When one/more users suggest another post answers your question (and there is a banner at the top of the page asking if question title answers your question? Yes/No), what physically happens to your question/on the site if you select Yes?

(For example: is it immediately deleted, is it marked as duplicate, can people still provide answers, etc?)


  • In my case, the suggested post partly answers / relates to my question (about 50%) - so I am more happy for my question to be linked to the suggested answer, if that's the outcome(?) (assuming my question isn't then deleted/hidden on the site)
  • However, as the post question only partly covers my question (and in addition, several users have provided very helpful and detailed answers to my question), I definitely would not want my question (their contributions) to be deleted, if that's the outcome(?)

Related questions Please note (and for users who wish to read/learn more), there are several answers on the related topic of 'duplicate questions':

  1. Can we clarify to the OP that their question is not yet closed and the duplicates are only suggestions?
    Summary: This is a feature request based on a issue caused by a much older version of SE. It is useful for context, but does not answer the above question specifically.
    Note (and de-dupe defence): The lead answer is 6 years old and the "new/updated" UI it shows is out-of-date.
  2. New UI encourages askers to confirm or dispute duplicate votes
    Summary: This is a discussion about making duplicates more clear.
    Note (and de-dupe defence): Similar to the above, the lead answer references an old version of SE and the website has since changed. There is one answer that recommends [Change the text on the first button from "That solved my problem!" to "Yes, my question is a duplicate."] but is low-scoring (5 vs. 150+ on lead) and is also from 6+ years ago - so unclear if this is what happens or not.

I believe this question is warranted and my intention is to clarify how SE works (in the context of "Does this answer your question?"), and help remove any doubt/confusion for users. (The alternative being for users to continue to read about how SE used to work half a decade ago).

  • @Nij - Thanks for the suggestion. That question is definitely related, but my question is specifically about the Yes/No decision users are prompted with, and what this then triggers on the site. – Martin Jun 5 at 0:36
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    Does this answer your question? New UI encourages askers to confirm or dispute duplicate votes (the UI is the old one, but the function is still the same) – Meta Andrew T. Jun 5 at 15:16
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  • @Rob, thanks but I don't think it does... As I've tried to clarify with with previous suggestions, my Q is about understanding the effect of selecting Yes/No when asked "Does this answer your question?"... The reason I created the question, was because when I searched for "Does this answer your question?” (to see what the impact of this choice was), no answers came up - and indeed the phrase doesn't appear at all in the question you've suggested... I admit I am relatively new and maybe mis-understanding the guidelines, but I still consider my question to be separate / not a duplicate (no?) – Martin Jun 5 at 22:02
  • @Rob - OK thanks... NB/Meta: I was previously un-clear on editing as when I read the question (as is), I don't see it as a duplicate - i.e. wasn't sure what to add to fix this - however if I understand you correctly it's more about doing an edit to add info that explicitly addresses (responds to) the duplication and clarifies why other questions don't answer this Q, right?)... Also, I followed your link/searched again. This Q ranks #5, I looked through Q's #1-4 and can't see this answer in them, but if I am missing something please let me know / share the paragraph where this is covered, etc – Martin Jun 6 at 13:18
  • [Meta: @Rob - As a side note, apologies if any I've sounded frustrated in any previous comments, etc.. This is the 3rd/4th time this question has been flagged as a duplicate and have had to defend it / explain why I don't consider this to be the case... To be clear though, while I might disagree on 1-2 things, I only want to have a productive dialogue with yourself and other moderators, and certainly don't want to fall into the trap of this devolving into a kind of disagreement/argument/etc.. I respect the time you and other moderators give up to help govern and manage the site 👍🏼] – Martin Jun 6 at 13:24
  • @Martin, perhaps you prefer this 5 month old duplicate. --- From a more technical perspective, here's some unrelated behind the scenes, for other moderator actions on posts: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/363552/… – Rob Jun 6 at 15:47
  • @Rob, its recency was helpful but is interesting that you have referred to that question as a duplicate, as in effect it explicitly covers [options after selecting Yes], when asked "Does this answer your question?"... whereas this question explicitly covers [options before selecting Yes], and (from all the questions I have read is the only question that answers the 'before' situation). – Martin Jun 6 at 19:49
  • [cont] Also, is interesting that in the question you reference, it gave a nice summary explanation that confirmed the point of duplicates is to keep content, but re-direct users to the dupe-target... However, in the case of my question, this would mean (1) readers come here, (2) are re-directed to the 2x out-of-date articles, (3) read them and discover they don't cover the explicit 'before' situation, (4) return to this article and find the answer to the unique question below. – Martin Jun 6 at 19:55
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    [NB: didn't want to add this many comments, but couldn't condense neatly without break across comments] This answer provided useful to myself, so I have tried to defend for benefit of other users and explain non-dupe rationale in edits / comments but sense community majority does not agree with me. My view still differs, but at this point, accept that I am not making my case clearly enough + willing to accept majority view and disengage on this one. I believe in discussion and be happy to talk about recency, signposting, expectations, etc but think is best (for everyone's time) if I stop here. – Martin Jun 6 at 20:08
  • #Meta (sorry!) As final point, thought it useful to explain my overall exp. on this... I wanted to know "what happens if you select Yes" so searched site & read few posts but didn't find answer so created this question... It was answered in 8 minutes! 👍🏼 & after minor clarification, I accepted 20 mins later (problem solved, easy)... However since then, has been flagged as a duplicate repeatedly (as if to say "no, that doesn't answer you Q, this does") & have spent several hours (re-)reading several-thousand word answers from years ago & explain they don't answer my Q (but the below does) – Martin Jun 6 at 20:54
  • Martin, the concerns expressed in your comments seem to be covered here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/194476/282094 Your question has been reviewed by eight people who are in agreement, that doesn't mean it can't still be reopened; only that you'll need to make a more convincing edit (without invalidating the existing answer). – Rob Jun 6 at 23:08

If you select "Yes", your question will be marked as a duplicate and closed.

If your question had no existing answers, I think you would have two options:

  1. Choose "Yes", and edit your question so that it is only the part of your original question that the duplicate answers. You can ask the other part of your question as a new question, if you wish.
  2. Choose "No", and edit your question so that it no longer includes that part which the duplicate already answers. You could leave a link to the duplicate in the question if it helps provide context to your unanswered question.

Since your question has existing answers, be cautious when editing it to make sure that no parts of the answers address parts of your question you've removed (i.e. don't invalidate existing answers). If such careful editing is not possible, then I think your only option is to choose "Yes".

This will leave a convoluted rather than focused Q&A that community voting will assess the value of over time. Closing will not cause it to be deleted but if it and any answers are all downvoted to 0 or below then the Roomba will automatically delete the Q&A.


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