Is there any possibility of merging duplicate threads, rather than locking one of the duplicate threads, as sometimes there are really worthwhile discussions in both? Also, when the duplicate thread is locked, it still stays a duplicate, whereas if it is merged with its duplicate, then there is no duplicate any more? It would make the searches also much more streamlined, as when one looks at the "Related Topics" there are more duplicate threads on the same topic.
I don't think all duplicate threads need to be merged. Some duplicate threads (actually a lot) are about the same thing and will just start up the same discussion over again.
There is no problem in merging two duplicate topics, and is actually done more often than you would think. But not all duplicate threads need to be merged.
Some are really almost exact duplicate threads, and wouldn't really contribute anything to the topic that is already started up.
There is the point about search results and 'similar topics' results...
Perhaps an option to exclude locked threads could be added to the search, and locked threads could always be excluded from the similar topics?
That would prevent those locked duplicates from cluttering them up.
I personally try to....
Spam (remove) - When topic is rubbish or duplicate and rubbish
Lock - When topic is duplicate but content is good, not suitable for merging.
Merge - When duplicate topics exists and the logical structure of either topic would not be destroyed by merging.
I don't merge often as while duplicate topics exist, the way many of our members converse is like a standard conversation. Merging the two would be like throwing & mixing two similar but different conversations together. Disaster!
The lower quality one or one with fewer posts or one with most rubbish responses or just the latest one would be locked by me.
Mathiaus is right. When merging a topic it's just like throwing in random stuff during a conversation and confuses people.
But again, there is times where merging is a good idea.