Currently, the duplicate notification says

This question already has an answer here:

and links to the "original" question. I find this, at least, misleading, considering we close questions as duplicates if the questions are duplicates, not if "This question already has an answer somewhere else".

For me, the current wording implies that

  • If a question was already made and has no answers, it's fine to ask it again, instead of giving a bounty. (By the way, is it not? Reading the flag for duplicate, it also states "and already has an answer", but I believe a bounty is the right way to proceed even if the original question has no answers.)
  • If Question (1) has a broader/more general answer than what was asked, Question (2) "already has an answer in Question (1)", even if the question themselves are different. Example when I searched for "duplicate" before asking this question.

The second case seems frequent enough, specially from new users. I, myself, flagged wrongly two or three questions because a good answer for another question already answered that, before understanding better the actual concept of duplicate questions.

Should we (and, maybe more importantly, can we?) change it to something more accurate with our policies? My first thoughts were

This question was already asked here:

or, exactly as written in the Flag for duplicate

This question has been asked before and already has an answer here:


2 Answers 2


This is a solid idea, but it's not something RPG.SE can implement: the default close reasons are shared by all Stack Exchanges. Each site gets a few custom slots for its own close reasons, but we can't edit the default ones.

By using the tag, however, you've caused your post to get the attention of our Stack Overlords so they can consider the proposal. You might also consider sharing this idea on meta.se.


That notice is tuned to be as accessible as possible to all possible question askers and readers. New askers, and the overwhelming majority of readers, don’t know or care about the nuances of our duplicate decision process, and that notice is written for them. It’s focused on exactly what the reader or asker needs to know — the question is already answered — and doesn’t distract them with more words that aren’t for them.

The rest of us have the help pages, a few thousand rep worth of site familiarity, and, when we’re pondering a duplicate vote, the more nuanced text of the actual vote option. That one’s written for us.

Each has a different audience and is focused on serving them best. And yes, it’s beyond our power to change. :) But anyway, best that we don’t.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So, what if it's not answered there? We frequently dupe to unanswered questions, yeah? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 17:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Only a mod can do that. Being the exception to the rule, it's done when the exception makes sense (like someone posted twice). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 17:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie: AFAIK, anyone can dupe-close a double-post, if both questions are asked from the same account. (And on meta, the answered check is skipped as well.) \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 3:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE Bad example then. The point stands though: only mods can override an answer check, and it's done when it makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 6:32

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