I flagged a question as a dupe of another one. Why, when I could simply VTC? Obviously because I'm compelled to do so due to the stupid changes to "close as duplicate" (which predictably have lead to a sheer waste of time for everyone concerned, and more work for the mods due to extra flags).
For my efforts I end up with a declined flag that reduces my flag weight, and a 'helpful' comment pointing me to this question and telling me to VTC instead. Now I always think twice before flagging, and to be perfectly honest find it irritating when they are IMO incorrectly declined. I would not have minded in the least if the flag was disputed by a mod who disagreed with my assessment and felt the questions weren't really duplicates, or some other valid reason, but to decline and tell me to VTC when I obviously cannot is not something I especially appreciate.
So let's clear this up once and for all. How do we deal with questions that are duplicates of older ones with no upvoted/accepted answers? Obviously we can't VTC, and now it seems we're not supposed to flag them either, which was what I was advised to do earlier. Great. If the official policy now is to simply ignore them then please let us know and we'll do just that. It takes effort to locate dupes and flag, so frankly it will save us all time and energy that we can spend on doing better things.