A long-standing de facto rule has come about over the course of Arqade's existence. The sentiment here is that any two questions asking for the same information are necessarily duplicates. I can understand the appeal of that stance. It's easy to understand, easy to apply, and doesn't require much maintenance or effort.

Unfortunately, there are some edge cases where this rule is utterly counterproductive to our main goal: Help gamers get answers to their gaming questions. Our rules exist to streamline this process, to organize and facilitate it. The rules exist to serve our ability to help users. The users come first, and when the rules act in such a way that it hurts users, we need to take a step back and look at what's going wrong.

You may ask, "Well, what about off topic questions? What about game recommendations? Closing those questions hurts users." But it doesn't really. Closing questions like that acknowledges what we're weak at, what we're strong at, and helps us focus the content on the website so that experts with the knowledge to help users with the right kinds of questions don't have to wade through a sea of unrelated questions to do so. Overall, closing questions correctly helps the kinds of users we set out to help.

That being said, here are some things that can go wrong in the close process specifically in regards to a user asking a question that has already been asked:

  1. There is no answer yet on the existing question.
  2. The existing question has an answer, but that answer doesn't help the new asker.
    • The answer is outdated.
    • The answer is wrong.
    • The questions have a subtle difference in focus.
    • The existing answer isn't sufficiently detailed to help the new asker.

In all of these cases, assuming the asker has a correct on topic question that would not have been closed in isolation, closing the question hurts the asker. In a case like this, we are putting the perceived rules of the site ahead of our primary goal of helping users. To be the asker in this case must leave the sourest of tastes in your mouth.

Historically, we've told users to bounty the old question, or even had existing high rep users bounty the old question, in an effort to get updated or complete answers. Nobody should be required to spend reputation just to ask a question, however. Brand new users who have just run across our site for the first time can ask questions; there should not be such a restriction here. (I'm not so sure about how much I like the bounty system in general, but that's a topic for another time.)

StackExchange implemented a change which was controversial at the time, to disallow duplicate votes if the target question does not have any upvoted answers. This change was the first step in this direction of trying to put helping users first.

To quote a StackExchange employee directly:

...the proof is in the answers. If the question looks the same, but the answers aren't solving the asker's problem, that is not a dupe – that is a legitimate new question. Neither the person asking nor the person who lands from Google cares if the question has been asked before: they care if it has been answered.

So, rather than a de facto rule that hurts users for the sake of having "clean" rules, I would like to try out a de jure rule: Do not close questions as duplicates if the target question does not help the new asker. See the list above for the set of circumstances to which I see this applying initially.

I propose that, starting as soon as possible, we enact this rule on the site on a trial basis. We won't know whether it works or not until we try it out. Will there be issues? Certainly. I can already see some of them coming. But it is worth ironing out those issues for the sake of the users who have legitimate questions, when we have legitimate means of helping them.

If we go for it, this will require a period of adjustment. Please take to meta to help clarify this policy, so that we can work together to develop a practice that both helps users and has clear rules. In the case that we do give it a try, we would reconsider whether this has been a success or a failure in January 2017. I want to put a hard time limit on the experiment so we can come to a conclusion and not languish around forever in a land of instability.

So, I leave it to you. Shall we start this experiment, or should I just shut up and accept the status quo?

