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I asked a Star Wars question and I got a message claiming what I asked was a duplicate. In an indirect way it was a duplicate, but I found the answer from the mod and the post that he directed me to. Satisfied with that, I answered the prompt "Yes, I don't need to pursue the question". The prompt said that it would just reroute to the original question and is closed to answers. How come I'm getting dinged points? Should I have deleted it?

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That's how the Stack Exchange system works.

When a question gets closed as a duplicate, it doesn't get deleted: it's still there on the system, still searchable via Google. If it's a duplicate of a good question, then it's probably also a good question and therefore worth upvotes, and upvotes still earn you points.

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  • Thanks for the prompt answer. Can I just delete it? I found what I needed to know. – zer00ne Sep 6 '15 at 11:53
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    @zer00ne I think you can delete, it provided it doesn't have any answers, but this may be frowned upon: questions are supposed to be useful for others too, not just the asker. – Rand al'Thor Sep 6 '15 at 11:58
  • Ah, looks like you've already deleted it. Never mind then. – Rand al'Thor Sep 6 '15 at 11:59
  • Yeah, I was wondering if it was frowned upon, which is why I was hesitant. But I believe i have a serial down voter or a couple of them ... or maybe just one stalker with a couple accounts. I gotta be on my toes. ;) – zer00ne Sep 6 '15 at 12:13
  • @randal'thor if the question was getting dowvotes, for whatever reason, it probably wouldn't have been as useful to others are we'd like (perhaps others thought the duplication was "too obvious"?) – KutuluMike Sep 6 '15 at 13:16
  • @MikeEdenfield I interpreted 'dinged' as upvotes, hence the last sentence of my answer. If it means downvotes, then the question would get auto-deleted after 30 days anyway, right? (Still can't see deleted questions, so I don't know what it said or what votes it got.) – Rand al'Thor Sep 6 '15 at 19:25
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    usually 'dinged' means a penalty, that's how I interpreted it; and I assume it would get auto-deleted eventually, but if it's score's just going down, may as well put it out of its misery :) – KutuluMike Sep 6 '15 at 20:35
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The reason closed questions remain on the site is that people might show up in the future with the same question you had. Depending on which search terms they use, they might find the original question, or the might not. If we deleted every duplicate, people could only find the original question by randomly guessing the right search terms to use.

But if we leave the questions that have been closed as duplicates, it is more likely that future visitors will be able to find what they're looking for, because if their search terms bring them to your question, the link that is now attached to your question will send them to the original one.

There are some limits, of course, and we don't want to have a billion closed duplicates all over the place, but it makes sense to leave a good number of closed duplicates around so people can find the information they're looking for more easily.

It also helps to prevent people from asking questions that have already been answered. If we have several similar questions, each using slightly different wording, and all but one of them are closed as duplicates of the first one, it will be more likely that the person asking the same question again will realize it and be spared the hassle of opening a question, only to find it closed moments later.

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