This is mainly in reference to this question being closed as a duplicate to this question. I understand that questions should not be asked again, because they don't like the answers, bounties are the way to attract different answers on a question (related meta), however this is not the case for this question. The two questions, though similar/related, are fundamentally different, yet the newer one was closed as a duplicate of the older because some of the solutions from the older one could work.

I personally feel this is bad practice, and that questions that are different should be left alone, even if a related question has answers that might work.

The reason that they are different, is because they ask for ways to clean different parts of the keyboard. One asks cleaning the top of keys, the other cleaning under and between. While some overlap may occur, there is also a certain amount of exclusion as well. These (1, 2, 3, 4) answers all would not solve the problem of cleaning under the keys.

Duplication should be used for exact duplication. If the person had instead posted a comment asking his question, he would be told to post a question if he had one instead of doing it in a comment. If he placed a bounty on the question looking for answers to clean underneath his keys, it would be deviating from the original question. It would be like placing a bounty on a question about cleaning car windows to ask how to clean car tires. Though related, and some of the answers may overlap, they are different questions.

Yes, while overlap in answers is indication that the questions may overlap too, it does not mean that they are duplicates.

  • 2
    Please do explain how are these two questions fundamentally different.
    – Just Do It
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:01
  • @michaelpri did it reach 5 votes or did you change your mind? If so, I would like to be convinced as well
    – Just Do It
    Feb 26, 2016 at 23:05
  • 1
    @JustDoIt The post was reopened by the following users: Dragonrage, Cary Bondoc, Wipqozn, michaelpri
    – Wipqozn
    Feb 26, 2016 at 23:23
  • 1
    @JustDoIt I changed my mind. When you explained it more it did make sense that they weren't exact duplicates, though there is still a lot of overlap.
    – michaelpri
    Mar 2, 2016 at 0:17
  • We're having a similar situation with this question. And it already has 3 close votes
    – Just Do It
    Apr 21, 2016 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


Questions should not be closed as duplicates based on the similarity of the answers. While similarity of answers may be an indicator that the questions may be duplicates, that alone is not justification to close the questions as duplicates. The questions themselves should be examined to see if they are indeed duplicates.

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