On questions marked as a duplicate, the banner will sometimes say it "was marked as duplicate", and sometimes it will say it "was marked as an exact duplicate"

But when flagging, there's no option to provide whether it's exact or not.

Who decides which it is?

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  • Related: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/6179/…
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 2, 2016 at 11:34
  • Hmmm.... I never noticed that before, two things to consider, the exact one is old, perhaps the message was updated? or the exact one was closed by jokerdino and he is a mod? I don't know for sure but the first one been old and the reason been updated seems likely to me.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 2, 2016 at 11:44
  • @MarkKirby - Here's a newer example: askubuntu.com/questions/713301/how-to-install-ubuntu-15-10 Jun 2, 2016 at 11:45
  • @MarkKirby - And another: askubuntu.com/questions/714219/… Jun 2, 2016 at 11:46
  • Well, I guess that proves me wrong then, I don't know, we will have to wait and see I guess.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 2, 2016 at 11:48
  • @MarkKirby - I guess he didn't read the comments before posting an answer. Jun 2, 2016 at 12:02
  • He probably wrote it while we were discussing it and missed the end of the conversation. I total get why he got that conclusion though, he should of left the answer for reference though IMO.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 2, 2016 at 12:08
  • 2
    I think one of those voters might have picked a different close reason.
    – muru
    Jun 2, 2016 at 16:40
  • @muru - Could you extrapolate? (I don't have enough rep to VTC) Jun 2, 2016 at 16:45
  • @muru That makes sense, an exact = 5 dupe votes but a standard dupe = 3/4 out of 5 dupe votes.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 2, 2016 at 16:45
  • @AndroidDev one or two of those voters might have picked unclear, off-topic, or too broad (other close reasons)
    – muru
    Jun 2, 2016 at 16:47
  • 1
    @AndroidDev When 5 close votes are cast the system goes with the most voted reason, so 3 unclear and 2 dupe = unclear and 2 unclear + 3 dupe = a dupe and 5 dupe votes = an exact dupe.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 2, 2016 at 16:48
  • @muru - Should we wait for a mod's opinion, or do you want to go ahead and add an answer? Jun 2, 2016 at 16:59
  • @AndroidDev only a dev can really answer it I think. Try searching in Meta Stack Exchange, maybe someone has already asked about this.
    – muru
    Jun 2, 2016 at 17:00
  • Exact is the old wording. I'm not sure exactly when it changed but that's what it is.
    – Seth
    Jun 3, 2016 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Seth is partially right here. There are two different reasons that the "exact duplicate" would be shown:

  1. The question was closed as a duplicate a while ago (specifically before about February 2013)

  2. The question that was closed as a duplicate had no upvoted answers.

You can read more about this in animuson's Meta Stack Exchange answer (which I've quoted the relevant parts):

Possible Duplicate:

Appears on old questions that were marked as duplicates before the new closing overhaul. These notices were edited directly into the question by the Community user and could be freely edited and even removed. This has since been replaced, but questions that previously had it were not updated.

This question already has an answer here:

The new default message that is shown to everyone when a question gets closed as a duplicate. It is an automatic box that is displayed and cannot be edited.


This question is an exact duplicate of:

Looks like this is a special case for when you close as a duplicate of another question that doesn't have any upvoted answers.

  • 1
    "when you close as a duplicate of another question that doesn't have any upvoted answers." I though we could not do that? When you try to close a question as a duplicate of a question without an upvoted answer a message pops up This question does not have an upvoted or accepted answer and it rejects the vote, until you vote on an answer. Would this just apply in special case, like, closed by a mod or a user with a gold tag badge?
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 3, 2016 at 8:49
  • @MarkKirby - And furthermore, this one wasn't closed by a mod: askubuntu.com/questions/714219/… Jun 3, 2016 at 12:23
  • @MarkKirby Hrm, then it must be the other way around: that the question that was closed as a duplicate had no upvoted answers.
    – hichris123
    Jun 3, 2016 at 13:16
  • 1
    @hichris123 - I think we need to wait for Oli to weigh in. Jun 3, 2016 at 13:24
  • 1
    Perhaps, that does correlate, all the exact linked here dupes have 0 answers and this one has one answer but no votes askubuntu.com/questions/249542/duplicate-sources. This one with an answer and a vote askubuntu.com/questions/111885/… does have the other close reason, I think you may very well of solved the issue here.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 3, 2016 at 13:27
  • @MarkKirby - Here's one that happened just now: my answer was upvoted, and it doesn't have the "exact" wording: askubuntu.com/questions/781476/… Jun 3, 2016 at 19:03

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