  • Related – Dragonrage Mod Aug 1 '16 at 17:38
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    No. Asking the same thing is a dupe. Answers not helping means we have two questions asking the same thing, splitting our efforts to solve the problem. The onus is on the asker to denote how its different. We're playing magic word syndrome by trying to allow this. All we need to say is that current answers don't work. If the question is different, the asker has to show how its different. – Frank Aug 1 '16 at 18:21
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    I actually agree with @Frank... specifically this quote: "The onus is on the asker to denote how its different". If the user, as part of their question, says why the other question/answer did not help them, and that they might be experiencing a different issue, that's more likely to stay open. That being said, I don't know how to then have new questions like this not enter the "user asks questions, gets closed as duplicate, comment/chat arguments and clarifications (and maybe question edit to prove it isn't a dupe)" cycle. – king14nyr Aug 1 '16 at 20:02
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    Why does closing questions "hurt the asker"? Closure is not permanent, we can reopen dupe closed questions just as easily as those closed for non-dupe reasons if the OP edits their post to make it clear why it is not a dupe. Speaking anecdotally, I VTC a lot of this weekend's pokemon go questions as dupes of the various "i cannot login" ones, as best as I could match symptoms. If the VTC as dupe was unavailable, I would have closed most of them as too broad or unclear instead, so I don't see how taking the dupe option away helps those askers. – GodEmperorDune Aug 1 '16 at 21:04
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    Its not just about whether we're helping users - it is about long term maintainability. We can't clog the site with thousands of duplicates to the point where no one can find anything five years from now. – nhouser9 Aug 2 '16 at 4:20
  • The only issue I agree with here is this one: The existing answer isn't sufficiently detailed to help the new asker. Right now, the only solution we have here is leaving a comment saying this didn't help me or downvote the answer. I don't like downvoting the answer because the answer given could be a solution to some people. Asking a new question, citing the previous question that didn't help, and providing additional information should be sufficient for that question not to be closed as a duplicate. – FoxMcCloud Aug 2 '16 at 15:16
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    @nhouser9 if those thousands of duplicates have links that point future visitors to the correct question with a good answer, how does that make it so "no one can find anything"? To get from a dupe to the dupe target is clicking a link. To get from an unsatisfactorily answered question to a more helpful question is going back to your search page and hoping the results contain something relevant. Or relying on the automagic "relevant questions" sidebar. Or hoping that someone left a comment with a link. See SO for examples of how well that works out. – GodEmperorDune Aug 2 '16 at 18:24
  • @Frank & king14 You are correct the problem is that while for one person the difference is obvious, for others it may not be, and when those others instantly close the question, it becomes really annoying to deal with. Even worse is after being provided evidence that the questions are different they're still marked as dupes – Oak Aug 8 '16 at 22:20
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    @Oak Unless you provide something that says it's different, that's exactly what should happen. You can't just say it's different and expect us to keep it open. Provide more details! If you can't be bothered to provide that additional information, then why should we keep your question open? – Frank Aug 8 '16 at 22:27
  • @Frank Most likely because it's pointless to argument against a petrock – Oak Aug 8 '16 at 22:36
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    Re “1. There is no answer yet on the existing question”: normal users can't vote to close a post as a duplicate, if the target post has no answers or has only zero-or-less-score answers. Mods' duplicate-closes invisibly override that, but regular users' votes are straight-up prevented. – SevenSidedDie Aug 9 '16 at 1:02
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    Regarding the remaining types of questions in (2), this meta is covering some of the same ground as Is a question a duplicate just because it asks for something that can be part of another question's answer? That older discussion could be linked to in the question as “last time we discussed duplicates” kind of context. – SevenSidedDie Aug 9 '16 at 1:05
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    (personal attack redacted) having questions closed especially for new users is offensive to users as a whole and is the primary reason I turn to many other sites before I resort to stack exchange...the strict ban hammer (...) is bad for the general forums as it reduces traffic from discouraged users.... – Firobug Aug 10 '16 at 15:06
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    A couple of things, @firobug. Please try and avoid calling people out directly; it is not productive and puts you in the wrong. This is not a forum and stricter moderation than your average website is still going to be a thing, and no personal offence is meant in the process; I've had questions closed too, because they were bad questions. Welcoming new users is important; helping the internet at large is more important. Misclosing questions as duplicate does neither, hence this effort. – badp Aug 10 '16 at 19:47

I agree with the idea in general, and I've argued for some subset of this in the past. The most problematic case in my view was the one where the new question is a very specific one, and closed as a duplicate of a broad one that didn't actually contain any answer to the specific question.

I'd still make some adjustments to this rule, I think closing actually exact duplicates should still be the first choice as long as they're actually identical, especially if they're of a similar age. We don't want to have a dozen identical "Pokemon Go just nuked my account" questions just after an update, or something like that.

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    There are definitely some kinks to be ironed out. I like the idea about "similar age" still being dupes; I think that makes a lot of sense. Overall, I'd like to get started actually trying to practically implement this so we can iron out kinks we actually run into instead of theorycrafting forever before we begin. – Invader Skoodge Aug 1 '16 at 17:18
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    I think this is one of the key things that happens around here. People often like to aggregate several related topics into one "how does x work", and then stuff asking about particular components of x get closed as a duplicate of this much, much broader question. And then "all we can do" if that broader answer doesn't answer this specific question is tell that user to offer a bounty, which is ridiculous. – Unionhawk Mod Aug 1 '16 at 18:44
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    @Unionhawk So basically if someone asks a question why they can't play Pokemon GO right now, and mention something that boils down to the server not responding, but the very broad question doesn't specifically mention that very specific issue, we should just answer it? That only produces a lot of clutter. Honestly, those aggregate Q&A's should be community wiki's so its easy to add overlooked facets of an underlying problem rather than creating essentially duplicate answers. – Sumurai8 Aug 10 '16 at 12:50

Yeah I'm with Frank on this one. There are plenty of ways to search for questions about a specific game, search using game tags and rephrasing your question in the search bar. There's also nothing wrong with just not being able to find the dupe on your own and having your question marked as such.

