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Allow high rep users to migrate answers from one question to another

Many times, you spend time answering a question, only to find that the question was actually a dupe. Rather than have tons of duplicate questions with what may be decent, different answers strewn between them, wouldn't it make sense to clean them up over time and combine the answers into the "original" question? This would make it less painful to delete old questions, because the good answers would be some place safe. And the good answers would be in the "official location" on the site, and subject to more views, and get an honest appraisal of quality in their votes.

The mechanism could have a number of possible interfaces, and I'm not sure which would be best. The following are just the ones that come to mind:

  1. Vote-to-port, at some rep-level
  2. Auto-port (or auto-flag or auto-vote) if enough upvotes on the answer
  3. A specific "flag for attention" just to port the answer

This might even help identify things to delete and clean up -- if no one votes to port their questions after it's been closed for a while, it might mean it's a good candidate to clean up.

A couple of mini features might help out with the above. If these merit separate questions, please let me know and I'll post them separately:

  1. It would be nice to get an update on the status screen when one of your questions, or answers on a question, was closed for duplicate
  2. A specific "flag for dupe" or "vote as dupe" option
  3. And maybe get a couple rep points if you vote/flag something as a dupe and it is in fact closed as a dupe -- this helps fight off the desire to answer dupes at all just to get those couple quick upvotes before it's closed, and encourages "good behavior" of being cleanup-minded

Just trying to think of ways to flag things for cleanup in a community-input kind of way and encourage behavior we want.


George Stocker below confirmed for me that diamond moderators can do this, but my question/suggestion is to delegate this to the larger user base. Or at least delegate the flagging in a more specific way.

Update 2:

Lance Roberts below mentions a related post Allow high rep users to migrate answers from one question to another however, I would like to differentiate this one from that. The purpose of this question is how to delegate some involvement to the masses, and make it easier to be cleanup-minded. By getting updated when something is closed on you (question or answer), being able to specifically flag-for-dupe, and possibly getting a small reward for having helped clean up, we can delegate responsibility without making porting or vote-for-porting a below-10k operation.

  • @lance: it's related but not the same. i want voting for it, or flagging for those that can do it, mixed in with good behavior incentives. basically pushing down the responsibility below the 10k's, at least in a distributed fashion.
    – eruciform
    Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 19:31
  • meta-meta question: what happens to answers on a good question regarding porting answers on a good question, if it gets ported before being implemented? :-)
    – eruciform
    Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 19:32
  • I think it's the same, we just want different rep levels (or none at all) for limits on who can vote. Though what the other question shows is that Jeff doesn't think it should be implemented below the moderator level. Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 19:36
  • @lance: or a specific flagging option coupled with a reward for correctly flagging things. that wouldn't take away high-rep-only voting-for-dup-closing. in addition, update notification for something of yours being involved in a close. i'm trying to make it simpler for the masses to be involved in cleanup, even if they don't have executive privilege to do it themselves. :-)
    – eruciform
    Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


Diamond Moderators can merge answers from one question to another, which is exactly what you're asking for.

If you flag a question for a moderator and ask them to merge it, they'll look over it and determine whether it should be merged or not.

  • 2
    cool, yeah, i figured they could do that. i'm suggesting a voting method to make it more accessible and common, rather than diamond-only...
    – eruciform
    Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 18:34

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