I would like to know what happens to a Question B that was closed as duplicate of Question A, when Question A gets deleted? Is Question B reopened automatically? Should it be?

1 Answer 1


As I understand things, there is no connection between duplicates other than the link that is written into the duplicate question, so deletion of the root should not affect the duplicate. I don't know if the link disappears. But surely it's highly unlikely to delete a question that is the source of a duplicate for the reasons below. Do you have a specific example in mind?

From How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

When can't I delete my own post?

You can't delete answers that have been accepted.

You can't delete any question that:

  • has an upvoted answer, or
  • has multiple answers (even if there are no upvotes), or
  • has been closed less than 48 hours ago (to allow for possible reopening)
  • I have no concrete example at hand, but my question was triggered by an question yesterday regarding the basic cross-referencing scheme. I am sure I've read such a question before, and was looking for it to mark the new question as duplicate. But I could not find it anymore. That made me thinking up the situation described in my question.
    – mafp
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 9:25
  • Regarding the likeliness: I think such very basic questions might not get answers, or rather answers in the comments. So they can be deleted by the OP, although being the source of a duplicate.
    – mafp
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 9:28
  • 1
    @mafp It is unlikely that a "basic question" won't get an answer, and will be the target of a duplicate link. In such case, someone would answer one of those two questions, and mark the other one as a duplicate.
    – yo'
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 13:09

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