I've always wondered how clearly non-duplicate, yet related questions get marked as duplicate.

If someone asks what is the difference between X and Y, its different than asking what is the question what is the difference between Y and Z. Clearly there is overlap but they are definitively not duplicate questions.

Yes ideally there would be the question, what is the difference between X, Y, and Z, but if there isn't, simply linking to the first question and marking the second one as duplicate does not answer the second question.

Of course its not just security.se but many other sites. So this leaves me wondering what the motivation is.

Are loosely related questions fair game for being marked as duplicate? Do you get points for marking things as duplicate?

1 Answer 1


If an answer on the 2nd question is also relevant to the 1st, or if there is significant overlap then posts fill be flagged as duplicates.

There is no specific motivation for points, but there is a general motivation to improve the site.

So the answer to your headline question is No.

If you could point to specific posts this would be easier. Generally where a question has been marked as a dupe incorrectly, people will call this out and it gets fixed by mods.

  • So it doesn't matter that the linked answer doesn't answer the related question, there just has to be overlap? Also, are you saying that there are no points awarded for marking as duplicate? No specific motivation, or no points awarded? That wasn't clear. Dec 10, 2014 at 14:46
  • I don't even want to get into specifics, its not a security.se issue. It happens enough that case by case challenges in meta is not a solution. I'm just trying to wrap my head around why it happens so frequently. If anything it'll lead me to suggesting something to SE, not security. This just happens to be the SE that I frequent the most. Dec 10, 2014 at 14:58
  • No - you misunderstand. It does matter when the dupe is not a dupe. I occasionally have to decline dupe flags because they are incorrect.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Dec 10, 2014 at 15:10
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    My 3rd sentence should be very clear - the answer is No
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Dec 10, 2014 at 15:10
  • It definitely does not happen frequently on any sites I hang out on. But what would help is for you to point out examples
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Dec 10, 2014 at 15:11
  • Ok thanks. The two sentences together just confused me for why your answer was no. I understand now. Dec 10, 2014 at 16:01
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    @AndrewHoffman I would also say you don't need a meta post for every instance, you can just flag it. On the other hand, often when taking a wider perspective, the similiarities - and not just overlap - become apparent, thus closing it as dupe even though the asker is SURE that no this is a very different thing! We've had that often, and as any warden can tell you, every convict is "innocent".
    – AviD Mod
    Dec 10, 2014 at 22:30

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