I think our efforts for closing questions would be more benefitial to the site if we focused on something that addresses questions that are flooding in such as these:

I can't log into my account



Why can't I log back in to my Training Club Account on Pokemon Go?

We need to be more up-front about log-in issues / server instabilities and how we shouldn't be a dumping ground for questions that don't belong here.

I would be much more in favor of focused efforts elsewhere and not worrying about blurring the lines on what a duplication is.

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    I'm all for using duplicates when appropriate. I'm not sure if you understood what I was going for here. This is for the case when a user has searched, potentially has found the existing question, and still has not found the information they are seeking. I want to be able to help those users, not just give them a link that they may have already seen that doesn't help them. – Invader Skoodge Aug 1 '16 at 18:46
  • If a question does not help a new seeker, perhaps they are asking the wrong thing? With the amount of research and validation that our answers have, I have a hard time believing that a duplicate question could have more than one answer. I believe the answer lies more in line with, use the duplicate question and alter it so that it becomes it's own unique question. – FoxMcCloud Aug 1 '16 at 18:55
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    How can you tell a user what information they're seeking? Telling a user that they seek the wrong information because the information they want wasn't already provided doesn't make any sense at all. I honestly can't even follow your train of thought. – Invader Skoodge Aug 1 '16 at 19:09
  • I'm not sure you got what I was trying to say there. We can only answer the question that they ask. If they want to know something different than the answer in the duplicate question, how is that the fault of the rest of us? Your proposal is now basically stating your question was the same as the other one, but we're going to leave it open because you want a different answer, which in my opinion is a bad direction. – FoxMcCloud Aug 1 '16 at 19:21
  • It doesn't have to be anyone's fault. I'm not trying to blame anyone. I'm just trying to help people with questions that aren't currently answered on the site. And yes, if your question isn't answered because the current answers are outdated, then you should have a right to get an updated answer. – Invader Skoodge Aug 1 '16 at 19:31
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    @StrixVaria The right to an updated answer, yes. The right to re-ask the question, absolutely not. We're sitting the effort to help more users by trying to allow this. – Frank Aug 1 '16 at 19:38
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    I would suggest maybe a system where you could "bump" questions with outdated answers or questions with no answers. Leaving a comment on a question or starting a bounty is about the only two ways of getting more information from an outdated question. – FoxMcCloud Aug 1 '16 at 19:46
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    @ChaseC the bump idea is pretty good. Additional features like bump queue for people under n rep might be a good idea too, so that people can't bump randomly. (edit: this sounds sarcastic. it isn't sarcastic.) – Ave Aug 1 '16 at 20:02
  • @ChaseC I am pretty sure Community Bot bumps questions without an accepted answer periodically. – Dragonrage Mod Aug 1 '16 at 23:30
  • when i have a question, first i try to look for the answer. no matter who you are, a simple search can be done. you can find it, or not. it depends on how much time you spend looking. the thing is, pages and pages of duplicated questions appear, by new users, cause they think we are here to do their job without even trying. the solution is already in this network! is easier to create an account and ask than to search the key words and read a bit?? – lois6b Aug 5 '16 at 6:45

My 2 cents. enter image description here

That comes straight from the Low Quality Review Queue prompts for a reason to suggest deletion of an answer. To me, this indicates that if the question is indeed different, then we should accept it as a new question. The user however, should show how it is a different question. The new question is when is a question different? This is immediately obvious when asking about two dissimilar things, but harder when asking about related things.

Here is an analogy that might help clear things up. If I go to the doctor because I am sick, and at the doctor's office I tell them my symptoms and the doctor says, oh I just had a guy come in with those same symptoms let me give you the medicine I gave him, I would be a little worried, because there are a lot of different sicknesses that share symptoms. The other guy could've just had a cold and I have hay fever or something, but because we both had a runny nose, the doctor gives me some cold medicine that won't help my hay fever. Hay fever and a cold are two very different things.

