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This question:

Misanthropic boy given near-omnipotent powers by alien intelligence, proceeds to destroy humanity

is a duplicate of this:

Bullied boy given immense powers by an alien race who destroys the human race

as evidenced by this comment.

I wanted to vote to close the new (duplicate) but I cannot because:

This question does not have an upvoted or accepted answer

This question does not have an upvoted or accepted answer

What is the rational behind this restriction?

8

First of all, the limit exists on a technical basis, according to Shog9:

The rationale here is that it can be fairly hard to discern whether or not an unanswered question is actually a duplicate, and even when it is closing doesn't really accomplish very much. When searching for a "canonical" answer in particular, duplicates without answers (or with bad answers) are just noise in the results.

Essentially, the point of duplicate questions is so that the answers are all in the same place. You don't want to have to search through dozens of different questions to find the specific answer that you want, so instead, we close as duplicates and ask the answerer (if it's an answer that wasn't posted yet to the duplicate target) to post their answer over at the target. It's not much use to have a question say This question already has an answer here: and then there not be an answer there.

If you don't like this feature, here's a feature request for it to be changed.


Second, I see it's a Story-ID in your example. We have an explicit policy not to close Story-IDs as dupes unless both questions have a confirmed answer, so this helps keep us in line with that policy. (Yes, this specific case is special. See below.)


Third off, in this particular case, I'd not advise voting to close as duplicate. It's a repost, by the same user (even if on a second account), and so it should just be deleted. I've flagged dozens of these to have them deleted when it's an actual repost of the question,1 by the same OP (even if they may not have access to the original account anymore).


1Unfortunately, the way this is handled may change depending on who handles the flag. If it gets declined, maybe bring it up here on SFF meta?

  • 1
    Re your second point: sometimes a story-ID question can be confirmed duplicate just via comments, without an answer being posted. But admittedly, this probably won't - and indeed shouldn't - happen for a dupe target. – Rand al'Thor Nov 29 '17 at 10:55

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