Referring to: https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/close-questions

Specifically for duplicates it states:

When should I vote to close a question?

Questions should be closed by casting close votes if:

  • they are sufficiently similar to existing questions and would be answered identically to them.
  • they are unclear, too broad, or otherwise problematic to identifying the problem in a way that can be
  • properly addressed by answerers they are sufficiently off-topic, as outlined in the help center.

(emphasis mine)

I was in a discussion this morning on this question: Should I throw guard exceptions that will be thrown by internal methods anyway?

Whereby it was marked as a duplicate to a question that was several months newer, I expressed confusion and was directed to this meta post:

Closing a two year old question as a duplicate of a one year old question?

Regardless of whether or not it was a correct move, I believe the information on the help page does not cover this policy and should be updated.

The current use of would be in the help text implies that a question, as it currently stands, has not yet been answered, or is likely to receive newer answers and implies that perhaps this close reason is best suited to new questions. I don't believe that is the case in my situation, and so the help text should be updated to cover closing as duplicate older questions in line with the meta post I linked above to avoid confusion.

Do you agree?


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