5

The situation is pretty basic.

A user asked a question during what I can only guess is a pretty slow time of day (well, night in my case). This one came in around 05:00 UTC +0.

Frustrated with the lack of activity (no comments, no answers), the same user reposted the question at a later time ~10 hours later (15:00 UTC +0).

The duplicate, posted at ~15:00 UTC +0, garnered more attention (as the original had fallen off of the first page of most recent question). I was in the middle of writing an answer when the question was closed, but was allowed to finish writing it and posted.

I can see the appeal in always closing the duplicate question(s), as it is likely a stronger deterrent against re-posting to get more attention (I generally disregard questions marked as duplicates). My question is, is this what we always want to do?

In this case, there's no previous activity on the original. It's all on the duplicate. I could go so far as to delete my answer and re-post it on the original, but I believe that the comments that occurred on the duplicate make it the higher value post.

It appears that this situation is rather rare. Does anyone else have thoughts on this?

7

If there is more information attached to copy #2 than to copy #1, then #1 should be closed as a duplicate of #2. It's not about the timing, really. The important points to consider are:

  1. Other users searching for this problem should be directed to a place where they are more likely to find an answer.
  2. It's reasonable to eventually delete one of two identical copies of the question, and it should be the one without much activity on it. To make it possible for #1 to be deleted, it needs to be closed.

I would flag for moderator attention, asking them to reverse the order of duplicate-link. In theory, users could do the same, but it would take 10 user actions to reopen one post and close the other.

  • 3
    I agree that it makes sense to keep whichever duplicate has the majority of the information attached to it. – Dave Humm Aug 22 '16 at 8:16

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