Meaning, even if both questions have the same answer, but the 2 questions are not similar, (For example, each question describe a different part of the story) Should they be considered duplicates?

I always assumed it's the question, but does anyone know for sure?

  • Do you mean specifically with ID questions?
    – Catija
    Apr 21, 2017 at 20:41
  • That's what I'm more interested at, but I asked the question in general. I thought there will be a clear cut answer to apply to all questions.
    – madmada
    Apr 21, 2017 at 21:28
  • 1
    I always had this question.
    – Nog Shine
    May 5, 2017 at 5:14

3 Answers 3


I would only recommend closing two questions as duplicates based on an answer in the case of ID questions where both questions have accepted answers.

In general, it is incorrect to dupe close based on the answer. Just because two questions have the same answer does not mean that they are the same question.

What is the answer of 3 * 8?
What is the answer of 4 * 6?

These are not duplicate questions, despite the fact that the answer in both cases is "24".

From a tangentially related Meta Stack Exchange answer:

There's only one problem with your feature request: answers don't make questions duplicates. Questions are duplicates only when the questions themselves are duplicates. In other words, you can't close a question as a duplicate of another question just because "you can find your answer over here."

  • That's what I always assumed "..not duplicate & answers don't make questions duplicates" for all questions,(ID s included), I'm asking now because I realized otherwise.
    – madmada
    Apr 21, 2017 at 21:34
  • I think your two math problems are duplicate questions, and the answer isn't "24", but "here's how basic multiplication of single digit numbers works" — or "here's how to use a calculator". That way, there can be one great answer (or several, but collected) that really solves the problem, rather than having 100 different questions with varying degrees of answer.
    – mattdm
    Apr 25, 2017 at 18:00
  • @mattdm I picked an extremely oversimplified example on purpose. We aren't a math site, anyway, so it's not even a question that would be asked here. It's for illustration.
    – Catija
    Apr 25, 2017 at 18:09
  • Yes, obviously, but it's often conceptually the same.
    – mattdm
    Apr 25, 2017 at 18:20
  • @mattdm Unless you have a more specific example, I don't really follow. SE in general does not close as dupes based on the answers.
    – Catija
    Apr 25, 2017 at 18:22

If the Answer is the same (especially and primarily with ID questions) then it's the Answer that makes it a Duplicate.

Linking the Questions as Duplicates means that they all become signposts to the correct answer.

The Vantage Point questions are a good example here. All of them are asking about the same movie from, heh, different perspectives and/or plot points.

Nevertheless, the answer is the same in each instance..thus "Duplicate".

  • Thanks, and lol at "different perspectives".
    – madmada
    Apr 21, 2017 at 18:58
  • 1
    I'd say this is only in relation to ID... if then. In general, we do not dupe closed based on answers.
    – Catija
    Apr 21, 2017 at 20:41

The normal SE policy is that duplicates are only for questions. You can have the same answer on multiple questions in a technical sense with the questions being completely unrelated.

But since M&TV is not a technical sight, the mods have come up with their own scheme. Which makes no sense. Basing duplicates on answers leads to the second question, asked in a significantly different way, being closed. Then eventually deleted. Both closed and deleted question status means it does not get indexed by SE search or Google, which means searches for those terms do not come up with a result, which leads to people asking for the same movie, again in different ways. So basing duplicates on answers mean more duplicates will occur.

Also, you cannot close a question as a dupe of a question without an accepted answer in the first place.

  • 3
    This is just wrong. Questions that have non-negative scores and are closed as duplicates do not get deleted. The existence of three duped Point Break ID questions clearly shows that this is wrong. If the question is good quality, it should be upvoted and if it's low-quality and gets downvoted, there's no reason to keep it around any more than any other closed, downvoted question.
    – Catija
    Apr 22, 2017 at 1:41
  • 2
    It's also incorrect that it's not indexed: In general, no: most duplicates stay around. Having multiple copies of the same question with different wording is useful as search fodder, because people looking for an answer may use different wording too. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10841/…
    – Catija
    Apr 22, 2017 at 13:57

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