Recently when I've been going through the Close-Vote Review queue, and the existing votes are for "This question is a duplicate of (Other-question)", I've noticed many cases where the selected (Other-question) is also closed.

Should we be applying the law of transitivity to these cases?

  • If question A is a duplicate of question B, and question B is off-topic, should we close question A as off-topic rather than as a duplicate? (If we want to make sure that the questioner gets an answer, we could link the possible dup in a comment.)
  • If question A is a duplicate of question B, which is a duplicate of question C, should we Vote-to-Close A as a dup of C instead of B? (I recognize that in some "duplicate" cases, question B may have a better or more-specific-to-question-A answer than question C, so there can be exceptions; but in general I think going directly to C (or following the duplicate chain to its bitter end, if somehow it's more than 1 layer deep) should be the preferred solution.)

There's a lot more wiggle room (and not nearly as many occurrences, in my unscientific opinion) in the case of B being "Too Broad" or "Primarily Opinion-Based" depending on both the nature of question A, and the answers that B got before it closed, so I won't argue for those in general.

  • 7
    My personal policy if I find dupe of a dupe is to pick which one I feel serves the questioner best and link to that. Apr 15, 2015 at 19:13
  • I agree with that as a policy, I'm just not at all sure I'm seeing it implemented by many VTCers.
    – Hellion
    Apr 16, 2015 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


Nothing ticks me off like finding the question I want to ask closed as the duplicate of a closed question with no answers or answers that are not completely applicable. Only close the question as a duplicate if the other question has an answer that answers this question, or they are word for word identical.

Ok, I'm done ranting. Duplicate questions are assumed to be on topic, so if the question that it is a duplicate of is off topic, usually (but not always) this question also is. If the other question is too broad that hint is less strong.

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