Note this has been brought up over at MSO already, and they advocate closing with linking to the original
I think there are a few things here to be considered.
What is the definition of "Duplicate Questions"?
From the close menu:
This question has been asked before, and already has an answer
In other words a similar question has already been asked, AND the solution found to the 'parent' question ALSO solves the 'child' question. This means, that if problems A & C have the same solution even if problem A seems completely unrelated to problem C then they are duplicates.
Ultimately the solution should always be found within the parent question. If not then:
- They should be merged if the questions are indeed asking the same thing, and viable solutions are found between the two, or
- The aren't really duplicates.
Which is better?
With this in mind, I believe that the second option is optimal because it becomes more concise to traffic and finding the solution. For example, if user lands on A, then there is only one more 'click' until he reaches the solution found within C. Same thing with B.
But what if there is some useful info in the child duplicates, that can be found by traversing the "chain"?
Handling this situation should be done with discretion. Very rarely are there times, where pieces of information found in question A, B & C lead to the solution. In this case, there are two thing that I see:
- Again a merge of information would be best if the information to be gleaned is large enough
- There is the "linked" questions that users can see where the parent question is linked from