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If you add a contact via the API is it passed through any of the de-duplication rules? I.e. if I add a contact that matches an existing record will it create a new record or merge with the existing record?

If the contact is passed through the de-duplication rules how can you control which rule applies?

I am wondering if I need to create the necessary logic in my code to test if a new contact is a duplicate or if I can rely on the de-duplication process to take care of this.

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you can either set a check_duplicate=>true extra param... but to be honest, I always done the duplicate checking on the code side before calling the contact create api, because it's way more versatile and it's easier to match your exact need

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