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I've had questions marked as duplicates just because they were similar in some aspects. However, in many of these cases, I do not think that my questions are duplicates. I can't message the person(s) who flagged them directly and if there are steps to ask a moderator to get rid of this flag, they are not stated very clearly.

More broadly, is there a way to argue that a question is not a duplicate and should not be flagged as such? If so, what steps should I take to do this?

  • I hate to agree with the selected answer, but I must admit there are 2 cases when this occurs: 1. Users don't use the Search Box, located in their reputation bar, or 2. Even though a users question fits a particular case to make it stand out, questions often omit those details. In Case 1, users rewrite the same question. In Case 2, use the third option @slm suggests, and please don't let our somewhat tough attitudes deter you from earning reputation here. I personally like seeing new active contributers. – eyoung100 Jul 24 '15 at 19:24
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I only see 1 question in your history that was marked as a duplicate. This is the one you're referring to? check if string represents valid path in BASH. This question was closed by a single user who has a gold badge for questions that have been tagged as .

Generally it's the case that it takes 5 votes from user's to close a question as a duplicate, or if a moderator decides to do so. In this case given this user has earned a certain amount of score for answering questions with the tag, they're awarded the privilege of being able to automatically cast close and duplicate votes that are binding, and have an immediate effect.

As to your options:

  1. If you need to alert a mod for any reason you can always select the flags link under a question or answer and then select the "in need of moderator intervention" option and write a custom note to us.
  2. Leave a comment directed to this individual using an at sign + username i.e. "@their-username", under your question. When you own the question you automatically have this ability even if you do not have enough rep to leave comments anywhere else on the site.
  3. Consider adjusting your question so that it is more specific and is no longer covered directly by an answer to the duplicate that it was linked to.

This 3rd option is typically the problem with many questions that fall into the realm of being marked a duplicate of another question. They typically lack enough specifics that make them standout on their own, so that an already pre-existing answer on the site does not fully cover them.

Incidentally, our help section in the upper right hand corner provides much of the details that I've mentioned as well: https://unix.stackexchange.com/help/duplicates. Also this meta covers the privilege: Increase close vote weight for gold tag badge holders.

Screenshots

Here's where you click the flag link on a question.

          ss#1

And here's the resulting dialog, where you can select to alert a mod.

      ss#2

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