't like?

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  • Possibly the first, probably not the second; but ironically we ask: Are these duplicates: meta.stackexchange.com/q/3000/282094 meta.stackexchange.com/q/12182/282094
    – Rob
    Feb 15 '21 at 15:11
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    If your question is exactly the same as the potential duplicate but the answers are not applicable, I would offer a bounty on the original question. If your question is a little different or you don't have enough rep to offer a bounty, I would ask another question, make sure I include a link to the original one, and explain exactly how my question is different and/or why the answers there are not applicable.
    – 41686d6564
    Feb 15 '21 at 15:23
  • @41686d6564 - In a specific case what I did was to ask on the more comprehensive U&L instead of the more limited askubuntu where it might have been a duplicate.
    – cipricus
    Feb 15 '21 at 15:32
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Should I ask a new question and explain that it shouldn't be closed as duplicate although it looks like one?

If you can write a question that can also clearly explain why the answers to an existing question don't solve your problem/answer your question, a new question could work. Often, this could be a sign that there is something slightly different between your question and the existing one, and highlighting that part can prevent closure and at the same time show research effort.

If, on the other hand, your question is exactly the same, you're probably better off putting a bounty on the existing question. This can be especially true for questions that were originally answered with a 'workaround'. By adding a bounty (and hopefully attracting a better/different answer) all answers/ways of doing a thing remain in one question, which is better for the site.

Should I down-vote all the answers I don't like?

If an answer doesn't work for you, it isn't useful and you can downvote it. But I would not say you can always just downvote whatever you 'don't like', as that's more of an opinion than an objective metric. Try not to treat downvotes as 'dislikes' and upvotes as 'likes', but vote for the quality of the post.

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    In a specific case what I did was to ask on the more comprehensive U&L instead of the more limited askubuntu where it might have been a duplicate. If I get an answer on the larger site, I'll possibly post on the more specific one an answer instead of a question (linking to the answer that helped).
    – cipricus
    Feb 15 '21 at 15:38
  • @cipricus ah yes, in case of overlapping scopes finding a second site might also be an option! Good thinking :D
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Feb 15 '21 at 15:39
  • Explaining why ALL answers to the old question are bad can be a hard work... Feb 15 '21 at 16:09
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    @MarcoDisce it might be, it might not be. All those answers might have something simple in common like 'no longer being applicable after an update', or 'not taking into account that I'm dealing with a different power-balance in the relationship' (to take a more subjective example). I also guess that if there are so many answers with so many different reasons for not working in your own situation, the question might be a tad too broad. I've never really seen anything like it though, so time may tell.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Feb 15 '21 at 17:04

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