I am not sure how I can ask for help with this other than here, although I realised I've asked related questions in the last couple of days on meta: sorry.
There are currently a pair of questions which are clearly effective duplicates of each other:
- How did the Perseverance rover land on Mars with the retro rockets apparently stopped?
- Why are the exhaust plumes of the Perseverance skycrane not visible?
The first question was asked by someone who clearly believes in various conspiracy theories, for instance see their comment to this answer which I'll preserve here in case it gets deleted:
The documentary "Astronauts Gone Wild" (2004) by Bart Sibrel, (see: archive.org/details/AstronautsGoneWild) convinced me that the Moon manned missions were not real. The technology necessary for putting people on the Moon and bringing them back to Earth does not exist.
This question was closed a few days ago, at which point I asked (and answered) the second in order that good answers (not just my answer which may or may not be good) would not be effectively lost on closed questions.
It's since been reopened. However I think it's extremely unlikely that the person who asked the question will ever accept any answer, or at least any answer which is correct.
I think accepted answers are useful because they are partial proxies for correct answers (although whether that's true for A2A questions I am not so sure).
But I also think duplicates are not good: one of these questions should be closed, but I can't work out which I should vote to close (or actually close in the case of my question).
What's the right thing to do here? It would be nice if there was a definitive answer for cases like this, as I'm sure they've happened before and will happen again, given space attracts conspiracy theorists.
A note on accepted answers and closed questions. Above I said that answers to closed questions were 'lost' (now changed to 'effectively lost'). I realise that these answers still exist. But the way I (and I suspect others) use the site is to treat a closed question as one which has effectively failed peer-review: I am much less likely to look at answers to closed questions than to ones which have not been closed. A similar thing applies to questions which do not have accepted answers: a non-closed question with an accepted, answer with plenty of votes is by far the most likely thing to attract attention. And it's clear that in this case the original quetion will almost certainly never have an accepted answer.
Finally, just to be clear: I'm not doing this because I want the karma: I'm doing it because I want the site to be as good as it can be. I'd be completely happy to reattach my answer to yet another question and close mine as a duplicate of that question. Or for that matter to turn my answer into a community wiki if that's better, or whatever is deemed best for the site.