Questions that do not have an upvoted answer cannot be used (by non-moderators) to close other questions as a duplicate of. This is the error message I receive when I try to close a question as a duplicate of an unanswered question:
I get a similar message when I try via the app:
This is somewhat problematic because it prevents users from closing a question even if it is identical to an earlier question. However, there is a simple way around this problem. Someone could post a dummy answer which will be deleted as soon as the other question is closed. As long as one person upvotes it it will allow the question to be used for duplicate closures. A dummy answer might be something like this:
This is a dummy answer posted for the sole purpose of allowing this question to be used for duplicate closures. As soon as the duplicate question is closed this answer will be deleted.
(If necessary you can perhaps request an upvote, either in the answer itself or in a comment thereto.)
Is this something that can/should be done?
Why or why not?