There are two ways to handle these cases:
- use a common bug until we determine we have two (or more) issues and then split the original report
- use separate bugs for each issue and then merge the bugs into one once we are certain they are the same
The first is very tricky to manage as we have to unpick the already merged information from the many reporters and there is no way to strip the now unrelated commentary from the original bug. The second leads to an initial increase in bugs but the individual reporters and their data is clearly separated.
In order to resolve this issue the Ubuntu Kernel Team recently adopted a No Duplicates policy with regard to bugs. This means that bugs only will be duplicated once a kernel developer has confirmed the issue is identical and no value is being added by maintaining multiple bugs. Note that even there, the original separation of reported system information is still maintained and has value.
This policy supersedes generally practiced Ubuntu Bug Triage guidelines for the kernel and it's associated packages.