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As far as I know, the auto-comment that pops up when you vote to close a question as a duplicate said something like “Possible duplicate of (link here)”.

But this time around it said “Does this answer your question? (link here)”

When was the change made? Was it done to sound polite to newcomers or some other reason(s)?

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This is part of the new post notices project. The announcement for go-live is here on Meta Stack Exchange: New Post Notices are live network-wide.

We have some guiding principles that we’re applying as we improve any feedback loops in the Q&A system, including post notices, going forward. Wherever possible we will work to provide better, actionable guidance for all users that helps everyone use the platform successfully while reducing room for public shaming.

The auto-generated 'possible duplicate' comment has been reworded presumably for these reasons as well. Not everybody is happy with this change; some additional information is in this answer.

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