Tried to mark a duplicate of the old question and got an error message:

This question does not have an upvoted or accepted answer

The previous question was answered in the comment section (never happened before, RLY?) and has very similar wording (maybe same user under a different name or copy/paste).

Why do we need upvoted/accepted answers to mark an obvious duplicate?

  • The thing about duplicating questions is (i think) that is supposed to say 'this already has an answer here' - just using it as a sort of cleaning mechanism is stupid...
    – Wilf
    Jun 2 '14 at 9:40

Probably because linking to that question from a dupe is not very helpful for the asker. There's no way of knowing that the question is answered when it is done in comments.

You could always answer the question (preferably the earlier one) instead.

  • 1) the guy who asked the very original question was much smarter and he answered the second question in his question while explaining what he wants to achieve. 2) how my answering a year-old question will help, since the upvoted or accepted answer it required -- it's very unlikely the original poster recovers from his year long slumber just to accept (does he know how to accept the answer?) the answer he most likely already seen and does not need anymore.
    – lenik
    May 16 '14 at 4:49
  • on the other hand, three or more votes required to make a question put on hold as duplicate. why not to trust other SE members, and if three of them think it's a duplicate, it must be a duplicate even if there's no upvoted or accepted answer.
    – lenik
    May 16 '14 at 5:08
  • 2
    @lenik I'm not debating the fact that it's a duplicate, I'm saying it's not helpful to mark it such when the original has no answers. The original poster does not need to accept an answer, but currently it appears at a glance that it has not been answered at all.
    – Jivings
    May 16 '14 at 18:01
  • checking for duplicates is a tedious and time consuming process. if there are additional restrictions about what can and what cannot be marked as duplicate (besides the obvious -- being a duplicate), most people would just stop marking duplicates, leading to this site becoming an unreadable mess of the same questions asked again and again, and left without answers because everybody has already seen them countless times before. might improve search ratings, though.
    – lenik
    May 20 '14 at 5:59
  • @lenik Again, I'm not saying it shouldn't be marked as a duplicate. Just that in order for the original question to be useful it needs an answer on it. And this is the only way SE can enforce this behaviour.
    – Jivings
    May 20 '14 at 6:54

@lenik I agree with Jivings. There isn't anything explicitly pointing to your comment saying that it resolved the issue, other than possibly that single upvote.

I do agree that it definitely is a duplicate, and thus should be marked as such. I would just go and answer the original question with what you said in the comments; something along the lines of:

I provided this solution in the comments and it appears that it resolved the OP's issue, albeit with confirmation on the OP's part. Here's my answer:

[Comment's contents here]

From what it looks like, this feature is put in place so we don't give a user a question that, although it may be resolved in the comments, isn't clear (as @Jivings stated).

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