Here's an example of a new user doing the right thing, and looking to see whether their question has been asked before. However, it was unanswered, and their only option to bring attention to the question seems to be to do the wrong thing, and ask it again in the answers section.

I apologise if I'm missing something obvious.. how should a reviewer advise the new user? It seems unfair just to slap the post down.


"However, it was unanswered, and their only option to bring attention to the question seems to be to do the wrong thing, and ask it again"

The correct thing is to ask a new question. If a question is technically a duplicate but original has no answers, there is nothing wrong with asking it again.

Do so by making a new post (not a commenting or writing in the answer section), and ideally mentioning the original post with a link to it, so as to acknowledge it and show research efforts.

It is not consideres a duplicate nor a wrong action, and except for mods you can't even close vote as duplicate of a question with no answers, or if any answers only have no upvotes or negative score.

To answer your question directly, to bump an old question a user can:

  • As Glorfindel mentions add a bounty if you have enough rep to spare.
  • Improve the answer by fixing any mistakes or adding proper tags.
  • Add new details or additional information that can help solve the issue, if those don't conflict with the meaning of the original author.
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Ahh! Thanks, @Duarte I didn't know comments count as activity, and I'm glad a fresh ask wouldn't count as a dupe. That solves the dilemma. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Sep 16 '20 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't this job been done by Community ♦? I mean, it should bring some searched post in front of the queue using some algorithm (or it is randomly poke now?). $\endgroup$ – HikariTW Sep 17 '20 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ As far as I know Community user has limited goals, but any activity like commenting or editing does bump questions into the top of the queue automatically. In-Site search is admittedly poor, I often have an easier time finding posts through Google than built-in search $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Sep 17 '20 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ Definitely agree with in-site search, then it seem to be a design flaw for new user to bump up a question. There is no (quick) way to know what will happen after user did an action mention above. I mean, there isn't a guide to let a question been notice by more people. Or did I miss that tutorial? $\endgroup$ – HikariTW Sep 18 '20 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ I also thought comments didn’t bump the question - only edits and answers. $\endgroup$ – Rich Sedman Sep 18 '20 at 17:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You are right, commenting does not bump it up the queue, my mistake. That leaves the other options left. It does notify the original poster, and at least the last person to comment, so it does get some attention on the question. $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Sep 19 '20 at 2:05

That answer will end up in the Low Quality Posts review queue (because of its length, and because I flagged it as Not An Answer), where one of the options after 'Recommend Deletion' (or 'Delete') is to post this comment:

This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question once you have enough reputation.

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That post is not an answer, so it should be deleted, but the new answer did bump the question, so perhaps somebody stumbles upon it now and can contribute to a solution. That would be a nice side effect.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Sure .. I just thought it would be nice if a new user had a way of reviving an unanswered question without inviting insult.. Maybe the right thing to do is suggest the user rephrases the question and asks it again, but then they would get closed for duplication. It seems they can't win! $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Sep 16 '20 at 10:33

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