The standard answer for whether asking duplicate questions on SO is valid is no (obviously) but that is because SO strives to be objective and a good answer to a technical question should always remain a good answer.

But on meta the aim is to ask questions about the way the site works and is used. And the policies for site change and evolve over time so that a question asked in 2011 about the same subject can have a different answer than if the same question were asked in 2010 or 2009.

For example in 2010 questions were allowed if they were subjective, but not argumentative but in 2011 moderators close or lock such questions retrospectively.

I know that some people suggest that a bounty on an old question is a good idea, but on meta I don't see how disturbing a slumbering senior question who was right in his day with new-fangled opinions helps - should all the old upvotes then be re-appraised given the Newspeak of the day?

So my question is (for the reasons stated) within limits, can duplicate questions be safely asked on meta?


As an aside, is the tag 'exact-duplicates' SO's contribution to the whole 'going-forward' debacle?

  • 3
    Duplicates are closed here too, except less deleted compared to SO. – YOU Apr 22 '11 at 10:51

Within limits, you can ask a question that's asking the same grounds of another Meta question. Those limits are the same as we exercise on the rest of the sites, though.

If your question is the same as another question, but there's something that makes it different (such as policies having changed over time, or you have issues that render the understood answer unusable, or it's merely a mirage that the questions are the same and you're really asking a different question), note the other question in your question body and highlight why it's not a duplicate. If policies have significantly changed from when a question was originally asked, and the existing content on the answers is basically rendered completely irrelevant, then you're basically asking a new question. And that's fine.

By specifying it in the question body, you're showing that you did prior research. You're also saving people the trouble of assuming that you didn't, as your question body would comprise all the defense against the closure that you would've otherwise provided in comments. Take these steps, and that's how you'll be able to ask questions that may seem like duplicates.


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