When people see a duplicate some vote to close, some authors delete it, some don't and some post a link to a duplicate in a comment. It's all very messy for something that is bound continually to happen.

There should be e.g. a This-is-a-Duplicate button, you click it and fill in the URL to the duplicate question. That way you get little "bundles" of questions which are asking pretty much the same thing, and since some questions are not truly 100% duplicates but just near-duplicates, this keeps them together for people who are interested in the general topic.

A question with duplicates which has a list of them right after the question.


Using the built-in function "close as duplicate" results in almost your idea:

  1. Clicking close
  2. Clicking exact duplicate
  3. Typing in the question id

What then happens automagically:

  • A comment is added: "possible duplicate of {question}" below the question
  • If 4 other people vote to close it is closed

This is the canonical way of handling duplicates.

  • thanks, I didn't know that, sounds great! Jul 17 '10 at 13:35

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