This question was recently marked as a duplicate, but when I reviewed it, I noticed that the question it was supposedly a duplicate of was asked nearly a year later. It seems, however that there would be an automatic limitation that would prevent marking a question as a dup of a future one, but there isn't.

One solution would be to just, vote to leave it open with a comment explaining why, then mark the other as a duplicate of the older one. However, in this case it cannot be done because the older question doesn't have an upvoted or accepted answer. I simply left a comment on the other one linking back, but I have had debate about a similar incident in the past.


1 Answer 1


Yes you can mark any question as a duplicate of a newer question.

There are no time based constraints on what question is the duplicate.

There is one simple rule:

Always direct users to the best possible information.

If a newer question/answer is undetected as a dup long enough to become better, then I will close the older one as a dup of this one.

So for example (and this was a real case) someone asked about z-fighting. It is an ok question, and there are nothing spectacular about the answers. Now about a year later "the" Z fighting question got asked. This is the question we link all z fighting question to, because it is better. To end the story, last year the older question got closed as a dup of the future z fighting question.

Robert Cartaino's answer (Should duplicates be closed to the oldest question or the "best" question?) talks about this very issue in a bit more detail.

In short, you should not be looking at the time stamp to determine which to close.


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