What in blazes is going on here? Now one can only VTC as duplicate of questions that have accepted answers? What if there have been a rash of Qs that are duplicates, with people possibly being driven to post the same thing repeatedly precisely because there has been no accepted solution yet?

Also, it's not even working properly! >:( Just tried to VTC Prompt list via HELP prompt in Windows 7 command prompt and this is what it tells me:


Fine, while Command to see all Windows commands has no accepted answer, Why do certain commands not show up when you type "help" in cmd.exe? does. So why am I not being allowed to mark the question as a duplicate of that one?

I know it's already being discussed here: Changes to "close as duplicate" and here: We should be able to close questions as duplicates of any question, but I'd just like to voice my opposition to this on SU meta as well.

  • Ok, suddenly I am able to VTC (possibly they fixed this bug), but I still do not agree with this change at all.
    – Karan
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 1:45

2 Answers 2


See Changes to "close as duplicate" on Meta Stack Overflow.

This is indeed by-design, but if you disagree, please voice your concerns on that MSO post.

  • I know it is, I mentioned that post myself. I have voted against it, and will probably write something as well. As for the bug, will inform you if it happens to rear its ugly head again.
    – Karan
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 2:52
  • For what it's worth, apparently they're letting mods still close as a dupe of something without answers, so you can always flag for us to do it. I know, I know, at 10k you shouldn't have to, but at least there's some way around it.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 3:22
  • @nhinkle Just more helpful flags! :D (sorry for the extra bother, though)
    – Bob
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 3:28
  • With regard to this question, I'd like to add that this doesn't mean one should flag every question with a possible (unanswered) duplicate for moderator attention. This should still be reserved for special cases, like the bug mentioned here, or double-migrations, question repetitions by unlinked accounts, etc.
    – slhck
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 13:46

Sorry about the initial bugginess; definitely not the best way to introduce changes. Should all be working now, but please let me know if you run into something odd.

What if there have been a rash of Qs that are duplicates, with people possibly being driven to post the same thing repeatedly precisely because there has been no accepted solution yet?

In practice, this is pretty rare. To the extent that I would consider it one of those "exceptional" situations moderators are supposed to be useful for.

That said, here are all the questions from the past 90 days where at least one vote would've been impacted by the "must be answered" restriction:

(Note that some of these are closed as duplicates of multiple questions, some collected close votes that weren't "Exact Duplicate", and some ended up being closed by moderators anyway)

Look 'em over, see what you think.

  • 1
    Are you sure this is all of them? I get 15 results looking at actually closed questions as duplicates from November 1st to February 3rd on Data.SE, trying to determine the real impact of this change. Clearly, your list should be quite a bit longer, as you're counting everything starting with one vote. For example, what about this one?
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 15:34
  • Thanks @Daniel! I failed to realize that AnswerScore was nullable, excluding questions with answers that'd never been voted on - this yields 21 results for the past 90 days. Altered the query to actually check the timing on votes - should include all questions where no answers had received an up-vote at the time the close vote was cast now.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 16:13
  • 3
    This is a LOT, IMO. I realize it's not outside moderator ability to handle but it shouldn't require that. (Personally I agree with most of the MSO complaints - this is a bad idea)
    – Shinrai
    Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 15:25
  • 7
    One rather frequent issue with the new changes: A user posts a question on two SE sites, and one of them gets migrated to the other. Neither has an answer, so you need a mod to close one of them.
    – Dennis
    Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 16:15
  • That's only an issue if the user's accounts don't get associated, @Dennis - which is a problem you'll need a moderator's help (or the asker's cooperation) to solve anyway. We've been working for some time to reduce the likelihood of this happening in the first place.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 3:56
  • One way of reducing the number of unassociated accounts would be to require registration to post questions. As it is, it is much easier to just post a question on SU with an unregistered account than to log in using your existing SE credentials. Recent example: question on SO, question on SU with unregistered account
    – Dennis
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 14:55

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