As of the time of writing, this user has asked the same question 3 times and accepted answers for 2 of them only to open a new question with a slight modification to the requirements.

Does this appear to be deliberate abuse or misunderstanding of the way things work? What can/should be done (other than closing the old questions as no longer relevant)?

** Update **

I agree it appears to not be intelltionally abusive. The question then becomes how do we communicate to this and future users that such relatively minor changes (adding a constraint in each case here) should be edits to the original question. Or shouldn't they be?

  • If you have time, you can watch this person, and if you detect any further anomalies, just return here and post your findings.
    – akarnokd
    Jul 21, 2009 at 15:12
  • I went and added a comment on his second, and third questions. Jul 21, 2009 at 17:54

3 Answers 3


It looks like he is asking similar questions because he is having issues taking what was given to him and asking something different.

Thanks to help from a lot of you guys ive been given the following code which works great. However ive realised ive missed an important bit of info out of the question and so have reposted here (with updated code) to clarify.

Overall it may have been best if he kept it to one question, but since he is asking slightly different things on the same question I see it as being pretty much fair (not the smartest way of going about it, but I don't see any abusive behavior)

  • In my opinion, since the user only added 1 additional constraint in each question, it would have been better as a single thread.
    – Rob Allen
    Jul 21, 2009 at 14:33
  • Rob: You are probably right. This has been discussed in the past about what to do if your question does not get good traction, the suggestion has been to repost later and tweak the question some so it does not get closed as a dupe (or at least explain initially why it shouldn't). Since the last two questions were posted pretty close to one another, I would have revised the original myself, but in the grand scheme of things I don't see anything wrong with what that OP did.
    – TheTXI
    Jul 21, 2009 at 14:36

Could be abuse. Could just be somebody asking similar, but distinct, questions. Hard to tell.


I've also seen this quite a bit on S.O. Maybe we need a feature where certain users (moderators or people with enough rep) can merge questions?

The problem isn't always the question itself, but that there will always be somebody who answers the (almost-) dupe.

  • People can't be expected to check for possible duplicates before answering. The onus should be on the poster of the question to check first.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 21, 2009 at 14:49
  • That's the point and that's why an answer to a dupe is not necessarily a bad answer and that's why it would be nice if such answers could be moved to the original question.
    – innaM
    Jul 21, 2009 at 14:52

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