The questions The bark on my scheffeler is withering and one trunk is dead? and Sick Scheffelera 40 years old were asked by what appears to be the same person about the same plant.

I wasn't able to flag this as a duplicate since the duplicate wasn't answered. Why is that?


1 Answer 1


This is by design.

From the help center article Why are some questions marked as duplicate?

The original question must have an answer; you cannot mark a question as a duplicate of an unanswered one.

The rationale is that two questions could be worded very differently, and they should really only be marked as duplicates if the answer (or answers) to one also directly answers the other.

  • Ok, but we are talking about the same question being posted twice. Do we need a duplicate post reason? And what about cross posted duplicates? Mar 15, 2018 at 4:13
  • The questions came from two different user accounts and were worded differently, so it takes human intervention to spot that. SE's systems will automatically flag exact duplicate posts from the same user. Cross-posted duplicates are even more difficult because they rely on one person being active on the sites with the duplicates.
    – Niall C. Mod
    Mar 15, 2018 at 4:22
  • Ok, I didn't do a diff on them Mar 15, 2018 at 4:23
  • Still it's just flagging for mod intervention, and the mod can obviously decide for themselves. So, still a bug. Mar 15, 2018 at 5:19

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