I found these two questions: https://askubuntu.com/question

They are both marked as duplicate, and they both reference the other question as the linked question that is supposedly duplicated.

Obviously one of them has to be the original, right? Can this be fixed? Or is there a third unlinked question and answer I'm missing?

Perhaps this isn't a bug, but it sure feels like one from a user standpoint. I wouldn't think proper design should allow closing a question by marking it as a duplicate of another question that is already marked as a duplicate. I spent far longer than I care to admit following the breadcrumb trail until I realized it was the same two questions.

  • I don't think it's normally allowed, but a mod did the final closure on the latter, and they have more power.thay doesn't really explain the other three close votes on it though.. Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 22:00
  • hmm at least one of them should be deleted imho - that's not a normal duplicate but a re-post by OP
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 0:16
  • @Zanna oh, reposts. That explains it partially. Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 22:57

2 Answers 2


The way this happened in the past was that

  • question a and question b got various votes as duplicates of each other.
  • question a is closed as a duplicate of b
  • question b is closed for some non-duplicate reason
  • the majority votes on b are for duplication and the majority action counts

This edge case was solved by the stack developers writing code that clears the duplication votes on b when a is closed as a duplicate of b but historical closures still exist.


I can confirm that this should no longer happen. I just reopened one of the two and then tried to close it again. For science. I got:

circular duplicate closure warning

So this shouldn't be possible anymore. In any case, thanks for bringing it up, I have now merged the two questions into one.

  • 1
    +1 on behalf of science (and for cleaning up the mess)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 9:39

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