General Question

Kelly27's avatar

Is asking a duplicate question acceptable in some cases?

Asked by Kelly27 (1481 points ) March 26th, 2009

With two groups of people merging I would think asking duplicates here and there would be acceptable in this situation.
So many fresh minds between us I would think the fact that it might be a duplicate is trivial compared the the amount of new ideas that might get thrown around and shared.
A fresh perspective is always nice in my opinion.

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65 Answers

Yuchen's avatar

Of course NOT. How can you even suggest such a thing? Fluther would NEVER allow that type of inapprorpriate behavior.

I mean, apparently my question about The Obama Budget was too similar to my question about Too Much Regulation that Fluther had to remove it.

miasmom's avatar

Sometimes if a question was asked a long time ago, then it’s nice to revisit and get new ideas, but the same questions over and over again in a more recent timeframe are annoying. Try searching FIRST and if it hasn’t been asked in a long time, then go for it, but if it has, then read the thread and make a comment there.

Kelly27's avatar

@miasmom How do you really get a fresh discussion going including everyone if I go back to some question asked in the past and no one will ever see it?

marinelife's avatar

Sometimes duplicate questions are fine for exactly the reasons the questioner mentioned.

I really only note it if the substantially same question was asked within the last few days.

The other reason I might point out a similar thread is if it has some good answers the questioner might be interested in reading.

@Yuchen I’m sorry you feel that way. I can’t speak to your specific situation, but I really don’t think this site is as restrictive as you indicate.

fireside's avatar

Fresh perspective on an old topic is different from constant rehashing of the same topic repeatedly.
Probably depends on the subject matter and how the discussion is presented.

miasmom's avatar

@Kelly27 if it isn’t too far back, then often times people are still following the question and will get an alert that a new comment has been made.

My point is that it takes 5 seconds to search and it wouldn’t hurt to try that first, the question might only be a few days old.

Kelly27's avatar

@miasmom I asked because those of us from wis.dm have not been here very long and would have no way of ever finding those questions to catch any new discussion on an old question, which would explain why we might ask question that you all have discussed together but the group as a whole has not.

Yuchen's avatar

@Marina: I know. I’m just in an extra-bitchy mood today. Maybe I’ll one day love this site. However, being a new-comber to this website, I DO see some major restrictions that seem COMPLETELY out of line.

I mean, seriously, how old are you? Do you really need someone on here to tell you, “oh. I’m sorry, I don’t think you’re mature enough to handle asking a question that sparks discussion, so I’ll delete it.” The moderators are pulling reasons out of thin air to delete questions they don’t like that seem to go against their website. Isn’t the whole point to spark insightful debates? As long as that’s achieved, what else is there to judge?

miasmom's avatar

Honestly, @Kelly27 I made the same mistakes as a newbie and just learned to search first most of the time. The way the site works is a learning process…I am glad you are taking the time to figure it out.

fireside's avatar

I had a question removed once because it was a duplicate from a few days earlier.
No big deal.

I’d rather answer questions and have discussions than ask them.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yuchen did someone actually tell you that you are not “mature enough to handle asking a question that sparks discussion”? Being familiar with the mods and Fluther guidelines, I am dubious about that. In my experience the mods have never made up reasons to pull questions. Stick around and get to know the site a bit better. If you are so inclined we would love to have you, but until you do it seems premature to bash the moderators because of a single moderated question.

fireside's avatar

@SuperMouse – Yuchen is an attention whore, at least today. Disregard until the tantrum stops.

Yuchen's avatar

@SuperMouse: I think there is where my personality and most of the people on here’s personalities clash. I try to be nice but I like being rash until I settle down, you know? I truly don’t mean to offend anyone on here and I would like to be part of this community, but that also means you guys have to hear my whine for a little bit.
As to what you’re saying about the moderators being fair, how is it fair that they are dictating everything around here? I’m not saying they do not have the right to delete whatever question they feel isn’t up to standards, but that is NOT fair.

Yuchen's avatar

@fireside: thanks for saying what I haven’t been able to put into words.

Harp's avatar

You can console yourself with this little jewel, a duplicate Q asked by none other than Fluther’s founder. Observe how he writhes with the realization that he has transgressed his own guidelines by posting a question asked 3 days previously. Observe how the collective then turns on him like a school of piranhas.

Happens to the best of us :)

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yuchen please feel free to whine and throw tantrums as you need too! As long as your questions and quips are trolling and you aren’t looking for a fight you’ll be fine. Although you will more than likely be called out on it not unlike Fireside just did.

As for fair, I have been on Fluther for about a year and I have never seen the mods as unfair or dictating everything. When a question is modded it is because it does not follow Fluther guidelines. Period.

Yuchen's avatar

@SuperMouse: Why do you believe the Fluther guidelines are correct?

