Don't get me wrong - I love that duplicates are now automatically detected and stopped from being posted. But there are edge cases where this new feature is a problem, and prevents real work from getting done.

On Super User, we have a weekly Question of the Week. A meta post is created, and users can submit their nominations for QotW as answers. Votes on the answers to the meta post choose which becomes the QotW, which then goes on our blog.

Obviously, there isn't much need for changing the actual text of the question from week to week - it's always the same little blurb about what the QotW is and how the nomination and voting process works. As such, the system detects these as duplicates and outright prevents me from posting - not just a warning, but it stops me and won't let the post be submitted.

There is a temporary workaround (I'm not going to disclose it here; devs, feel free to ask me about in chat or by email) by which I was able to post this week's QotW, but long-term, it's a pain. Also, the loophole will probably be closed eventually.

What I am proposing is that moderators be exempt from this restriction, at least on their child meta sites. Mods should understand the system well enough not to be posting true duplicates, and the restrictions have gotten in the way of legitimate work in this case.

Here is a screenshot of the error message and text:


  • I haven't seen this in action - can you provide more info about what causes a post to determined as a duplicate of another, preventing submission? I just copied the title, body, and tags (except the featured tag) and was able to create an identical post on meta.SU without anything stopping me or even letting me know it was a duplicate. – Kyle Cronin May 24 '11 at 0:01
  • @Kyle, I added a screenshot. Perhaps it says it's a duplicate because I'm the owner of the duplicate post? Not sure. – nhinkle May 24 '11 at 0:07
  • @nhinkle That's probably it, I was able to post this: meta.superuser.com/questions/2614/… – Kyle Cronin May 24 '11 at 0:18
  • @Kyle, I saw that. Deleted it to avoid having three different posts for this week. We'll see what the team says about it. – nhinkle May 24 '11 at 0:26
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    Well, an obvious and undetectable workaround would be to initially post something completely different (could be gibberish), then make an edit inside the 5-minute grace period with the actual content. – Jon Seigel May 24 '11 at 4:20
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    @JonSeigel shhhhhhhhhhh :P – nhinkle May 24 '11 at 5:34
  • @JonSeigel Lorem ipsum ftw. – Sathyajith Bhat May 24 '11 at 7:36
  • @JonSeigel - thanks. I was having this problem myself with the security.SE QOTW – Rory Alsop Aug 22 '11 at 17:45
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    @RoryAlsop bonus points for putting amusing messages to other mods in the body to get it by the filter, and then editing it to say something else in the 5 minute grace period. It's great weekly fun for the whole community! – nhinkle Aug 22 '11 at 17:54
  • We have the same problem on Photo.SE, with our Picture of the Week topics in meta. Seems to not be an issue if different people start each separate topic, but it is definitely an issue when the same people start separate topics. I figure eventually everyone who has an interest will have started at least one of our PotW topics, and the duplicate issue will become a real issue. There should be a way to exempt mods from the duplicate check. – jrista Aug 22 '11 at 18:02

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