A similar thing could happen in questions. Two very different things (X, Y) could be preventing two different people from doing the same thing (Z). Is not being able to do Z the problem, or are X and Y two different problems? Are these two questions different; "I can't do Z (get's answer for problem Y which works)" and "I can't do Z, but it is not because of Y"? I don't think we should be closing problems as duplicates because they have the same symptoms, when it has been demonstrated that the problem creating that symptom is not the same.

Do note, I am not proposing that saying "hurdur other answers don't work" is acceptable to prove that the problem is different. As @MattEllen said they should provide an explanation of why the other answers were not applicable to their problem. Nor am I proposing that duplicate questions should just be left there. If they are indeed asking the exact same thing, and have the same problem, they should be closed as duplicates.

However, if a new question gets asked about something that was already asked, but the answer on the old question is wrong, outdated (basically the same thing as wrong), or poor quality, instead of duping the new question to the old question (this isn't really helpful because in the case of really old questions the op of both the question and the answer could be inactive), we should simply link the old question in the comments to be closed as a dup to the new question to close once the new question gets a better answer. Yes, this will require more work, but I think it is worth it to improve the quality of the site.

Okay, maybe that was more than 2 cents.
TLDR: Close duplicate questions as duplicates, don't close questions as duplicates that aren't duplicates, and don't close questions as duplicates to outdated questions

  • Also a somewhat related meta I made over on lifehacks – Dragonrage Mod Aug 1 '16 at 20:17
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    This is the best approach. There is a problem. The solution on OP is risky (losing regulars, losing SEO value, getting the site full of dupe questions - an example being Android.se). The answers supporting it or saying that the problem is not that big atm are not that correct. This is a good and less risky solution to the problem. My only change to this would be the outdated question thing, by closing the outdated question as duplicate of the new one (but not delete it if the old version is still playable). – Ave Aug 1 '16 at 20:38
  • @arda generally speaking, we don't deleted dupes – Dragonrage Mod Aug 1 '16 at 20:41
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    Outdated questions are still questions. They are still useful, and the answers being outdated doesn't mean a new question should be asked. – Frank Aug 1 '16 at 22:03
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    @Frank outdated questions aren't really that useful, and it seems like a lot more work to mark the new question as a dup to the old, then update/bounty the old question then update the old answer/post a new answer as opposed to marking the outdated relic as a duplicate to the new one once the new one gets a good answer. – Dragonrage Mod Aug 1 '16 at 22:10
  • This situation sounds like merging them would be a better solution. – Ellesedil Aug 1 '16 at 22:43
  • Outdated questions are still extremely useful. There's no guarantee everyone will be on the most recent version. That's literally the purpose of writing questions to withstand the test of time. – Frank Aug 1 '16 at 23:30
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    @Frank that would depend heavily on the game. For a lot of games, you have to be on the most recent patch to play the game. – Dragonrage Mod Aug 1 '16 at 23:31
  • For every offline game, they are forever useful. For online games, yes, we have an issue. That's about the only time I'd advocate for asking a new question, as long as the old question is deleted. – Frank Aug 1 '16 at 23:38
  • I don't like this at all. You are suggesting to do x y and z if the original has wrong answers. If the original has wrong answers it should not affect the duplicate. The original question is the issue. – FoxMcCloud Aug 2 '16 at 1:07
  • @ChaseC if the old question has wrong answers, why are we going to point a new question to that question? We are then just pointing anyone looking for the information to wrong answers which is not the purpose of this site. – Dragonrage Mod Aug 2 '16 at 1:11
  • @Dragonrage we wouldn't do that of course. That would be silly. I think a better alternative would be a way for the community to vote to unanswer a question and answer it correctly or more thoroughly and not post another question. – FoxMcCloud Aug 2 '16 at 1:14
  • @ChaseC community acceptance/unacceptance of an answer is not going to happen. This idea has been rejected time and time again. – Dragonrage Mod Aug 2 '16 at 1:18
  • @dragonrage I'm aware of that. I am proposing other suggestions because I am against the third point in the tldr of this post. I am pointing out the issue is with the outdated questions not the duplicates. – FoxMcCloud Aug 2 '16 at 1:22
  • @Frank I definitely reject the notion that outdated questions are extremely useful; most users will be on the latest version of a given game. – Unionhawk Mod Aug 4 '16 at 17:50

So having fallin victim to this with my question: with hardcore mode set if your guide dies is he dead forever (deleted need 10k to see) being marked as a dupe of Can NPCs really die? I am all for this change.

