As we all know, we have started to include culture/country in the questions asked on main site and ask others to do the same. Though, this is a good idea to get rid of answers that won't work in a particular culture.

However, how do we deal with the same questions coming from different cultures? Should we close them as duplicate or just leave them opened? Leaving them opened might flood the site with lots of similar questions.

Here is a recent example of a question being similar to this question.

  • One possible rule could be that by default we would close as duplicates, but if anyone gives any reason to think the cultures are different then we keep both open. So don't require proof that they're different, but do expect cultural natives to tell us when we shouldn't close as duplicates. Aug 7, 2017 at 12:19
  • @curiousdannii I would say we do it the other way around. I would either comment the question with the "related duplicate" question to let the user know, or, I would vote to close as a duplicate (but the community would have to make sure that they don't vote it as well), so that the question comes up to the OP, and if the answers there worked for them, then they can't mark the question as a duplicate themselves.
    – Zizouz212
    Aug 7, 2017 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


In general, Question X is closed as a duplicate of Question Y if answers to Question Y would answer Question X (in the case where Question Y has answers). See, for instance, the help center:

Questions should be closed by casting close votes if:

  • they are sufficiently similar to existing questions and would be answered identically to them.

If you ask a question about Situation A in Zimbabwe, the question may very well be different enough from a question about Situation A in the United States that your question should not be closed as a duplicate. Answers to the target won't answer the question at hand; there's no reason to close the newer one as a duplicate, for the simple reason that it isn't.

Now, we're going to have to look at things on a case-by-case basis. Perhaps the situation is such that answers would be valid to both questions - maybe the cultures are similar enough. If this is the case, then we could close one as a duplicate of the other.

The point is, though, that having the same situation doesn't imply that two questions are similar enough that one should be closed.

See also, on Meta Stack Exchange:

  • 1
    It can't hurt to point out a similar question to the latest asker, so they can clarify whether or not it answers the question and edit if needed... Aug 8, 2017 at 19:08

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