I've seen numerous questions being flagged as 'duplicate' or 'has already been answered' but the supposed 'original question' bears little resemblance to the 'flagged question' or is subtly different enough as to require a totally different answer. Often that 'answer' to the 'original question' either didn't properly answer the 'flagged question' or it was buried in a link contained in the answer located 6 answers down to a question than only vaguely resembles the 'flagged question'. This results in the 'flagged questions' answer either being highly obscured or not answered at all.

I'm under the impression that this site is for getting the distilled information and concise answers to specific questions.

I do understand the need for the >'duplicate' or 'has already been answered'< function, but it seems to be overused at times. This makes it difficult to get a concise and proper answer if the flaggers don't get or grasp a nuance or focus of a question.

Why not migrate what they think is the answer and let the asked decide rather than start another goose chase?

  • By "migrate" do you mean move the answer from the one question to the other? That just can't be done on SE (short of a dev altering the DB manually).
    – Kevin
    May 22, 2014 at 2:21
  • Do you have specific examples?
    – Izkata
    May 22, 2014 at 2:22
  • 2
    If you think the answer is buried or difficult to find in the original question, you could always link to it directly in the comments on the duplicate question. I've done that a few times when the duplicate answer was only addressed tangentially in an old answer.
    – phantom42
    May 22, 2014 at 4:59
  • @Kevin -I see what you're saying there. The logistics could be a pain if it's that big of a deal.
    – Morgan
    May 22, 2014 at 6:35
  • 1
    @phantom42 -"I" don't think it's buried in one of the answers to a different question, that's the explanation I've seen for numerous 'duplicate' flags. When I go to find that supposed answer, I find that it's lacking (at best) to answer the question I want answered. I have then wasted my valuable life's energy chasing a wild goose and still haven't found the answer. This doesn't happen every time, just enough to be annoying. I'll do the hotlink suggestion from now on, that may help.
    – Morgan
    May 22, 2014 at 6:43
  • @Izkata -I'll drop a couple of examples here when I get a few extra minutes.
    – Morgan
    May 22, 2014 at 6:48
  • @Izkata -Here's a specific question that was marked as duplicate; scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/56666/… It is contended that this other question is the same and is already answered; scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/47868/… This question is obviously different and has 12 answers to it and none of them answer the question that is being called a duplicate.
    – Morgan
    May 25, 2014 at 1:10
  • @Morgan user21408's answer makes explicit what is hinted at in other higher-upvoted answers, and IMO provides an answer to the other question. As SSumner said, if that was the intent of the closers, a comment should have been left pointing at it
    – Izkata
    May 25, 2014 at 1:29
  • @Kevin - I thought mods can merge questions that effectively migrates the answers? May 25, 2014 at 23:01
  • @DVK We can merge questions, yes, but it sounds like Morgan wants the opposite, take a more relevant question off the original question and put it on the duplicate.
    – Kevin
    May 25, 2014 at 23:11
  • @Kevin - you can merge both ways around IIRC. I have had that happen on SO May 25, 2014 at 23:15
  • @DVK We can bulk-merge all answers from one question to another, we can't cherry-pick one answer and move it to a new question.
    – Kevin
    May 25, 2014 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


In the case that the answer is contained in not the accepted answer, but in another, comments should be left on the duplicate question telling people exactly where to find it.

If you have specific concerns you can vote to reopen, an/or bring up the specific question in a meta post explaining why it is not a duplicate.

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