Just wanted to know, when different people select different reasons to close a question, what's the reason finally displayed? Is it the one that received the first close vote? What happens for questions closed as a duplicate?

1 Answer 1


It is whichever receives the most votes for a reason. If it is tied (i.e. 2 as NARQ, 2 not constructive, 1 too localized), then it is the first one to vote. If it's a duplicate that it gets closed as, it (sometimes) lists both duplicates in the question, and that is the reason. If it is voted as OT and sent to another site, it goes there.

For "exact duplicate" votes, if multiple questions are chosen, then all of these links are inserted into the "Possible duplicate:" text on the question. (This was pointed out by slhck in the comments)

  • Thanks! How about if (theoretically) more than 2 threads are voted as being ones a question is duplicating? I don't think I've seen more than 2 duplicates mentioned so far, so is this a system limit and does it just pick the first two (or the 2 with most votes), ignoring the rest?
    – Karan
    Jan 9, 2013 at 18:56
  • When I see it with 2 duplicate threads, I usually have the last vote and choose the first one on the list... So that part I don't know. If you want, make a question on here, and we can have people VTC with different reasons as a test. Just link us in Chat Jan 9, 2013 at 18:58
  • I can do that, but is it allowed? Also, would need to think of a question that can be marked as being a duplicate of more than 2 previous questions. Perhaps a mod can tell us without needing to experiment by cluttering up the (meta) site with useless questions. :)
    – Karan
    Jan 9, 2013 at 18:59
  • We need more Meta here... Jan 9, 2013 at 19:01
  • You also raised an interesting point. It would be nice to know whether a mod decides if more than one duplicate should be linked to, or does the system do it based on some heuristic (say a 3-2 split between votes for 2 threads)?
    – Karan
    Jan 9, 2013 at 19:02
  • I would assume the 3 votes are more powerful then the 2 Jan 9, 2013 at 19:14
  • 2
    If multiple questions are chosen by close voters, then all of these links are inserted into the "Possible duplicate:" text on the question.
    – slhck
    Jan 9, 2013 at 20:00
  • @slhck: Ah, so we could have more than 2 questions linked to as duplicates? (An unlikely situation, I admit, which is probably why I've never seen it happen yet.)
    – Karan
    Jan 9, 2013 at 21:54
  • @Karan I actually often do this if I find another duplicate: Just vote to close as that and there will be two listed, automatically. Granted, it really doesn't happen often
    – slhck
    Jan 9, 2013 at 23:00
  • If a question is closed as a duplicate of three other questions, doesn't it stand to reason that some of the them should also be closed as duplicates? And, if so, why wouldn't you just close-as and display-the-link-to the "master" question?
    – ale
    Jan 10, 2013 at 14:33
  • @AlEverett: That does make sense, but I just wanted to know what will happen if something like this were to transpire (i.e., will all 3 be listed as duplicates).
    – Karan
    Jan 10, 2013 at 22:12
  • @Karan Only one way to find out Jan 10, 2013 at 22:59
  • @Luke: Happy? ;)
    – Karan
    Jan 10, 2013 at 23:20
  • @Karan I am, but I had to VTC as a dupe ;) Jan 11, 2013 at 2:27
  • Heh. :) Anyway, looks like it will add as many duplicate links as there are votes for distinct questions, so that's that.
    – Karan
    Jan 11, 2013 at 3:13

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