  • The old question did not answer my question.
  • The game had changed significantly in the 2 years between the questions.
  • I did not have the rep to bounty the old question.
  • Putting a bounty on the old question still wouldn't of gotten an answer to my specific question.

It turned out in the end that there was a bug in the version I was playing on where if you were playing on anything but medium size/softcore char, npc's would sometimes, and only sometimes, not re-spawn if they were killed in an invasion until another invasion had happened and been defeated.

So yea I totally support this as someone very active across a lot of SE but more lurkish on Arqade because... well... you guys haven't seemed to have adapted your rules to your source material nearly as well as places like Sci-fi or World-Building. Not every site needs to carbon copy SO's rules.

  • Not being a 10k user, did you delete the question yourself? – Ellesedil Aug 1 '16 at 23:43
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    @Ellesedil yes I did, it had received a lot of negative feedback including from people who admitted to not even playing the game. – Ryan Aug 1 '16 at 23:43
  • Did you include information in your question that made it distinct from the existing "duplicate"? I would imagine something along the lines of "I acknowledge the answers in the other question, but it's been x number of hours and they've yet to return" would make things more distinct. Thus, if experts on the game know for certain that the NPC's respawn, they can begin thinking along the lines of "maybe there's a problem". Keep in mind, I'm just firing off thoughts blindly without being able to see your question. – Ellesedil Aug 1 '16 at 23:52
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    Also, posting on Meta why your question should stand is also a worthwhile endeavor. – Ellesedil Aug 1 '16 at 23:53
  • @Ellesedil, I had posted some background information, yes. Stating that I had met the valid conditions for housing and that the only variable I couldn't account for was that I was playing a hardcore character as it was my first one of those. (this was my seventh or eighth character in the game so I guess I was one of the 'experts'). Turns out being hardcore shouldn't of affected it but because of the bug, that was in fact the cause. – Ryan Aug 2 '16 at 0:05
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    @Ellesedil, anyways I'm not campaigning to get my question re-evaluated, at this point it's moot. I'm more providing a very specific example of what Mad Scientist described in his post, and showing that yes it totally happens even to StackExchange veterans let alone SE noobs. – Ryan Aug 2 '16 at 0:10

I disagree with this suggestion. It moves the focus from content curation, the whole point of moderation abilities, to helping users. While that is one focus many users have, its not actually what SE is about. We're here to provide high quality content that withstands the test of time. Like a giant encyclopedia.

By allowing duplicates that ask the same thing, we're deliberately breaking one of the main reasons SE was created to address: finding a solution to your problem without having to read pages and pages of threads. We're just reproducing the problem, SE style.

Additionally, we're allowing magic word syndrome to come into play here. Someone could post the exact same question, and just append, "the answers didn't work for me" to make it allowable. That's not only breaking our entire process, but also fundamentally does a disservice to the asker. I can't count how many times we've duped questions of that nature, where the asker states the answers don't work, only to find out they didn't actually try anything. Lack of effort on the asker's part isn't a reason to keep their questions.

At the end of the day, the whole point of duplicates is to aggregate solutions to the same problem into one question. I don't see how splitting our effort to solve the problem across multiple questions helps us, the askers, or any future readers. Write once, read many. Not write many times, search multiple questions until one actually has your answer.

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    At the end of the day, though, if we don't help users, then what was even the point of curating all that content? – Unionhawk Mod Aug 1 '16 at 18:46
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    I guess we'll have to disagree. To me, we exist to help users, and we wind up having an encyclopedia of content as a side effect of that effort. If your priorities are in the other order, I can see you disagreeing with this idea. Both sides have merit; neither is right or wrong necessarily. That's why I want to give the idea a try and see if it's better in practice rather than arguing about merits ad infinitum. – Invader Skoodge Aug 1 '16 at 18:48
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    I think they would have to append more than "the answers didn't work for me" for it to be considered. They'd have to explain how the answers were insufficient. Once they've done that, then the question is obviously different. – Matt Ellen Aug 1 '16 at 18:50
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    @MattEllen I'm fine with a policy like that. We can certainly expect the answer to provide an explanation for why another question didn't help. Once they do so, however, we should help them. – Invader Skoodge Aug 1 '16 at 18:52
  • @Strixvaria I do focus on content way more than the user. I've always focused on that, first and foremost. That is why SE was created, after all. I think we can balance it, to a degree, but I feel this suggestion pulls the balance far too much towards the users, and devalues the efforts of those who focus on keeping the content high quality. – Frank Aug 1 '16 at 19:08

The de-facto way of responding to a duplicate vote to a question that you do not believe to be a duplicate is by editing the question, adding something like:

Are thingies thingies? is related, but doesn't solve this problem, because it doesn't address hardcore mode and is about a fastly outdated version of the game. The accepted answer suggests to click the thingy button, but that button no longer exists.

