Inspired by a similar question on meta.stackoverflow, I just did this database query on superuser, and found 103 pairs of questions with totally identical title, excluding those where one of them is already closed. (There are some merged questions in the list, if those were not closed before merging.)

  • In some cases these might be simple duplicates, then vote to close. (If you think the to-be-closed one has valuable answers, you might flag it for moderator attention, so it can be merged.)
  • In other cases one or both questions might have a bad title, then edit the title (and maybe the text and tags, if you are on it) to make them better (and distinct).

Happy editing/voting!

mod note: to prevent excessive flags, please use the following guidelines for how to handle these types of questions:

  • If they are (mostly) exact duplicates, exercise your vote-to-close privileges if you have over 3k
  • Whether or not you have reached 3k, post in the vote-to-close chat room
  • If the questions are exact duplicates by the same user (i.e. they posted the same thing twice), then flag them for a moderator, and in the message, tell us that they need merging because the same user posted twice

  • If the questions have some differences and both have quality answers, then do some editing to differentiate them a bit. You don't necessarily need to vote to close.

  • Once a duplicate is closed, if they are 100% identical, then you can flag them and ask for them to be merged. Flag the closed post and request in the mod message box that it be merged into the duplicate. Only do this if they really are so identical that you can't tell the difference, and the answers on one would make 100% sense on the other.

  • If a duplicate is of very low quality, and has low views, you can vote to delete it (or post in the vote to close/delete room if you don't have 10k). You can also create a meta post requesting that a list of questions be burninated or merged, and moderators and 10k+ users can work through the list as they have time.

  • Some of these could also be merged i think. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 17:42
  • Ah, I thought of merging being a follow-up to closing. I added some mention of it to the question. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 17:45
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    @SimonSheehan and Paulo, I added some info about how this can be handled so as not to overwhelm the flag list. Thanks for your help!
    – nhinkle
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 17:55
  • @nhinkle What if it is a duplicate but both have accepted answers? Can it be merged still? Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 17:56
  • @SimonSheehan yes it can still be merged. But again, we'd only merge if they really are 99.999% the same. This happens pretty rarely in practice. Some duplication is OK.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


It appears the majority of these posts are ones that were originally on Stack Overflow or Server Fault, and were migrated, then posted again by users who did not know about migration. Many had different answers, and for some the users had marked accepted answers on both questions.

I have used all my flags for today, and have gotten down to How to create script auto run without choose on Ubuntu?, on the list. I have left some that are duplicates in the Vote to Close room, for 3k+ Rep users to vote to close and such. Thanks to the moderators for cooperating with a large number of flags at this time, and most are being merged per mine and nhinkle's discussions in "Ask a Super User Moderator".

A few hours, and many flags later, I have gone through this entire query, and improved a few questions, and submitted over 40 flags, for merging and deleting. There is now a post here to get them cleaned up faster.

It has been completed now.

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