By a duplicate chain, I mean a question which has been closed as a duplicate of a duplicate.

For instance, Transforming a vertex moves other vertices has been closed as a dupe of Nearby objects won't move independently?, which has in turn been closed as a dupe of Duplicate objects transformation applies to both objects.

Is closing a question as a duplicate of another duplicate good or bad?

Possible pros and cons which I can imagine:


  • Users will see more related posts (and answers)


  • Potentially requires a lot of clicking to get the final destination

  • Separates content instead of putting it all in one post and directing everything straight to it

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe there should be a "Duplicate of:linkToPost. Related posts:linkToOtherDupPosts" $\endgroup$
    – Qwertie
    Apr 14 '14 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Qwertieϟ This is effectively what happens, there is a "linked" section on the right which lists all posts which are linked to the current post (this will include all the duplicates). $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Apr 14 '14 at 19:51

This was probably a minor blunder on the part of the person who closed it (me). It was the closest one related to that question when I searched using the close as duplicate dialog so I opted to close it as a duplicate of that specific one rather than the first question (Duplicate objects transformation applies to both objects) which I did not notice at the time.

Duplicate chains aren't necessarily a bad thing except that it may be confusing to have multiple posts all being closed as duplicates of the same topic so these small inconsistencies should be flagged and addressed. In a case such as this however, posts such as these are better off being merged since they are exactly identical and the newer answers could add more info to the older question(s).

So yes, it is best to have one post that is used to stamp duplicate questions.

  • $\begingroup$ As we now have quite a few duplicate chains can you clarify the action I should take to notify a moderator? Is 'flag'> 'In need of moderator attention'> "This is part of a duplicate chain" good enough or do the individual cases need discussion on Meta? $\endgroup$ Mar 21 '18 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ Had a glance at those linked, I think moderator intervention would be the better route seeing we can detangle these quickly. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Mar 21 '18 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ It wouldn't be a bad idea to open a new meta post either for this topic, lots of these answers are from when I was the primary mod. Much has changed since then and I wouldn't be against new possibly better solutions. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Mar 21 '18 at 20:34

I think the problem lies in what question is chosen when a question is closed voted as a duplicate. We should not close vote a question and link to a another close voted question. Instead we should link the the parent question, the one that all the duplicates should link to.

We should avoid the Duplicate chains when close voting a question.


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