I asked a question, it was closed as too broad. So I asked another one (I think I made it more specific) But the system automatically suggested that my original question (which was closed with no answers) might contain answers for me.

I am just pointing out that the automated system should probably not recommend questions that are closed, or those without answers.


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First of all, when your first question got put on hold as 'too broad', you should have edited that question to narrow it down instead of asking a new one. Even when a question is closed, it can still be re-opened if the question is edited to be good enough.

Secondly, the new question is also put on hold as 'too broad'. You did say in a comment that you don't know how to make it less broad (fair enough). In this case, I'd suggest that you put it in the question sandbox, where other people can give you constructive comments on how to improve the question.

Now, on to what you're actually asking:

When you wrote the second question, it's pretty much just an edited duplicate of your first, so it gets marked as duplicate. The point of this is that you should edit the first question as per above instead of asking a new question.

This is also the reason (presumably) that the automated system recommends closed questions with no answers. Or at least, this is a valid reason for keeping it as it is.

If the question is so different that editing the first can't get you to the second without completely changing what's being asked in the first question, then it's safely not a duplicate. If, however, you can, then it is a duplicate and will be marked as such.

If the first question isn't closed, but doesn't have an answer that you feel satisfactory, then you can add a bounty in order to get more answers. Or (whether the first question is closed or not) you you would need to be very clear about why your new question isn't a duplicate. If you write a new question that's very similar to an already closed question, even if no-one realises that a similar question already exists, the new question is most likely going to be closed for the same reason as the original. Another reason for recommending closed questions with no answers is to show you that, unless you change the new question, it is likely to be closed again.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. That is a very good explanation of what is going on. I see how I should have edited the first one. I still do not agree with the automated algorithm though, or at least, the wording. As presented it implies "an answer" but none exist on the previous question. It could have simply said "it's similar, look here" But it specifically says "answers" $\endgroup$ – Inbar Rose Jan 3 '17 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, that's fair enough - it's (I believe) a result of the 'flag as duplicate' action, an alternative use of which is to show that there might be a good answer to the 'duplicate' in another question (which may not actually be an exactly duplicated question). I do agree that it should be changed to 'this question has been asked before or already has an answer' instead of '... and has an answer' $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Jan 3 '17 at 13:52

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