Suppose I have a closed challenge "Closed" and an old challenge "Old" and want to create a new challenge "New". Closed is closed as a duplicate of Old because entries from Old are competitive in Closed because Closed allows a super-set of entries from Old. Now all entries from New will be (likely?) competitive in Closed but 100% are banned in Old (that is, Old and New have an empty set-intersection and Closed is a super-set of New).

My question is now:
Would New be closed as dupe of Closed (or of Old) or would it be allowed to stay open?

To make this more interesting, the total textual non-fluff difference between Closed and New will be about two lines (out of 50 or so).

Note: This is intentionally abstract, but I bet you can figure the involved challenges out if you really want to ;)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is an interesting question. I also think it is confusing enough already without labelling the non-old question O. I'll edit to make the initials easier to parse in the hope of getting more discussion. Please correct anything which changes your intention. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 11:43
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @trichoplax thank you, it is indeed more readable now (with preserved meaning) :) \$\endgroup\$
    – SEJPM
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 11:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is New essentially an edited version of Closed so it is no longer a dupe of Old? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 12:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheLethalCoder yes, but as a new post as to not break Old's entries. \$\endgroup\$
    – SEJPM
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ How old is closed? If closed is only a couple of days old with little to no answers it would make sense to edit closed to new and reopen it. Else make new and add a disclaimer of why it's different to closed and new and why you didn't just edit closed i.e. too old/lots of answers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheLethalCoder Closed is a couple of days old with quite a few answers, the change would invalidate about 90% of them. I will sandbox the new challenge shortly. \$\endgroup\$
    – SEJPM
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're invalidating answers then a new question would be best. Just add a disclaimer at the top of the new question as to why it isn't a dupe (or some comment saying why you posted a new one) to avoid the close votes. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 13:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheLethalCoder would you mind formulating this stance into an answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – SEJPM
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 13:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've voted to close as too broad because policy-making in a vacuum easily leads to bad policies whose flaws are exposed as soon as they make contact with the real world. It would make far more sense to discuss this in the specific context of the actual questions. (From what you describe, this also seems to be an instance of "What should I do with a question which is a dupe (or maybe only a borderline dupe) of an old question which has problems?", to which the answer is still: discuss the specific case on meta). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 14:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I agree with you but as I discuss in my answer there are some general guidelines you can follow when faced with this situation. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 15:20

3 Answers 3


Stay open

Closed was closed as a dupe of Old, but New shouldn't be closed as a dupe of Closed, since Closed has been already been closed as a dupe of Old, and New isn't itself a dupe of Old.

Basically, if answers from a challenge X can't be transferred to another challenge Y without non-trivial modifications, then Y isn't a dupe of X. This is almost the case here: Y⊃X has been closed as a dupe of X, but Z⊂Y shouldn't be closed as a dupe of an already closed challenge, in this case Y, and answers from Y (after being transferred there from X) can't be transferred in such a way to Z, so Z isn't a dupe of Y in this case.


In this particular case it seems that "New" is an edit of "Closed" that would invalidate most of the current answers in "Closed". In this case it makes sense to post a new question but add a disclaimer as to why it is different to the old one.

However, This will generally be a case by case basis depending on how closely related the questions are, how old they are and the number of answers, among other factors.

Some general factors to consider when in this position:

  • Will the answers be valid in the new question?
  • Is the closed question old or can I edit it into shape? If so would editing the question invalidate the answers on it?
  • How many answers does the old one have? If none you might be able to edit it into shape, but you may invalidate any WIPs.
  • Is the new question essentially an edit of the closed one?

As long as the old entries aren't valid/competitive on the new challenge, they aren't duplicates

Your new question is a strict subset of the older challenge. However, given that none of the old posts currently work on the new challenge, it's likely that that is because it costs them extra bytes.

The key here is that the additional requirements require extra bytes, meaning that they aren't competitive on the old question


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