I'm pretty new here but I was struck by the number of duplicate questions about gravitational waves in the wake of the LIGO discovery a few days ago. This lead me to wonder, perhaps not uniquely, whether it might be prudent to have some sort of temporarily sticky FAQ type posts associated with such high profile news. If these posts stayed at the top for as long as the associated news item remained popular and if previous questions on the subject were collated in them that might discourage reposting of the same questions at least to some degree.
The system doesn't have the technical capability to do this. There are two options we do have for giving a question more exposure than usual:
- Put a bounty on it, which causes it to show up on the "featured" tab and to get higher placement in the list of active questions
- Put a link in the community bulletin, the yellow(?) box off to the right
Neither of these automatically catches the eye of every visitor the way a stickied question would.
Now, in principle this feature could be added by the SE developers, but I suspect they wouldn't do it. Sticky posts are one of those forum-like features that I think they would consider to distract from the core Q&A mission. And they'd be right, on Stack Overflow, but I do kind of see how that could be a useful feature (mod-only, presumably) on smaller communities like ours which actually have major events. Basically, it wouldn't hurt to bring it up, I just don't think there's much of a chance that would happen.
As for the underlying issue of reposted questions: the core problem seems to be that a lot of people just don't read. The SE people have been studying this for a long time. There are a lot of cases where very obviously placed notices don't stop people from doing exactly what the notices tell them not to do. Of course sticky posts wouldn't have to completely block duplicate questions to be worthwhile, but it's quite possible that they would barely make a difference at all.