On Stack Overflow moderators tend to not close duplicates quite so brutally as they do on Super User. For reasons such as:

  • The asker may pick a new answer.
  • New answers may be better.
  • Time affects technology, therefore answers may change.

Why doesn't Super User moderate more like SO in this regard?

For example: I asked this question, and the answer I picked was nowhere to be found inside the duplicate for which my question was closed.

This is new and useful information. Now, since the question is closed no one else is able to offer any new insight.

  • 2
    Frankly, your question probably should have just been closed as off-topic in my opinion. It's basically a "list of ways to dispose of old hardware", there's no definitively right answer.
    – DMA57361
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:34
  • @DMA57361 - I disagree. There's many routes to solve any given problem on the planet. That doesn't mean there's no solution. It just means I haven't found the one I am looking for. Others may agree with the answer I picked, they may not. They may find another answer more useful and give an an upvote. This can be said of all questions. There's even a splitoff of SO and programmers for what can be marked as subjective vs not. Because SU has no subjective alternative I feel you should be more lenient in your decisions. Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:38
  • 1
    True, but most questions have one or two answers that are right. There is no definitive "right" with that question, there are just 1000s of different choices - recycle? build an arch? sent to museum? put in storage? construct statue? donate to charity? give to relatives? dump in bin? - the list of possibilities goes on and on, and with no "right" answer the question will never end because people will always have more arbitrary suggestions. That makes it not a very good question for the Stack Exchange model.
    – DMA57361
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:42
  • @DMA57361 - I see your point. Perhaps I needed to add a detail to the question to avoid going that route. I was not looking for anything along the lines of "building an arch". I only wanted legitimate, environmentally or monetarily beneficial means of disposal. Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:44
  • Even then I'd not be sure, there'd still be lots of potential answers, many of which the validity of will be dependant on where you live and the locally applicable laws, for example. But, this is a bit tangential anyway, so lets return to the question at hand. :)
    – DMA57361
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:48
  • @DMA57361 - Hm, I feel that you may be overthinking this a bit. But, perhaps the user base of SU is so different from SO that it requires some modification of how I feel about site usage. But yes, we are going on a tangent. Should stop Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


The rate of questions flooding Stack Overflow are far, far more than Super User. It's harder for people to actively find the motivation to locate duplicates on SO than it is here.

That and the easy reputation from answering duplicates is less incentive to find and close the duplicates.

If new answers are better, but the questions are still the same, then why do we have to split the answers across multiple questions? Super User tends to its garden because if we didn't, it would be an absolute mess.

  • So you are saying the only reason SO doesn't close duplicates is because they cannot keep up? This is in direct contradiction to the itemized list in my question. I did not make this list up. I pulled these details from past meta-discussions on SO meta. Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:48
  • 1
    One point. But the closing paragraph addresses why we feel that duplicates that are the same shouldn't spread information all over the place. Add to the older question, it's still there. @pbr
    – random Mod
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:54
  • Perhaps what is needed then is to allow duplicates to remain open for a time and then merge the new answers. This way we can still gather new information and keep an "original". I am guessing Google doesn't allow duplicates to come up as results otherwise the cleanup process would be somewhat artificial. Commented May 20, 2011 at 15:06
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    Why leave them open, like @random said: you can add them to the old one.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 15:48
  • +1 @Ivo - I think I see what you mean now. So you suggest I edit the original question to add this detail. That does make sense. I will keep this in mind in the future. It does kind-a go against the voting system, but it does make sense for "gardening". So long as the site doesn't make itself obsolete. See my similar concern for SO meta.stackexchange.com/questions/88161/is-so-consuming-itself/… Commented May 20, 2011 at 16:48

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