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A while ago, I voted to close this question as a duplicate of this one. By the time it got closed, an answer has been posted which is IMO better than the answers posted on the other question (this also seems confirmed by the upvotes by only by a tad bit).

I can vote to reopen the question, but without further context I don't see why other users would agree with this reasoning. Thus, I think it could be a good thing to swap the status of duplicate between these questions.

What is the thing to do in that case?

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  • $\begingroup$ I mean it's possible but I'm not sure it's the best course of action. It would mean closing a perfectly good upvoted question with multiple answers, only because another question was posted after it? Doesn't sound great. The fact that the now-closed question got a good answer is a perfect example of why we should close questions as soon as possible, if we're going to close them at all. In this situation, I'd say the optimal way is to reopen the now closed question. Is there a way to edit it to make it sufficiently different and thus not a duplicate? $\endgroup$
    – glS Mod
    Mar 14, 2023 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ @glS I'm still learning the ways of SE, so I'm not sure I have the right vision about it but the way I see it is that generally speaking the question that is open should contain the answer people were looking for in the first place. This way, it ensures that people that mistakenly arrive on the closed question can still get the answer. Here, nothing links the open question to the closed one, which means people are unable to get the answer they were looking for. I don't think it is possible but for clarity's sake, the best course of action for me would be to move the answer to the open question $\endgroup$
    – Tristan Nemoz Mod
    Mar 14, 2023 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ Furthermore, leaving the open question open is counterproductive imo, since it doesn't indicate that an answer for this question already exists, which is the point of duplicates if I understand correctly! Concerning the editing of the closed one, I think that in that case they're a bit too close to apply this strategy (or so I think at least, maybe there's a way I don't see!) $\endgroup$
    – Tristan Nemoz Mod
    Mar 14, 2023 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Can the answer to the duplicate be moved to the original question? $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2023 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ added an answer to have more room for discussion. @RayButterworth only the user itself can do it. Which in practice would just mean to repost the answer on the other question. They wouldn't be able to delete the now-accepted answer though without mod intervention, but in this case I think both answers can just exist without needing to delete the old one $\endgroup$
    – glS Mod
    Mar 14, 2023 at 14:09

1 Answer 1

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It's certainly possible, but I'm not convinced it's the best course of action in this case. It would mean closing a perfectly good upvoted question with multiple answers, only because another question was posted after it. Doesn't sound great, and the person asking the question that gets closed due to a "future duplicate" might, understandably, not be too happy about it.

The fact that the now-closed question got a good answer is an example of why we should close questions as soon as possible if we're going to close them at all. In this situation, I'd say the optimal way is to reopen the now-closed question, if there's any way to edit the post to make it not be a perfect duplicate. Adding a comment on the now-open question would then solve the issue of people landing on that one looking for the answer that is in the now-closed one.

I have to say, looking at the two questions in their current status, I kinda also prefer the now-closed one. Mostly because you can immediately tell what's the question from the title. And the answer is also more concise and on-point.

So, possible solutions:

  1. Add a comment on the answer asking if the user would be willing to post it also on the other question. This is probably the ideal solution. Plus ideally (though not necessarily) also editing the title of the now-open question to make it more expressive. The user might not want to delete the old answer to avoid losing rep, which is understandable, but I think in this case the answer can simply be duplicated on the other post. It might lead to some vote duplication, but it's not that big of a deal.

  2. If the user doesn't move the answer themselves, IMO you could edit the now-closed question trying to make them a bit more different. The now-open question is a bit broader in scope, so that alone might be grounds for having both posts stand on their own. Honestly, I wouldn't hate the idea of also just reopening the now-closed question. Yes they're very close, but it's more concise and on-point, so it'd good to just let it stay open (and link it on the now-open question).

  3. One could also just post another answer on the now-open question adding the same info as the answer in the now-closed one. Not ideal, but would also solve most issues.

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  • $\begingroup$ Reading your answer, my feeling is that a mix of 1. and 3. would probably be the best, something like adding an answer stating the same info, giving credit to the original author and putting it community wiki to avoid vote duplication. If we were to edit a question and reopen the now-closed one, I would have thought that this would have been a task for the now-open one, since as you've said, the now-open one is a bit more broader in scope $\endgroup$
    – Tristan Nemoz Mod
    Mar 14, 2023 at 14:18

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