Should questions like this one be considered duplicates in the official StackExchange-sense of a duplicate? I'm concerned this doesn't make sense for questions.

Marking a question like this as a duplicate seems like a bad way to welcome a new user to our site. Do we expect this new user to have checked every question already asked to see if they notice a picture that is similar to theirs? Most of these questions don't have enough words describing the part to be useful in a keyword search. So as of today you'd need to review 404 existing questions to make sure you are not creating a duplicate. Assuming that our new user is a LEGO superfan and willing to consider doing that, this superfan would also know that there are 60093 possible parts, so the chance of finding your question are 0.67%. Wouldn't most people just post their question and hope they're in the 99.33%? And this problem gets harder every day that somebody adds a new one.

So should we have a site-specific policy for these questions?


I looked for dupes of this question, but I didn't find any on this meta.

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I think that these should be closed as duplicates, because they are fundamentally exact duplicate questions. They include different part images, but they will yield exactly the same set of correct answers. Closing them creates more hope that a Google search will lead back to a single correct answer and makes the site easier to maintain.

It's hard for me to put myself in the shoes of a new user, but I don't think that having your first question closed has to be a totally negative experience. If we leave a comment welcoming them to the site, explain why we're closing their question, and they get their answer via the dupe that we link, it seems like they could see the value in our community. Honestly, if this happened to me, I'd be impressed. Not only was the community able to quickly answer this question, but we remembered that we'd answered it before, and kindly pointed them to the preexisting correct answer.

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Just to add to jncraton's answer (which I agree with) the piece (and set) identification tag is likely always going to suffer a bit more on this site than others, especially if people don't describe the part in any detail - and even if they do describe it will they pick the same features?

So we can't rely on the question prompts to find a meaningful duplicate question in the same way that works with other questions.

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