4

I seem to have upset a new user here:

Allow a user to run a program as administrator permanently

When I pointed out that his question has been asked a few times, he said that none of the solutions on the other questions worked for him (they weren't secure, etc.) and that my remarks were "garbage".

In cases like these, I'm of the persuasion that the question is still a duplicate. Does merely saying "none of the answers on the other question worked for me" make a question unique?

More importantly, was my response appropriate or should I have handled it differently?


If I can merely add a qualifier after a question to make it unique, one could assume that we could have series of questions like:

"How can I fix X problem?"

"How can I fix X problem, but without Y method?"

"How can I fix X problem, but without Y or Z methods?"

"How can I fix X problem, but without Y or Z or Q or M or B methods?" (You catch my drift)

3

I agree with Oliver.

If a previous question did not have a solution, then re-posting it is unlikely to get a solution either.

There are only three ways that it could get a solution where the previous one did not:

  • If the new person asking it has more information to supply than the previous person(s)
  • If the situation has changed since the last time it was asked (e.g., a new version was released, a bug fixed, etc.)
  • If the new question being on the front page draws the attention of someone who can provide a solution

In any case, it makes more sense to use the original question instead because it likely already has more information available, so it will provide a head start instead of starting it again from scratch.

The second point is irrelevant.

If closing a question as a duplicate would cause the original to get bumped, then it would help with the third point.

The first point is slightly more tricky because as slhck pointed out, they may not have enough reputation to post a comment. However this doesn’t really matter because they can still edit the original question to add their new information. Plus, they often post their information as an answer which gets flagged and converted to a comment. Finally, even if they open the a question, it can provide new information, but it should still be closed with a link to the original.

5

There's been a slight shift in the meaning of "duplicates" over the last couple of months (ever since they changed the whole process). Basically, the point of closing questions as duplicates is to point people to answers. That's why you can't choose a question with no answers as a duplicate—you want the OP to get a working answer.

Now, if the OP already found that question and none of the answers worked for them, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a separate question. In fact, if the duplicate has an accepted (and/or highly upvoted answer), we'd usually tell the OP to bounty the existing question.

If there's a new user who cannot afford to start a bounty, or who has done a lot of research, then posting a separate question should be fine, but only if the OP can explain what they've already tried and why the solutions given in the other questions don't work. In a very explicit manner.

Not sharing their research and describing their situation—basically just posting the same question again—doesn't help differentiate the question from its possible duplicates and just leads to more unanswered questions.

2

"None of the answers worked" is not a reason to post another identical question.

It's not like the only reason the question is unanswered is the fact that we have too little questions about the same topic.

If the user wants to draw attention to a question, he should improve the existing question with relevant information (and, thus, "bump" the question) or put a bounty on it.

1

You were right.

At best a new question should reference the earlier questions, stating that they don't work and giving a reason why. That would at least indicate that some research had been done.

A new user can't just add a comment to the old questions so they have to ask anew if they really want to elicit further answers.

In your specific case, the questioner's statement that he is tired of people not reading the question seems to indicate that he isn't a new user. That comment was certainly an over-reaction.

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