So, the question here is, if we find a challenge that is a duplicate, but the challenge it is a duplicate of has been closed as unclear or off-topic, should we still close the new challenge as a duplicate? For example, my question here, was closed as a dupe of a question that was closed as unclear. Another challenge in the same area was also closed as a dupe of that question. So, where do we go to answer a question like this? They've all been closed, and we can't make a new one because it will be closed as a dupe.

I don't believe we have a meta consensus on this yet, so it would be great if we could achieve one. Please answer and vote according to your opinion, as always.

  • \$\begingroup\$ On the specific case of closing as a dupe of a question closed as dupe of another question, that is usually allowed network-wide. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stephen
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 12:38

2 Answers 2


I think this is a special case of a more general question which has come up in the past week in a different guise. I will therefore address the more general question:

What should I do with a question which is a dupe (or maybe only a borderline dupe) of an old question which has problems?

The answer (which I thought was already a well established consensus, but which I can't find):

There is more than one possible approach (close the old question and post a new one; close the old question, post a new one, and merge the old into the new; improve the old question), but there isn't one which is automatically the best. Therefore you should start a meta discussion to discuss which is the best approach in the specific case. Since this situation would normally be detected in the sandbox*, the question should be left in the sandbox for the duration of the discussion. If it's a more proactive approach, it may be reasonable to post a sandbox question with a proposed revision of the old question and to cross-reference it with the "What to do?" discussion.

* And would have been in this case if you'd followed the advice to sandbox questions for at least 72 hours.

  • \$\begingroup\$ + 1 for the Sandbox plug, really that's how to make borderline challenges work \$\endgroup\$
    – Stephen
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 12:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ And would have been in this case if you'd followed the advice to sandbox questions for at least 72 hours. [citation-needed] \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer, is this good enough? If not, what part of the claim do you think is unjustified? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor You linked to this post. :p Well, basically it was referring to the "72 hours" thingy, as well as "would have been"...sure it could've been better if you let it sit on the sandbox for at least 72 hours but not sure if a particular situation would've been detected, especially since activity on the sandbox is heavily declining lately. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 18:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer, that was quite intentional. And I personally would have raised the issue of dupes if it had been in the sandbox for 72 hours. In fact, 36 hours would have been enough. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 18:46

I say no. My opinion is of lesser value since I'm new but I feel like there is a better way to handle this.

If there is a closed challenge and it gets reposted, the answers that are taken from the closed challenge should be deleted (unless they are golfed). However, new answers that users have created/found should not be thrown out simply because the challenge has been posted before.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What's missing from this answer is an argument for why it's better to have answers split over two questions rather than to reopen the old challenge and have them all in one place. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 19:13

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