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It seems to me that a question should be marked as duplicate, even if the earlier duplicate question does not have an answer that is accepted as "correct." The issue arises from this recent question. I suggested that it is a duplicate of this question. @FuzzyChef stated that the "duplicate" did not have an accepted answer.

It seems to me that if the criteria for marking a duplicate is that the earlier question has an "accepted" response, we might have a larger number of duplicate questions, perhaps leading to confusion down the line. Wouldn't it be better to mark the second question as duplicate and direct the community to revisit the first (earlier) question? Beyond just marking as duplicate, is there a mechanism for this community redirection?

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As far as I understand we should mark as duplicate if the question has at least an answer, period. It will push people to add answers to the duplicate instead of the new question.

Exceptions:

  • The duplicate is really old and there's little chance OP would come back to accept an answer
  • the new question already has an answer that is better than in the duplicate

In these cases, mark the older question as duplicate and leave the new one open. It can happen that a newer question comes by and gets a better answer before we have the chance to mark as dupe.

Fortunately in this specific case it seems the duplicate has got an accepted answer! I'd just close it, since the answer in the new question essentially references the one in the dupe.

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