Over here (10K+ users only) an OP deleted their own question because I flagged it as a duplicate. I thought the reason for duplicates was to keep a tombstone referring other people to the other answer.

If I would be a higher rep user, I'd undelete it and comment that it's better to have a duplicate than a deleted question, but now I'm unsure what to do.

What's the consensus here on U&L?

Note: I searched for a similar question and found this one but there is no answer: only comments...

  • 2
    Nothing. It's good to see someone clean up after themselves.
    – jasonwryan
    Dec 4, 2018 at 21:12
  • 1
    @jasonwryan that's not always true. Duplicates can often be useful as signposts pointing others to the solution. That was a perfectly decent question and might help someone find the answer if they happen to search for the right terms.
    – terdon Mod
    Dec 5, 2018 at 20:15
  • @terdon I'm sure we'll cope with {1..100} fewer questions about quoting in bash or text processing. Signposts are not cost neutral.
    – jasonwryan
    Dec 5, 2018 at 21:37
  • @jasonwryan sure, I'm not saying it's the end of the world, but I do feel that duplicates do more good than harm. It's very hard to know what will be useful in the future or what search terms a user might choose to use. And keeping the dupes around causes no harm: they're closed and they still point you in the right direction.
    – terdon Mod
    Dec 5, 2018 at 21:40
  • @terdon Yep, I'm not arguing against dupes per se; but there are definitely tags where they are less than helpful.
    – jasonwryan
    Dec 5, 2018 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


It depends. If you feel that the question was a useful duplicate, then feel free to flag for mod attention. For instance, I undeleted the post you mention in your question.

If you have the rep, you can also just vote to undelete yourself. Alternatively, you can always leave a comment on one of the users other posts suggesting they undelete.

That said, it's also not really a big deal if the OP deletes, it's just that sometimes duplicates can be useful if they ask the same question in a different way since if anyone else asks in the same way, they are more likely to find the dupe.

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