So duplicates are fine and dandy, provided neither has any up voted or accepted answers?

For instance I came across... this question

Which just seemed to be... this question

But after trying to flag it, I am told that I cannot, as the question, essentially, was not answered.

Also, I consulted this question which basically is my question, however did not seem to have an answer. So I figured I would ask for myself/bring attention to the two suspect questions.

  • 2
    Nope, questions without answers cannot be dupe targets. Because screw logic.
    – user98085
    Jul 1, 2013 at 7:18
  • If the question that you're trying to dupe to doesn't have an answer, only a moderator can close it.
    – Niro
    Jul 1, 2013 at 14:05
  • 3
    Yep, those are the rules. And they already declined my request to change it back. Jul 1, 2013 at 14:37
  • Weird, especially with mods on there "please search beforehand as currently blah% of blah are duplicates" kick. Thanks peeps.
    – Bob
    Jul 1, 2013 at 19:03
  • 9
    A terrible policy, since we tend to identify dupes when they're posted. This pushes the closure to once one of them gets an answer, which means we probably miss getting the other one flagged as a dupe.
    – Sterno
    Jul 1, 2013 at 19:25
  • @murgatroid99 I put a bounty on it. Not that that ever helped much...
    – Zommuter
    Jul 3, 2013 at 6:33
  • A bounty is very unlikely to have any effect on a question that is status-declined. Jul 3, 2013 at 13:08
  • @Sterno That's why we're supposed to crosslink them. (Which is ridiculous, but hey, ridiculous seems to be the new standard for system changes.)
    – user98085
    Jul 3, 2013 at 23:57
  • This question itself is a great example of how once one of the dupes gets an answer, the others aren't then closed as dupes.
    – Sterno
    Jul 10, 2013 at 10:54

2 Answers 2


The system has unpopularly been changed to disallow closing as a dupe to an unanswered question, but our policy hasn't. If you see a dupe, but are unable to close it as one, flag it for mod attention with the dupe link:
it needs ♦ moderator attention -> other -> "dupe of gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/4999/how-can-i-tell-if-a-corpse-is-safe-to-eat"

Also, like murgatoid99 said, he's already made a request to change it back on MSO, and it has been denied because they're (IMO incorrectly) claiming that "If the question looks the same, but the answers aren't solving the asker's problem, that is not a dupe".

  • 1
    I like your point that even though the system changed against our will, we should still be vigilant in getting these closed. Jul 4, 2013 at 18:43

The duplicate close reason was changed a while back so that you could only close one question as a duplicate of another if the target question has been answered (at least one accepted or upvoted answer). Moderators are still able to close the question as a duplicate though, so flagging the question for attention by a moderator is the only way to get the duplicates closed in this situation.

  • My downvote is not against your answer but against the policy - this is meta after all :-P
    – Zommuter
    Jul 3, 2013 at 6:31

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