A recent question


seems like a duplicate of an older question


However, neither the older question nor the new question have any answers.

QUESTION: Should either be marked as a duplicate? Is there a preference based on the age of the question which should be marked as the duplicate, or do we decide which question to retain based only on the question quality?

  • 1
    Good question, the guidelines of SE reads that This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please edit this question to explain how it is different or ask a new question. Nevertheless, I think, we still need to close the question as duplicate and edit the older one to obtain an appropriate answer. Sep 9, 2019 at 12:22
  • 2
    A nice answer is here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/298591/… Sep 9, 2019 at 12:24
  • @Raaja: Thank you! Feel free to mark my question as a duplicate. :)
    – James
    Sep 9, 2019 at 12:34
  • 1
    this is still not a duplicate in this meta ;) Sep 9, 2019 at 12:42
  • 1
    I don't think the system will let you mark a question as duplicate of an unanswered one Sep 9, 2019 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


This is not an option, if you try to mark one as a duplicate of the other, the system just reports that there are no answers and greys-out the vote button.

Given such a situation then (if you know the answer) you should answer one of the questions (typically the one with the clearest title) then vote to close the other as duplicate of the answered question.

  • 3
    Probably you should answer the newest question, because then it is a (slim) chance that OP will accept the answer.
    – Sveinung
    Sep 13, 2019 at 15:59
  • 2
    @Sveinung You mean I should worry about not getting the 15pts?:-) Sep 13, 2019 at 17:49
  • 2
    No, this was meant as a general comment. Correct me if I have misunderstood, but my impressions has been that the SE system has some preference to have questions answered, and the answer is accepted. Therefore, maybe it is advisable to answer the latest question because it has the highest probability to be accepted.
    – Sveinung
    Sep 13, 2019 at 22:07

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