See this question. You will notice a comment that it was voted to close as a duplicate of a question, where that question is also a duplicate of some other question - what I termed a "chained" duplicate.

Occasionally, different people vote to close for a dupe but they may be an assortment of different questions. I'm not sure how Stack decides which question appears as the dupe when there are various votes. But, it seems that it should avoid chained dupes, no?

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    I understand the issue (since I created it :->) - the reason I linked to that question was that I felt the answers would be most helpful to the question-marked-as-new-duplicate. I am not saying it was right - just sharing my train of thought
    – mbloch
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 21:20
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    @mbloch Your question was most recent, so that's what prompted me to post this meta question. I am sure there are many others like this. I may post a separate meta that relates to this type of problem. Frequently questions are dupes of unanswered questions. Sometimes, an answer gets posted and then a dupe appears on it while the linked question has no answer. As you can see, this site has various systemic flaws.
    – DanF
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


I agree that "chained duplicates" are undesirable, since it means that a person who finds one end of the chain via search will then have to click through multiple links to get to the base, answered question.

One remedy: If you see a question that's closed as a duplicate of another question, that is itself a duplicate of a third question, you can flag the first question as "in need of moderator attention" and explain the problem in your flag. Moderators can then consider adding the third question as a duplicate target and possibly removing the second one.

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    Moderators should receive extra points just for moderating, sometimes :-) I hope you keep a generous supply of aspirin and Tums. I guess some days, it's a question of what to take first.
    – DanF
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 21:28

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