I found

"Bukkit plugin to control which mobs spawn?"

very similar to

"Is there a Bukkit plug-in that will prevent Ghasts from spawning?"

One question entirely contains the other and they're generating the same answers. In my book, that's dupe criteria, but I seem to be the only person who thinks so.

Are these dupes or not?

It appears that most consider them separate questions, with the newer being better. In that case, seeing as the answers would be the same, would merging the older one into the more general newer one be acceptable?

3 Answers 3


I feel that in this case we should merge the old question into the new one, as it would make a better general reference question. I know - closing an older question as a duplicate of a newer question makes no sense whatsoever, but if it enables the end result of getting a redirect to a better answer, it's probably for the best.

I'd then downvote and add a comment to the old, outdated answers prompting their authors to do something about it.

  • Whoops, I just answered the new one, and updated my answer to the old one. What happens to both my answers if the questions are merged? Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 1:50
  • 4
    Forget about old and new. It makes sense because we're merging a less useful question into a more useful question. More often than not, the older one is more useful, but that's not the case here. Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 2:19
  • Well, you're the mod, and you're also the most upvoted so.... Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 0:45
  • 2
    @John I'm a mod but I'm not a pope and I have no automatic infallibility
    – badp
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 1:31

Regarding your updated question of whether to merge the older question into the newer one:

Do not merge them. Close the older one as a duplicate of the newer, yes, but don't merge their answers. The answers are outdated and currently useless. I would find a suggestion to kick myself in the teeth equally useful, as in not at all. To merge those answers into the newer question would be polluting a newer question with bad answers (misleadingly appearing good with 11 and 5 votes), and be about as bad as merging an answer specific to Windows 95 into a Windows 7 topic.

Close the older as a dupe of the newer though: yes. That way, people who see the ghasts question have some breadcrumbs to follow to a question that will give them what they're looking for (a way to control all mobs, including ghasts).


They are not duplicates.

They do cover similar topics, and the answer to one may also be the answer to another. However, there is a very important distinction between similar and duplicate.

Questions should be closed as exact duplicates of each other. There is no mechanism for closing a question for having similar or same answers as another question.

  • 2
    If two questions attract the exact same answers, are they really different questions at the core?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 16:01
  • 5
    @AnnaLear - consider the questions of "5-4" and "Cos(0)". The answer to both is "one", but they are distinctly separate questions. Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 16:06
  • 1
    @AnnaLear They will not attract exactly the same answers. Case in point: Someone develops a mod which bans ghasts, or disables mobs in the nether altogether. The ghast problem is solved, question is answered, case is closed. Mine is not. (I am ignoring the present answers because they do not answer my question since the mods are out of date and for anyone running an up-to-date server the answers are not useful) Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 16:34
  • Given that the consensus appears to be that it should not be closed, I have edited my question. Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 16:52

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