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I've run into many duplicate answers on this Web site that are practically useless because the author of an answer has provided less information and information that was already stated in another more quality answer.

We already have the duplicate flag for questions, but why not for answers? It would be pretty useful.

Therefore, I'm proposing to add the duplicate flag for answers. Any thoughts, anybody?

  • The voting system provides the ability to "hide" worse answers (to a limited extent) by pushing them lower down the page. Related SE Meta question: Collapse Duplicate Answers – herisson Sep 27 '17 at 23:28
  • @sumelic Thanks, had no idea of this. – Black and White Sep 27 '17 at 23:29
  • Another related discussion: Vote to delete answers as duplicates of earlier answers. Some people like the idea, but there are some concerns that seem to have prevented the SE team from putting such a system into place. (Or maybe it's just not a current priority.) By the way, welcome back! I'm glad to see you around again – herisson Sep 27 '17 at 23:29
  • @sumelic Ha! Good to see a helpful user on ELU again! – Black and White Sep 27 '17 at 23:30
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    Two users post the same answer within minutes of each other. The first answer consists of the word and a phrase which sounds more like a question Are you thinking of "flurbingmax"? The second answer, posted five minutes later, also has the word "flurbingmax" but includes a dictionary reference and some notes about its usage, it is far more detailed. Which answer should be flagged as a duplicate? – Mari-Lou A Sep 27 '17 at 23:48
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    @Mari-LouA I've run into this dilemma when flagging redundant questions. Regardless of the time differences, the worse of the two answers is the duplicate. – Black and White Sep 27 '17 at 23:57
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    You'll find yourself with a very gruntled user who'll say, "What's wrong with my answer? I posted it first." Let the community decide which post gets the more votes. Obviously, if someone posts the identical answer an hour or later then it should be deleted. – Mari-Lou A Sep 28 '17 at 0:04
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    Might be worth searching on Meta Stack Exchange about this feature request. – NVZ Sep 28 '17 at 2:50
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    You can't do that already? Why can't you flag the answer 'for moderator attention' and say 'duplicate of prior/much better answer'? – Mitch Sep 28 '17 at 11:32
  • @Mitch That's a reasonable idea. – Black and White Sep 28 '17 at 11:58
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This feature-request sounds best asked on Meta Stack Exchange. And it's probably going to be marked a duplicate there.

In the meantime, under those very-late-and-duplicate answers that add no additional information to the topic, I recommend leaving a comment explaining that so that the reviewers can vote it down or delete it. Or the late-answerer might've not noticed the existing answers, and can therefore edit the answer to add additional information or remove it themselves.

If it's a blatant copypaste of existing answers, then flagging for a moderator's attention might also work. Do briefly explain and link to the answer it copied from when submitting the custom flag.

Here are some examples of mine:

duplicate flag; screenshot 1

duplicate flag; screenshot 2

  • Absolutely helpful! – Black and White Sep 28 '17 at 11:57
  • Although I will add that all of my flags for moderator attention are always declined, no matter how reasonable. – Black and White Sep 28 '17 at 15:02
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    @BlackandWhite I'll need more details than that to tell you why they were declined. Maybe in another meta. – NVZ Sep 28 '17 at 15:03

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