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My question was identified correctly as a duplicate. Should I now leave it alone?

Note the warning says:

marked as duplicate by jpatokal, Dirty-flow, Karlson, Vince, choster 22 hours ago

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please edit this question to explain how it is different or ask a new question.

Note... the instructions don't say to delete my question... only to try to ask differently. What if it really is a duplicate? I'm thinking leaving it alone can lead other searchers to the solution as did for me.

Are the instructions incomplete?

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You don't need to do anything.

Duplicate questions serve a very important, though not readily apparent purpose -- they redirect others which have phrased your problem in the same way you did. It's like a signpost for future users -- "you'll find what you are looking for following this link". It doesn't matter how many duplicates a question has, they are all useful as means of redirecting traffic to the one and only place where a comprehensive answer is given.

We at Travel-SE, and by extension other SE sites, rarely resort to deleting closed questions -- in the vast majority of cases, deleted questions are either spam, nonsense, hate-speech or an exact copy of a question by the same user -- stuff that has either no purpose, or is actively harmful. There's no penalty to having a question closed as duplicate, though it can be a gentle reminder to search the site first before asking a question -- to save yours and the community's time.

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  • Duplicates are indeed meant to be kept around. Closure for reasons other than duplicate is supposed to be temporary — if the question isn't edited and reopened, it's supposed to get deleted eventually. Few sites enforce this, in part because the tools don't make it easy. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 11:56
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    Cool, thanks. You might add that to the informational text, so that users are discouraged from deleting in embarrassment. Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 8:12
  • @Gilles There exists an auto-delete procedure. So you don't notice, people don't do it actively, but it happens.
    – yo'
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 17:44
  • @tohecz The auto-delete procedure only deletes unanswered questions (roughly speaking). Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 19:38

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