Today I flagged Avoid height flickering in a block when hiding content with \only as a possible duplicate of Avoiding jumping frames in beamer.

Some other users also marked it as a duplicate, but Charles Stewart wrote a comment explaining that he considers these duplicate question and answer better than the original ones. I agree with him but I didn't consider this aspect when flagged.

So, what it's supposed should I do to. Should all original questions be flagged as duplicates of new ones? Should do nothing? Should I edit original ones including a link to duplicates?

In Closing questions as duplicates when the duplicate's accepted answer isn't ideal there's a similar discussion but now also the question is better.

  • 1
    Good you've added that last sentence, otherwise your question might have ben closed as duplicate ;)
    – jjdb
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 8:45

2 Answers 2


There isn't really a good process for this. Some options:

  1. Merge the duplicated questions, which ensures the best answer can remain. I gather than this is time-consuming for moderators;
  2. Users with >3k rep. can reopen the closed questions and then close the others as duplicates of it. This is a haphazard plan, since the close voting has to happen after the post is reopened, and it is hard to keep enough users performing these actions in the 2-day period before close/reopen votes expire;
  3. Have a moderator do the steps in stage 2; or
  4. Write a model question that all the other questions can be duplicates of and close the three posts as duplicates of this. Then we don't have the best answer in the right place.

Option 3 is the least bad, and can be started by the flagging you suggest,, but I don't like putting this tiresome task on the moderators. I consider it a flaw of the duplicate-closing system that newer posts nearly always get closed as duplicate of older posts, even though that very frequently results in the weaker question being the one that is left open to attract more attention. If the review system allowed an option to vote for the reverse close, I think that would help a lot.


Jeff Atwood seems to recommend merging for this case; see Improved Question Merging


How about the following procedure (if applicable):

From the new question, remove everything which has been asked already and put a link to the old question instead. Then keep just the new parts of the question.

If this is done quite early after the question was posed, the answers probably will also be more focussed on the new aspects.

  • The problem isn't that there is no duplication going on, it's that a good quality question with both an MWE and a clear explanation of what was going on with the MWE's behaviour got closed with a redirect to two weaker questions, one with pseudocode and one with an MWE accompanied with a less clear explanation as to what exactly was happening. There isn't anything substantial that is new in the most recent question, just better question asking. Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 9:35
  • 1
    Guess that happens not to often. Flagging for moderator attention to merge should be fine then (well, moderators should better answer that, they now how much work it is)
    – jjdb
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 9:45

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