Here are two questions by the same user asking almost the same thing:

Evidently user96551 originally cross-posted the question here and at Writers, and the second version was migrated here and dupe-closed, but not before gathering several answers.

The two questions between them have 30 answers (16 on one, 14 on the other), many of which are high quality. Normally the obvious choice of action would be to merge the two questions, thus placing all the answers together in a single thread. Unfortunately the two questions are not completely identical, and I haven't checked whether all the answers to one would fit as answers to the other.

I flagged this for moderator attention a while ago, hoping a merge could go through, but was told to bring it up on meta. So here I am, bringing it up on meta.

What should be done with these near-identical questions and their answers?

  • It's not a requirement for merging for two questions to be exactly identical, but the bar should definitely be higher than for simply closing one as a duplicate of the other. One of my higher-voted answers on Super User came to the question it is on now as a result of a question merge, and it caused all kinds of confusion because there were subtle but relevant differences between the two questions which affected my answer. As much as we like to keep things in one place, sometimes merging is actually counterproductive. (Also, splitting questions that have been merged is very difficult.) – a CVn Aug 17 '16 at 9:09
  • I have looked through most of the answers and some answers (worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/12697/17720 and worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/12717/17720) would only work for the dupe closed question. Merging would cause these answers to be unsuitable yet they are currently highly voted. – Bellerophon Aug 18 '16 at 21:03

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