On the right side of any question you can see the "Related" questions, which are questions that the system deems similar to the one currently asked.

If the question body contains links to other questions on the site or someone comments such links they are placed in a similar list above the "Related" questions in an area for "Linked" questions.

I just noticed that these lists can contain the same links. Why is that the case? If a question is linked it should logically follow that it's in some way related to the question asked, otherwise there is no reason to link it. I think it would be more useful to make these two lists distinct by excluding the linked questions from the pool of possible questions that may appear in the related questions so that more questions can be shown that may be relevant to the reader.

I couldn't find anything about this behaviour being intended.

Why can these lists contain the same entries? Are there older discussions about this topic that would explain why this behaviour is the intended one?

Source: My question Would the diet of a human have to adapt if he suddenly had a ~1 metre long foxtail? with the linked and related question How much muscle mass would be needed for a genetically modified human to move his ~1 metre long foxtail?

                                               Screenshot showing the described behaviour of one question being in the *linked* and the *related* lists


2 Answers 2


This behavior is intentional, as it has been reported (and marked as ) more than once on MSE, and a request asking to change this behavior on MSO has been . The second link there has this answer by Nick Craver ("Architecture Lead for Stack Overflow") that explains why:

The two categories are independent, linked questions are literally linked on either side and related are what we found to be related. A question may be both, and that's alright.


I very strongly suspect it's an artefact of the implementation that nobody has been bothered enough by to do the work to fix, in that the lists are generated separately and then happen to be displayed next to each other in the web UI.

Making each of the lists exclude items seen in the other would require implementation and testing time; time which is probably judged by The Powers That Be to be better spent on other work.

  • $\begingroup$ It is more than likely. Considering the contents of both, the 'Linked' section is populated by questions mentioned in the thread. The 'Related' section in turn seems to be populated from a more complex (set of) algorithm(s). $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ @dot_Sp0T From what I've seen, if there's anything else to the "related questions" sidebar, it's certainly very much of a random selection of questions with the same tags. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 20:09

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