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Take look at these two questions:

The first question is marked as duplicate(asked jan 23'12) and the second one is asked three years later(jan 11'15).so , why the first question is marked as duplicate?

First of all I made that mistake and without looking at 12(2012) ,I flagged the first question as duplicate.Therefore I felt obliged to write a post in meta and want users(the users who marked the question as duplicate) and moderators to do something about it.

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    $\begingroup$ Unrelated to this question, but why did your username (and I think reputation too) get reset? $\endgroup$ – March Ho Mar 18 '15 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ I could merge the questions if there is a consensus that it makes sense to do so. There seem to be good answers on both of them. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Mar 18 '15 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that they should be marked as duplicates (and I recently voted to reopen the first one). The first one asks about sex ratio in fetuses (close to conception?) and the second one about sex ratio at birth. Sure, answers to the second Q (e.g. my attempt) partially answers the first Q as well, but the actual questions posed are different. They could probably be merged (which requires some work), but I think both could just as well be kept open and linked. There are useful answers to both Qs. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Mar 18 '15 at 12:39
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As answered in Meta SE, the better answer should be chosen, and the less informative (perhaps judging by vote count or subjective quality) questions should be closed.

I was not aware of this at first, but thanks to the comment by @MadScientist it appears that moderators are also capable of merging two questions, which can be done if there are good answers on both questions.

In this case, the newer answer by @fileunderwater is better (IMO) than the old ones, even though it had less votes, which is why I think the closing should remain as-is, or if possible, a moderator should merge the questions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting answer. Thanks for sharing. What is your source about this matter if I may ask? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mod Mar 18 '15 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD My source? I mentioned that it's simply a matter of opinion (IMO). Am I misunderstanding something? $\endgroup$ – March Ho Mar 18 '15 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ ah misunderstood your acronym. No worries. In that case, I - always thought the first answer was the original and subsequent ones would be closed as duplicate. Interesting thoughts! $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mod Mar 18 '15 at 11:37
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The age of a question shouldn't play a role in closing of duplicates. If everything worked perfectly, we would be able to close duplicates as they arise so new answers would add content to the original question. However, there will be times this doesn't occur. When these situation do arise, the better written question and answers should be the lead the post not the older one. Even though a younger post may be the lead, people who visit either of the post will see on the right linked post or on the top for the duplicate the duplicate link. That is, if they are so inclined, they can explore similar questions and answer.

Then there is the option of merging the post as Mad Scientist suggested in the comments. This is a fine option as well as long as nothing is lost in translation with the question body. If one question body has a small detail which the answers were addressing that the other post did not contain, the flow of the answers may seem strange unless a note is added to the OP of the merged threads specifying this anomaly in answers.

Additionally, judging a question by vote count is very fickle. Many factors can play into a question receiving a high vote count. One factor I have noticed on other SE is that questions that were around when a site first entered beta tend be scored very well since the site has that new car smell. For instance, consider this question from 2008 on SO. This question would probably be downvoted and closed today in seconds but it has 212 upvotes. Moreover, the first 6 questions to SO have a vote count greater than 100. If you want to see bio, here are the questions order by age. The earlier questions received many upvotes compared to the voting now. Yes some question will come in later and be so tantalizing that they will garner a lot of action but it gets harder as the site ages. That is, vote account isn't the best metric to determine post quality if age between post is great.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for very good points on why votes isn't a good indicator of quality (which is why I had to qualify it in the initial post). $\endgroup$ – March Ho Mar 22 '15 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @MarchHo thanks. I figured I would put in my 2 cents $\endgroup$ – dustin Mar 22 '15 at 17:27

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