Do we allow duplicate questions?

I’m sorry if this question itself is a duplicate :slight_smile:
I did try searching for similar questions, but found nothing.


The basic answer is: No, of course not, duplicates add no knowledge.

However, a lot depends on how duplicates are defined & handled. There has been plenty of discussion elsewhere, but a few points:

  • The definition of “duplicate” will vary by community. Short of “How do I do X with Y and Z?” being a duplicate of “How do I do X with Z and Y?”, it becomes a real question as to what is a duplicate:
    • How do I do X with Y? (or How do I do X with Z?)
    • How do I do X with A? (if A is similar to Y and Z)
      etc. Each community will have to work out its own standards as to when something is “duplicate enough”
  • How a member is notified of a duplicate is a big issue. There is some concern about the “unwelcoming” nature of flags/close votes/etc., including duplicates, on SE. We should strive to do better. The way things are often done on SE, a totally new user may not understand what is going on when they are bluntly informed “we think this is a duplicate question”
  • Should duplicate questions stick around as ways to redirect someone, particularly if the language is a little different? Someone might “find” the new duplicate because of key words that are in that question which were not in the original - even though the basic point of the question, and the useful answers, is the same.