I encountered a new question asked yesterday on Stack Overflow which was a duplicate (hard to believe, right?).

It was closed as a typo, but after going on a lengthy search, I found that SO has countless copies of the exact same posted problem (again, big surprise).

I piled as many of the duplicates into a comment as the character limit would allow. This act:

  1. gives more generous and educational technical feedback to the OP than non-duplicate close reasons,
  2. insinuates that the OP should have researched a little longer before asking,
  3. populates the "Linked" list of related pages on the right panel of the page,
  4. fortifies that the page should remain permanently closed, and
  5. argues that the page is a good candidate for deletion because it adds no new value and there are ample signposts already.

If I understand correctly, the linking relationship is linear and there are no secondary linkages between pages. If I go to one of my linked pages, I have a link to the new page in the Linked list, but none of the other relatives that I listed.

I think SE is missing a real opportunity here. Not only do I usually find the Related list to be entirely useless (example of Related list being 100% irrelevant/useless), there are actually data points available to better populate this list. Can this be better done or is this not feasible because of the scale of content that SE is dealing with?

Additional thoughts...

Love it or hate it, my curation style on SO, prefers to delete new redundant content and I am likely to drop a [del-pls] message in the SO Close Vote Reviewers room since the page won't be Roomba'ed.

Before I do, I am concerned that all of the related pages that I linked will become unrelated upon page deletion.

Can Stack Exchange developers consider relating pages if the source of the relationship is a deleted page?

A minimal reproducible example:

  • Q1 has commented links (or duplicate closure links or links in answers) to Q2 and Q3.
  • Now the following linkages are: Q1 -> Q2, Q1 -> Q3, Q2 -> Q1, Q3 -> Q1
  • Can a Q2 -> Q3 link be presented in the "Related" list?
  • Q1 gets deleted.
  • Can a Q2 -> Q3 link be presented in the "Related" list?

If the answer to all of this is "no", then I see two options:

  1. go through and hammer all open pages with the best duplicate (which I sometimes do when I have time and will power) or
  2. post a comment on each old page that lists all of its cousins.
  • 1
    You could've fit more dupes into that comment if you omitted your user ID# at the end of the "share" link - just sayin' :)
    – bobble
    Dec 17 '21 at 23:13
  • 3
    I could have just added another comment too, but my will power diminished with every dupe found. I've got to draw a line somewhere -- I chose to fill one comment. Dec 17 '21 at 23:30
  • I mean, [1](/q/1234) is even shorter, but obviously, you still have to stop somewhere… Dec 19 '21 at 20:33

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