Simply screaming "that is not a duplicate" is not helpful in any way, and does not address why that Q&A does not answer your specific question. I agree that we should not close questions as a duplicate of an other question that does not answer the question of OP. However, it is the responsibility of OP to explain why that question doesn't answer their question.

We want to help OP, but we want to keep the site clean too. Closing a question as a duplicate of an other question that would usually answer OP's question is infinitely better than just letting that question sit around unanswered forever. In the first case people coming from Google will have some form of help, where in the latter case they see a Q&A with no answer... If someone that could answer the question thinks it is a duplicate of an other question, there is no reason to believe a random person googling would believe that it isn't a duplicate and would be helped by the duplicate question.

The other point that is mentioned that questions should not be closed as a duplicate of an aggregate question. I strongly disagree with this. Aggregate questions exist, because they describe a common situation with many possible ways it can surface. Not closing as a duplicate will cause a lot of (essentially) plagiarism and duplicate answers. Just because the aggregate question does not specifically mention the exact problem that is mentioned in the current question doesn't mean it doesn't have the same cause, and doesn't mean the same answer applies. For example, if someone posts a question about not being able to play Pokemon GO, mentioning something that is obviously server related, but not currently explicitly mentioned in the aggregate Q&A, doesn't mean I won't close it/flag it as a duplicate of that aggregate question.

A point that is not mentioned, which might only apply to stackoverflow, is when a crap question is closed as a duplicate of an other question ("This question is very unclear, but OP probably meant what is said in this duplicate."). That's probably the only bad reason to close as a duplicate, because when the duplicate question does not answer OP's question, you simply can't reopen it (it should be closed as "unclear what you are asking" instead). When you close an unclear question, just vote for "unclear what you are asking" and wait for OP to clarify what they actually meant. Even if the question turns out to be a duplicate, at least we can reopen it when the question is readable and clear.


agreed that we need revision on the general forum.... users such as the first one to jump to a reply mr frank will jump for a chance to close topics not caring that having questions closed is discouraging to other users of the general stack exchange...users repeatedly having questions closed for any reason is likely to cause people to abandon the forum as a waste of time which also means they will no doubt not be aiding to the other users because they could not get aid themselves in their time of need .... I feel only admins should be able to close questions ever....it is not like these small text files are any kind of burden on the general stack exchange resources at a mere 5k or so each....and so what if there is three or four similar posts that exist if a user is asking they likely have been to a few more different websites already especially after having been discouraged the way I have been by this type of action. personally I will go to gamefaqs before coming here for game advice or even call on the manufacturer of a game.... new protocol needs to be put in place to a dire degree these forums are lucky to recieve any contributions from myself once a month if im bored while I am on disability and have all day that I could otherwise be running through these forums and helping...all because of the anxious ban hammers of those few terrible users.....there should be a flag for admins to ban accounts of users who abuse the ability to shut down posts....

  • If you have a supporting or dissenting argument, I suggest you leave out the personal attacks. As is, this is getting really close to the flagging line, for me. I don't care that you don't like me. But I don't attack you, and that's not SE is about. – Frank Aug 10 '16 at 19:46
  • You are completely misunderstanding how Arqade (and every other StackExchange site) works. We are NOT a forum, we are NOT a discussion board. We are a questions + answers board with a very specific focus. If a question is off topic, it doesn't belong on the site and should be closed. If a valid question has already been asked, there's no point in asking again, and the duplicate should be closed. In the end, if your question is closed, it's either because it shouldn't be here in the first place, or because you didn't do enough research. – Mage Xy Aug 12 '16 at 17:06
  • Also, if you do suspect a user of abusing their privileges, you can send a mod flag by flagging one of the offending user's posts and explaining the situation. However, don't flag a user just because you don't like them, as that's going to get you in trouble as well. I've seen the comments left by @Frank on various questions/answers and I think he's doing a very good job of helping to clear out the many, many bad posts we get every day. I suspect a mod would agree. – Mage Xy Aug 12 '16 at 17:11

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