According to this question and the link in the answer from Jacob Edwards closed duplicates that have no answers will redirect the user automatically to the main post after the dupe is closed.

This gets us to a point where we all wanted to be, its a nice implemented feature that should be considered useful to the site, but it leads us to discuss 2 points:

  • Should the moderators in their all mighty wisdom and powerful knowledge (and by that I mean the flip a coin, make a decision method) delete any answers that might not add any information, or are simply bad answers (only links, low info, one liners, etc) before closing the post?

  • What if the answers have 1 or more up votes? Would your opinion still apply? Even if the answer does not really bring anything new compared with the ones on the main post?

Please read carefully the meta post linked in the answer from Jacob and share your opinion, this will be useful to allow moderators to act based on these points.

2 Answers 2


Maybe, but with the merging ...

I was looking at this question today looking forward to flagging for merging:

The problem is some of those answers are okay, but if we were to merge them with the original they become out of context. Of course with popular questions we wouldn't want to have all the one-liner fast-gun answers from duplicates starting to pile up on the original question.

There have been plenty of times though when a person's answer on the new dupe is nicer than the original, and I leave a comment encouraging them to post it on the original question instead.

Perhaps a canned comment or message on the duplicate? Something like "Thanks for this answer, but this question has been asked before and we like to keep information in one place, can you put this answer on the original question? Or better yet, update an existing one there to be better!" or something.

I really love this feature however I am hesitant if a person took the time to try to answer the question that we just go through them deleting them all. Is it possible to selectively merge only some answers into the original?

Also we should do a query finding dupes with posts (sorted by views) so we can get the low hanging fruit immediately.

  • askubuntu.com/… should get us started, just start at the last page. If you want to exclude negative score answers add votes:0 to the search parameter. Commented Mar 16, 2012 at 13:48


If a posted answer in a dupe and does not add any information to the main post then the answer should be deleted to allow the automatic mechanism to work. After all if there are good answers in a post that is a dupe of another those should in the first place be merged instead of just closed.

Automatic redirection works only if the duped post does not contain any answer, moderators should check the answer to see if they are valid in the first place, check the information on the answers to see if they are no dupes of the main post and delete and close as dupe, or merge the posts in to 1 maintaining the answers from the dupe.

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