If an answer is recognized as a duplicate, is there a policy about that?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Can you clarify what exactly you're asking about duplicate answers? And do you mean word-for-word duplicate answers, or merely answers that are saying the same thing? $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Jul 6, 2016 at 7:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ On behalf of the internet: ???. That is, I'm completely confused by your question (and presumably others will be too). Can you clarify it a bit? If you have examples of what's bothering you, all the better. $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2016 at 10:22
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ I mean merely answers that are saying the same thing. $\endgroup$
    – lucas
    Jul 7, 2016 at 2:13
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty I mean for example, you have answered a question and then I answer the same question, but my answer is a duplicate of yours. Is this correct? I don't want to be a reporter, but if you insist on to see examples, I can temporarily (I will delete that comment after a while) give you some examples. $\endgroup$
    – lucas
    Jul 7, 2016 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


Given two answers to the same question:

  • If they are textual copies of each other, then this is a plagiarism offence, and it is best handled by a custom moderator flag explaining the situation. If they are not identical but still very similar, this can still be a plagiarism case, handled similarly, though there is a big gray area on where it stops being plagiarism.

  • On the other hand, it's perfectly possible for two answers to have essentially the same content without being copies of each other. This is all in the game and both answers are in a fair competition for votes; ideally the clearest one should rise to the top.

If you suspect foul play, flag for moderator attention or make your views known in a comment. If the flag is way off base then the mod that handles it will leave appropriate feedback when declining it. It's not a problem to err on the side of flagging unless it's a repetitive failure on the same issue.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! You always answer my questions and I should appreciate you. I wouldn't like to name it "plagiarism offence". I think it is mostly cupidity for reputation! And I think moderators (and most of high rep users) will say "No, it isn't a duplicate" if second answer is posted by a user with higher reputation than the first answer's owner. Or I think they will look to their (answerers) profiles and each of them has higher degree, will win. Briefly, I think most (not all) of them (moderators and high rep users) will support each other. $\endgroup$
    – lucas
    Jul 7, 2016 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ If it isn't close enough to be a plagiarism offence, then there is nothing to do beyond commenting. Ideally the poster's rep should not affect anyone's voting pattern, regardless of how high the voter's rep is, but in the real world it can have an effect. (Ultimately, though, it's essentially impossible to whether it does or doesn't.) Once it escalates to a flag, on the other hand, moderators do have a duty to take each case on its merits regardless of the poster's rep. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2016 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you again! $\endgroup$
    – lucas
    Jul 7, 2016 at 17:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .