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How exactly do post merges work, and what would be the reason for two questions being merged?

I happen to come across this post, which is marked as being a duplicate, and links to this post, which is marked as merged - which links back to the post I had just come from.

What seems odd to me, is that the post marked as merged, and is older, has many more views, and has no answers - but the newer post, is a duplicate of the old post, and has everything. Arent duplicates supposed to trickle down to the correct question?

Is this a bug? Bad merge? Or what exactly happened here?

If I understand correctly, should the merge have gone the other way? The answers moved into the original question?

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  • Dupe-loops (hey, I like that :p) are somewhat common. Sometimes people don't read what they're marking and stuff like that happens. – TheWanderer May 19 '16 at 23:29
  • Must have been Mitch learning to merge. :D – muru May 19 '16 at 23:30
  • @muru shots fired... – TheWanderer May 19 '16 at 23:48
  • @Zacharee1 no shots, just blanks. The first time I merged posts, I wasn't sure what was going to happen, which would merge to which. – muru May 19 '16 at 23:49
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A merge moves all the answers and comments from one question to another. The questions have to be duplicates and one has to be closed as such.

It looks like in this case it got a little messed up and the master question got closed as a duplicate of the.. duplicate. Oops. Accidents happen. I have reopened the remaining question. These days there are system checks in place so you cannot close two questions as duplicates of each other.

And yes, we usually make the question with the most views the master question, but it is entirely up to the discretion of the person performing the merge.

  • That is all and well, but how about moving the answers back where they belong too :) Asked - 3/24/14, Answered - 11/13/13. – Matt Clark May 20 '16 at 0:04
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    Unless, this was the discretion of the person performing the merge... – Matt Clark May 20 '16 at 0:06
  • @MattClark If the questions are duplicates then nothing needs to be done. It's not optimal, but there's nothing majorly wrong with it either; besides the fact that merges cannot be undone by moderators, that requires SE staff. – Seth May 20 '16 at 0:19

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