Yuchen's avatar

@SuperMouse: by the way, I LOVE nice people like you =) we should be friends.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yuchen I haven’t ever considered the fairness or unfairness of the Fluther guidelines, I have always figured that since it is Ben and Andrew’s site and I am using it, I have to follow the rules they set up. If not I can take my ball and go home. You know what I mean?

fireside's avatar

@Yuchen – Thanks for being honest. The second half of your economics thread has been interesting. Basically, I agree with SuperMouse. This is a company that has to pay almost as much, if not more, in hosting and usage as it brings in through the minuscule amount of ads they force us to deal with. It is not fair or civil to spend a week whining about how their site isn’t like one that was not able to keep up with their costs.

Yuchen's avatar

@SuperMouse: I can see that side of the argument, but the founders of the website should consider the opinions of its users instead of completely shooting us down.

Yuchen's avatar

@fireside: I never once mentioned that I don’t like this website because it’s not exactly like wis.dm. If I wanted Fluther to BE wis.dm, I would have said that to begin with. I don’t think you guys are understanding why I don’t like Fluther’s policies.

fireside's avatar

@Yuchen – I just don’t think you guys are seeing that Fluther’s policies weren’t an issue before this influx of complaints. maybe not you specifically, but many others, at least.

If you walked in with a group of people to a restaurant and started announcing to the whole crowd what you thought was wrong with the restaurant, you would get kicked out.

There is a chat room discussion tonight, if you want to voice your complaints to the owners.
Check the blog.

Kelly27's avatar

@fireside Really? I have heard in comments from other people here that it has been discussed and questioned before we ever came here?

fireside's avatar

Not to this extent.

Likeradar's avatar

@Yuchen,
Hi. Welcome to Fluther. You’ve been a member for one day. How about you take some time to adjust to the site, or give up and find a site that suits your needs better. Nothing is ever perfect, and there has been a little complaining about site policy probably since Fluther has been in existence. However, this influx of bitching and whining isn’t helping anyone.

Kelly27's avatar

@fireside I will say that I have not criticized anyone here yet, but I will say that I don’t see questioning authority a bad thing.

fireside's avatar

Time and place, if you want to question the owners do so tonight.

If you want to make public complaints about a site that many people love, then expect some harsh blow back. Which, unfortunately, forces the mods and owners to be more strict than normal because there is too much tension.

Yuchen's avatar

@Likeradar: Hi. Thanks for welcoming me. Yes, I have actually been a member for less than one day. Believe it or not, this is how I adjust to a new website, sorry I’m bothering you so much. I’m selfish and think this whinning and bitching is helping myself.

Yuchen's avatar

@fireside: I didn’t expect anyone to be nice to me since I do realize the things I’m saying aren’t exactly polite.

Harp's avatar

I came from another Q&A site that was unmoderated, after I watched it sink into a morass of junk questions and infighting.

All systems of laws and regulations are, to some extent, limitations on individual freedoms for the sake of better functionality of the whole, right?

fireside's avatar

@Yuchen – what you are missing, if you have only been a member for a day, is the past five days of the very same thing.
People here are tired of it and the mods have to do something.

Likeradar's avatar

@Yuchen It’s not helping you much in other people’s eyes. I can only speak for myself, but all it’s doing is making sure that next time I see your name associated with a question or answer or in the chat room, I’m going to think “what an idiot” and move on. We are a community here. I can’t understand why you’d want to present yourself as a jerk within 24 hours of being somewhere.

fireside's avatar

@Likeradar – Seriously.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Kelly27, as fireside pointed out, they were not discussed or questioned nearly to this extent. In praise of our founders, I would like to point out that they started the jellytable and opened a dialog about the new guidelines before making changes, even though it is their site and they really didn’t need to consult with anyone before changing the rules.

@Yuchen, you have stumbled onto a website with many, many loyal jellies. We take pride in Fluther and the Collective and have strong feelings of allegiance to Andrew and Ben and our moderators. Many will jump to their defense and as much as the whining and bitching may be helping you, it is likely to have the effect Likeradar described.

Kelly27's avatar

@SuperMouse Yes I was just sent the link so I can go see this meeting that is going to take place in an hour or so. :)

Yuchen's avatar

can I know of this meeting?

Likeradar's avatar

@yuchen- Click on your Home tab at the top of the page. When you’re “home”, look on the right hand side under blog posts.

Likeradar's avatar

Or what fireside just said. :)

Ivan's avatar

Arg, there are so many comments on this thread that are devoid of any logic whatsoever. But whatever, I guess everyone has agreed that suppression of discussion in this particular issue is best for the community, so be it.

