I have seen a lot of questions flagged as duplicated and so blocked recently, some from established members and some from new members. In several cases these have not been exact duplicates but have had some (sometimes small) difference that does not make them a direct duplicate.

While I am totally in favour of the Sandbox, is it right to directly block questions from new members as duplicates when there are so many discussions going on as to how we can encourage more people to join us?

In fact, does it actually matter if a question is a duplicate? Languages have changed and developed, new members have joined, if a question has been asked (maybe years before) there may be new valid answers to see.

Opinions appreciated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. Questions like "what do you think about <x>" aren't always a great fit for meta (or the SE question format in general). 2. We've had this discussion before a couple times, dupes are dupes and should be closed. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 4 '16 at 1:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DrMcMoylex Thanks for the additional tag \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Nov 4 '16 at 1:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Easterly - Thanks for the response. This isn't really a "what do you think about" question and sorry if it was too carefully worded. It's more of an about "I think it is wrong" comment although I understand that as a relative newcommer here I don't really have any right to say that. Apologies for any offence. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Nov 4 '16 at 1:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ No, by all means feel absolutely free to contribute!!! I felt the same way at first (I can't contribute) but how else does anybody gain standing? And yes, I realize I misread the question at first. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 4 '16 at 1:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ No problem :) I'm just not convinced that duplicates are such a big issue particularly if they are not particularly difficult challenges and may get new members involved. I have been here for maybe 5 months now and it is only 3 months ago that I made my first post. There are many questions from the past that I have not seen and if I went back and answered them now then who is going to see my answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Nov 4 '16 at 1:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, every time somebody modifies a challenge or an answer on the challenge, it bumps the challenge back to the front page! Most people get curious, click it, and sort by newest/active, so almost always you'll get seen. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 4 '16 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, thanks for the info. Then maybe I have to learn more about how it all works :) I have been on StackOverflow for several years and I understand why duplicates are not appreciated on there. Didn't really see why it was the same here. Guess I understand more now. Thanks for your clarification. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Nov 4 '16 at 1:34
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ As I commented on an answer to the previous question, there's nothing stopping people from answering old questions, posting bounties on them to attract new attention, or mentioning them in chat to attract new attention. In particular, new valid answers don't need a new question to be posted. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 4 '16 at 7:12
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It's funny that this question was about marking questions as duplicates and it got marked as a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oliver Ni
    Nov 5 '16 at 20:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That almost sounds like a challenge @Oliver. "Calculate the number of duplicate duplicates" but please post it in the Sandbox first :) \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Nov 5 '16 at 23:21

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