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במחילת כבוד DanF, I have no hard feelings against you at all, just made me think of this.

DanF's question made me think of the following issue:

Users cannot flag/close questions as dupes unless there is an answer to the original question, as evidenced in that question (I had first tried to flag it, but couldn't). In this case, there were 7 upvotes and 2 favorites given to a question that should never have been allowed to stay open in first place, and which was only now closed as a dupe, because an answer was posted now.)

What would stop someone evil like me from finding good, unanswered questions, and asking very similar ones, and getting reputation from it, because no one can flag it as a dupe?

Should users simply flag for moderator attention in these cases, as I'm assuming the mods can close questions as duplicates even with no answer to the original (or merge them, which I have heard something about but am not quite sure what that does or means)? Or do we let it sit there until one of then is answered?

Please bear in mind that I'm a novice Meta user, so please feel free to edit this for clarity, retag etc. etc. Thanks!

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What would stop someone evil like me from finding good, unanswered questions, and asking very similar ones, and getting reputation from it, because no one can flag it as a dupe?

Nothing, really, but most often if someone does it too often he'll also be asking poorly-written questions that won't get many upvotes (and eventually can get him barred from asking questions). Also, if someone has a few closed questions in a short time (I don't know the exact criteria offhand), the moderators get notified.

Should users simply flag for moderator attention in these cases, as I'm assuming the mods can close questions as duplicates even with no answer to the original…?

Sure, go ahead; and, yes, moderators can close them.

Also note that it is sometimes advisable to close the older question as a duplicate of the newer. This may be true when the newer question is better fleshed-out or is more general (without being too general), or when the older question is too general.

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