Kelly27's avatar

@Ivan This is….................frustrating? I don’t know what else to call it. :\
(Not the answers really, just the whole thing)

fireside's avatar

I’m sure it is frustrating for all involved.
Hopefully, it will smooth over soon enough.

Once we stop talking format and start talking issues, I really like some of the new members.

YARNLADY's avatar

I still haven’t figured out how to find out if a question is a duplicate or not. I prefer to see answers and comments all in one place, not scattered out over several duplicate questions.

fireside's avatar

I think the main rule of thumb here is that almost all questions about wis.dm vs fluther format are done and over. That was the main source of tension. Typically, questions about fluther features are better handled within a thread instead of by starting new threads.

If we can all move on from there, this should be a lot of fun.
Many people came over with really great avatars and some interesting ideas.
Week two is looking to be much more positive.

But I agree, the search functionality is not the most user friendly. even with the google addition.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

Of course it is. How could you know if somebody else had asked it first? Asking it a second time you are a different person and so are the people you are asking it of so it is really a new question.

resmc's avatar

@fireside For many, at least some concerns people broach in order to discuss with the community [the concerns] affect aren’t purely format, but a matter of how the community is run.

Whenever you have newcomers to a group, they bring novel perspectives which, if recognized and seriously considered by the rest, will enable it to grow and evolve in a way what would’ve been impossible without the migrants.

Considering how, when individuals come alone, there’s much more pressure for them to adapt to the new, dominant culture than for that culture to adjust slightly in order to make room for some of the traditions/values those lone individuals bring with them.

And in this case, this group of migrants has, probably unlike many non-wis.dmr jellies, developed a whole sense of what q & a forum and online home is. It’s quite a shift to go from total lack of government (except whatever self-governing we were able to develop informally, and our town-hall which was open to even noobs to discuss community issues) – to being strongly frowned upon or even censured when expressing any constructive criticism towards the or just trouble adjusting to the new environment.

On the topic of this thread, i recieved an email saying a question i asked – which recieved a good number of thoughtful responses – was a duplicate. For a bit, i mistook this for meaning that my question posted twice due to some glitch or my error, but as that wasn’t the case, i realized it must mean it’s been asked before. Yet, i searched for the topic before posting it, and just did again, yet not one question has been asked on the subject. How is it that it’s considered a duplicate question?

If it was flagged by a user as a duplicate, why would it be flagged if this wasn’t the case?

YARNLADY's avatar

@resmc I have had a hard time trying to find duplicates of the questions I ask, also. I have apparently been limited to asking two questions, (time period unspecified), and I dutifully search for other similar questions,without finding any.

Kelly27's avatar

@YARNLADY Is two questions the new limit? FGS said it stopped him at two last night.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Kelly27 In the chat last week, Andrew said he was thinking of reducing it to two, so I guess he did.

resmc's avatar

@YARNLADY & @Kelly27 Any idea why the limit’s there? I don’t have any real problem with it, aside from having no clue why an arbitrary-seeming rule exists (... for some reason being told to do something really incenses me (has since toddlerhood) until a ‘why’ is given).

Kelly27's avatar

@resmc My understanding was that there was a three question limit to prevent spamming of questions, the new two question limit was imo because there are people that think those of us from wis.dm ask too many questions or not good quality questions.

I, like you, am the type that dislikes rules being imposed on me for no good reason even if I would normally never go over the question limit.

YARNLADY's avatar

@resmc apparently, the Fluther Gods believe that having a limit leads to higher quality questions. I have asked if we could be rewarded for good questions by being allowed to ask more.

fireside's avatar

@resmc – First off, you are saying that your issue is not one of format and then you go on to say that (paraphrasing) the format is different. So let’s be honest first and recognize that the moderation process, the question limit, etc. is all a part of the format of the site.

@everyone -
The next thing to realize is that Fluther is profitable and able to pay for the servers that host our conversations because of the business model they have chosen.

The business model, as I understand it, means that they want to be found on Google for relevant search terms which will then drive thousands of people to the site looking for something related to those search terms. When those users get to the site, they see ads relevant to those search terms as well as our conversations. Users clicking on those ads is how Fluther stays in business.
Not by users reading our conversations.

If duplicate questions are asked, then Fluther stands the chance of actually diluting their own search rankings. This could result in a drop in advertising revenue and a dilution of the Fluther brand as the place to go for relevant answers. This could equate to server load issues and lead to an increase in visible intrusive advertising to help subsidize the loss from the original revenue stream.

The site is not built around the fact that everyone wants a forum to spout their opinion and chat with friends. They do a great job of still offering those things, but when people come in and abuse them over and over again, it is a bad business decision to not react to those issues.

Considering the mass influx of questions, reducing the allowed number of questions is probably a good thing. Again, everyone wants a soapbox and people are abusing that.

There are already more focused sites for people to spout their opinion and chit chat with their friends. Twitter and Facebook come to mind.

