I do a lot of patrolling for duplicates on story identification questions, and I'm looking for some thought from the group about how to handle situations where three or more questions (here labeled generically and rhetorically as A, B and C) are all judged as duplicates of each other.
In such cases, when some of the questions are closed as duplicates, one of two possibilities result:
a "duplicate chain," such that not all closed questions point to the same target. For example, A is closed against B (abbreviated as A->B) and B->C.
a "duplicate hub," such that all closures do point to the same target. For example, A->C and B->C.
Please note that THIS QUESTION IS NOT ABOUT QUESTION OR ANSWER QUALITY, which always seems to be a contentious matter due to its subjective nature. This question is about whether a duplicate chain or a duplicate hub is the preferable outcome in the abstract, and why. Take it as a given that, in the abstract examples above, C is universally regarded as the best answer. (A situation like example #1 might result if a new question C is asked and answered with high quality after the A->B closure had already been done.)
It is certainly possible to have a mix of hubs and chains in cases where there are four or more duplicate questions. My assumption is that the same principles should apply in the abstract, so please limit discussion to this simple case of A, B and C unless it is absolutely necessary to make your point.
If the consensus is that duplicate chains are less preferable than duplicate hubs, I will submit another question about preferred methods for handling chains, so please limit discussion in this question to:
- whether or not one type of result is preferable to the other
- why one type of result is preferable to the other, or why there should be no preference