There are currently two Breaking Bad questions about Walt picking up character traits from his enemies, which are clearly exact duplicates of each other:

What are some examples of Walt and Jesse taking on attributes of the foils that they kill?

What personality traits did Walt pick up from his enemies?

But I am a bit undecided as to which one to close as duplicate of the other. Normally I'd go with keeping the older one, which also has quite an exhaustive answer, more votes and also includes Jesse in addition to Walt. But I have some reservations to this.

  • Age is not really supposed to be a deciding factor in chosing a duplicate.
  • While including Jesse makes the question more general and the other one a sub-question of it, in this particular case I'm not sure Jesse is so relevant (as the answer agrees with), since

    He doesn't kill many people at all, let alone acquire any traits from them.

    Also the actual question doesn't even mention Jesse either, apart from the title alone.

  • The newer question just seems worded much much better.
  • JohnSmithOptional's answer to the newer question is absolutely great (and has also been accepted), providing a slightly different viewpoint on the problem.

I see that the last two points, which are the main reasons that keep me from just closing the newer question, are largely subjective. So I just wanted to ask the community what should be the best way to handle this situation?

As a side question, is there any way (for moderators) to merge those two questions into one, so that all the answers get taken over to the one left open, other than asking the respective answerers to copy them over? As otherwise we would lose one of the answers nevertheless and they're both good, albeit from rather different viewpoints.

  • As a side answer - yes, the moderators can merge the two questions.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 0:49
  • Of course the merged question would require some editing to be the best of both originals.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 0:50
  • This is a conundrum though - the new question is much better but over a year younger. However normally you would expect the newer question to be closed as a duplicate of the older one.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 1:02
  • @iandotkelly but i have seen the reverse in other SE's for special cases like this.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 7:19
  • I have raised this earlier not in meta but as a close vote and got failed in getting 4 more close vote.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 7:22
  • @iandotkelly If they're mergable that would be the best idea. But how does this work? Who would get the question credit (I hope it won't become CW) and what happens to acceptance? Does this have to be preceeded by closure (which would then probably determine the parent from which to take acceptance and question authorship)?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 9:11
  • @NapoleonWilson - I don't know, and there is no documentation that I can find. The initial UI just has two input fields for the question IDs. I would presume it would give me a chance to confirm these details and at worst deletes the old questions so I can easily undo.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 13:11
  • @iandotkelly Hmm, in this case I would indeed propose a merge, with the newer one as master, in order to preserve the acceptance if possible, probably with a little ammendment to include the Jesse-part from the older one. If it just copies the questions one after the other into a single one, that wouldn't hurt so much either. If you as moderator agree with the duplicate-nature, I'd propose you just try it, or do you personally want some close-votes beforehand to confirm you're doing the right thing?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 13:19
  • @NapoleonWilson - no I'm happy to do this but might have to be later ... work getting in the way this morning!
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 14:06
  • @NapoleonWilson - so I had to look at this, and it does require closure. Some close votes would be nice before I wade in with my super-close-vote.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


I have merged the new answer into the old question. If there are attributes of the newer question that you think should be retained, you can edit the old one to contain it.

  • Ohh...so secondary question's answer became community wikki....looks a bit unfair to me.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 12:12
  • @AnkitSharma - no, it was community wiki before, merging moves the answer, but other than that does nothing
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 12:24
  • @AnkitSharma - Just looked at the timeline - it was made wiki in Oct 2013 - I think by the answerer or by a moderator because it was a list that could grow.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 12:26
  • OK, anyways i have already seen travis other answer on breaking bad which he made community wiki himself. May be he is not rep hungary like me ;)
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 12:34

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