-10

I've seen tons of questions that are exactly the same, and it's overflowing the Arqade site. An example of this would be:

Can't destroy blocks without the right tool?

This refers to Minecraft, and how that person is in adventure mode. Normally it is marked as duplicate with the question being answered. Not bad, but something bothers me. Shouldn't people search up in the questions their question before posting? If it's there then it would save a considerately good amount of time, along with the public or moderators not having to mark the question a duplicate, name which one, and have to answer the question again? Also, when you ask a question, the list below shows similar questions already asked. Surely the list fills up with the exact same question, and the person should be able to click on it and see the answer way before anybody could come and tell them.

Sometimes I even see two or more questions that have the exact same title. Shouldn't there be a system or something that doesn't allow the user to post a question if it has the exact same title? Surely enough the OP can see the questions in the list? It would save a lot of time and effort, from them and the public, if there was some sort of system that could detect if something was duplicate.

The same questions have been asked repeatedly from a long time ago to very recently. There should be some way to stop it. Are there any systems that the site could use to maybe cut down on duplicate questions more?

  • 8
    We can lead an idiot to the library, but we can't make him read. – LessPop_MoreFizz Apr 10 '15 at 4:19
  • Why do we need to cut down on duplicates? We can mark them as such, so people can get to an answer, and then it is done and dealt with. :) – Ash Apr 10 '15 at 4:20
  • Yes, but a system could be created to tell the people asking the question that it has already been created, and lead them to it, without the public ever even having to mark it at all. – Xandawesome Apr 10 '15 at 4:22
  • 5
    @Xandawesome You, yourself, in your question, mention multiple such systems that are already in place. There's only so much that can be done. Do you have a concrete suggestion of something new that could be tried? If so, I think we'd all love to hear it. But at this point, all you've done is throw up your hands in frustration... which, I feel ya, bro, but it's not going to accomplish anything. – LessPop_MoreFizz Apr 10 '15 at 4:24
  • Well, maybe there could be a system that will compare the asker's question to the other questions on the site and see if there is a match. If so, then it will tell them that there is another question like that and lead them to it. The "question suggestion" box could also be a bit more noticeable then what it is. – Xandawesome Apr 10 '15 at 4:32
  • @Xandawesome The "question suggestion" box is pretty hard to miss. I think those who don't heed it wouldn't be any more likely to use it if it appeared in flashing red 42 point font across their screen. – lorentzfactor Apr 11 '15 at 9:35
7

So two things. First, the systems you noticed are meant to do just that. Unfortunately, users don't read and even those that do don't always process what they read enough to act (or sometimes even want to act). Comparative tags, similar questions, searching... there are lots of things to help users find answers to their question without asking it anew, but users don't always do that.

But, that leads me to point number two: Duplicates can actually be a good thing for the system. When two users ask the same question, more often than not it is in slightly different ways with slightly different words. Closing as a duplicate is a hint for other users who might actually ask it similarly. For example, "How can I beat X boss in under 4 minutes?" versus "What is the easiest way to get Y achievement?". Those two questions may in fact be duplicates of each other, but aren't the same. But if a user wants to search or find it, sometimes they will ask it one way, and sometimes they will ask it another. So having the ability to mark something as a dupe allows users to find it no matter which way they ask.

Sometimes users are going to ask word for word duplicate questions because they weren't paying attention or didn't notice or couldn't be bothered. But more often, users may ask duplicate questions in slightly different ways. And those different ways of asking are helpful in allowing others to find an answer, and pointing them in the right direction is usually a (semi-)painless process for us.

So to answer your question: No, I don't know of a better alternative to marking a duplicate. And so far, I haven't noticed it being an issue. I find it more helpful than not, especially since I have landed on the dupe questions several times before while searching for answers.

As a side note, exact same titles can be a bit... dubious for us. It used to be an SE restriction (not sure if it still is on other sites) but we had it turned off. "How do I do X?" can mean two very different things in different games, so that restriction isn't helpful, and sometimes the two are not actually similar in spite of the fact they may look it from the title alone.

  • 1
    And even if we shove prompt after prompt saying "No really, read this; it already has your answer" in a user's face before they can post, more often than not it would probably be skipped like every EULA ever. – Trent Hawkins Apr 10 '15 at 5:28
  • Also, I would like to point out that sometimes there is just some alternative formulation of the question that the asker overlooks. For example, I asked a question about metros (the ingame name used) in cities: skylines, but it was a duplicate of a question that used the word subway. I'd looked through the similar answers suggestions, but it hadn't been suggested due to the alternate phrasing. – lorentzfactor Apr 12 '15 at 7:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .