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Currently, we close questions as duplicates if either the question has been asked before, OR the answer to the new question has been addressed before.

The text when closing a question as a duplicate is:

This question has been asked before and has an answer.

The text displayed when a question has been marked as a duplicate is:

This question already has an answer here:

But these aren't necessarily true. The question may have been asked before, but never received an answer. (Note: I haven't checked the data explorer, so this may be an edge case, but it's still a possibility for a cause of confusion.)

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    I believe as part of the close reason changes, there was logic added that prevented a question from being marked as dupe of a question that has no answers. – user1027 Jun 12 '14 at 16:49
  • @Keen I didn't go through with the vote, but I tried setting my Maleficent question as an original for a dupe and didn't get an error. – phantom42 Jun 12 '14 at 17:14
  • I expect it blocks the actual vote. I haven't seen it in action myself, but I read about it several times on MSE. – user1027 Jun 12 '14 at 17:21
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I just tried to close a question as a dupe, but as the original question did not have any answers, much less an accepted or upvoted answer, I received the following message:

This question does not have an upvoted or accepted answer

and I could not vote to close.

So, the message will always be correct and does not need to be changed.

(Though, I feel like we should still be able to mark dupes regardless of whether or not there is an existing answer.)

  • there is an exception if the answerless question is by the same user but this is generally correct. – Kate Gregory Jun 30 '14 at 17:08

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