But that said, upping the allowed number of questions for people who ask relevant ones is an interesting idea. However if you examine it further, you might find that it would just create more dissent because “X is allowed to post 4 questions and I can only ask 2. WTF???!!!???!!!?!?!?!”

——-
In short, running a profitable web based business, especially in this economy is a very difficult thing to do. Maybe cut the company some slack and recognize that things can’t always be the way you want them to be and don’t expect it to change just because you like your idea. All in all, everyone who is still around (with a couple of notable exceptions) seem to like Fluther. If so, then trust the owners to do what is in the best interests of the company and to provide the community with as much as they can feasibly build into the site, given time and budgetary constraints.

And hey, if you want to make a hefty donation to the company, they might consider your opinion and provide the features that can be built with the money you provide. If you don’t want to fund the company, then you should accept it for what it is.

Ok, off my soapbox

resmc's avatar

@fireside What i intended to express is that, what appears just to be boring, insignificant fomat issues to you may be issues of community self-governance to others. The very unwillingness even to allow members to discuss their feelings about those issues amongst themselves strikes me as odd, and frankly unwelcoming.

Understood about the business model.

About my supposedly duplicate question, tho – how is it considered thus, and if it actually is not, why would it have been marked as duplicate?

fireside's avatar

@resmc – This thread has been up for a week, so there is no “unwillingness to even allow” discussion on the part of Fluther, if the conversation is respectful. So your comment strikes me as a bit odd.

Secondly, your question that you referenced is still up a week later. So please explain to me what the issue is? Did you change the question after it was flagged?

Also, you only searched for “colorblind” as a topic term. Did you try multicultural or any other search term?

Here’s a question from a week before you and Jimenez posted your questions that is quite similar, though I agree that there are slight differences. Note that in that thread, Gooch points out that there had just been another discussion on the same topic a week earlier.

Lastly, community self-governance is irrelevant because, as I pointed out, this is a company. Not a self-governing community.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

I think that the three question limit is more about every question being moderated. It takes time and a person to do that. Both are limited resources and so the number of questions must be limited as well.
That is just the way it is. This is a dangerous world and the management of a site like this has to be careful that it does not step on anyones toes who can do the site harm.

resmc's avatar

@fireside I’ve been away for a bit, so my apologies for not being up to date. My observations have been that any constructive criticism of the site is met with much hostility, which makes it seem like it’s not at all welcome. Instead of even listening to the individual question, or ignoring it, i’ve observed the common reaction is for some person or another to express sentiments that give off the impression that to question anything here is to unduly burden the established users here. Maybe this isn’t true for everyone, but not wanting to arouse even more ill-will than we already have dissuades discussing issues that are worth discussing for at least some.

It’s unclear still, as it has been, what is expected in terms of editing that question.

Multiculturalism is not at all the same as colorblindness. Yes, they are different general approaches to handling a diverse population. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, tho i guess most people lump anything having to do with race together, so to discuss the subject more than occasionally is impolite or something. My apologies.

fireside's avatar

@resmc – Personally, I thought your question was more pointed and relevant than the others that were similar. I responded to it.

No need to apologize for voicing your opinion, that is what everyone here does.
I’m not trying to come off as being critical, I’m just trying to provide some context for why the moderation team was forced to crack down so hard and why there are still so many inflamed feelings over the issue.

I just think rehashing the same things over and over again is sort of pointless as it seems to only be clutching to hurt feelings and inviting more contentious discussion.

Maybe if the amount of questions about why Fluther isn’t this way or that way drops, there won’t be as much anger over the topic being raised again at a later date. The impact of the migration was pretty large and left a lot of scars. Maybe we should let some wounds heal instead of picking at the scabs.

Again, your question is still up, so what’s the big deal about editing?

resmc's avatar

@fireside Am not sure how i’m supposed to change the question. No clue at all has been given to tell me what exactly is unacceptable about it, or what would be more acceptable.

And thanks, it’s helpful to have some understanding of what’s behind the moderation & such.

fireside's avatar

@resmc – oh, are you still seeing a notice to change your question? That’s probably a remnant flag. You can probably just PM Ben or Andrew and ask them if they can clear the flag. The question has been live for a week now, so I don’t think it would be an issue of removing it if the question isn’t changed.

Also, any insight I can give is purely from my perspective, not the company’s. But I’m glad it helped.

resmc's avatar

@fireside Ah, looks like the flag’s gone… it arrived via email, so not even sure what a on-site flag would look like, heh. Anyhow, thanks for helping clear that up!

fireside's avatar

@resmc – I’ve never seen an onsite flag either. Maybe it’s a myth : )

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@Yuchen There is no Obama budget. After they get done spending the money appropriated they will just appropriate some more.

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