When we close a question as a duplicate of another, the following is displayed on the question:

Close reason

I thought that the normal protocol was to have the original author edit the existing the question that was closed and then have it be voted on to be reopened (or reopened without any edits if the question isn't in fact a duplicate). However, the wording of the close reason seems to state to "ask a new question" instead. There have been many times where someone's question is closed only to have them ask it again and have it closed again as a duplicate of the other.

Should the wording of the close reason be changed to something more to the tune of editing the current question? Or is asking a new question (that has been altered in a way to be considered a separate question) the proper protocol already?

  • 1
    One thing that definitely should be added is some kind of notice saying "if the target question is not a duplicate, please update this question/ask a new question and explain why the duplicate does not apply".
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 17:23
  • 4
    I agree with this, the current duplicate message does give off the vibe of if you get closed as duplicate make a new question instead of editing your current one. This would help out a lot with newer people as well to try and show them that you can edit your questions to get them reopened.
    – Ramirez
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 18:54
  • 1
    100% agree with everything here. Love it.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 20:03
  • 1
    This sounds far more logical than what the current text suggests.
    – Izuka
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


It seems the consensus is to change the wording to be geared towards editing the current question, rather than asking another. I propose the quote should be:

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, or if your question is actually different than the duplicate, [please edit your question] to be more clear and allow for it to be reopened.

For the part surrounded with brackets [ ], I think it would be a good idea to link it to the edit post page for the question.

I asked this question on Meta Stack Exchange since I was told by Moderators that they cannot implement this change since the message is an SE wide feature, and it turns out that depending on the ownership of the post, you see a different message here. For the person who posted the duplicate question they see this:


So, if your question is closed as a duplicate, the closure text already states to edit the question.

  • Can that edit link be smart enough to reference the currently on hold post every time? I'm not familiar enough with that sort of coding, though I like the idea. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 13:28
  • 1
    @Kaizerwolf yes - example - the close text has the same functionality that I propose.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 13:29
  • 2
    Perfect! I like it a lot, it brings the duplicate explanation in line with other close reasons as well. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 13:30
  • Oh I see. So the text in the "public" notice is targeted towards visitors who are doing research and considering asking their own question.
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 15:14
  • @MageXy precisely.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 15:14

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