I found a previous question on similar answers and how downvotes should be used. I'd like to ask whether it's acceptable to give answers based on prior answers at all. A question on plagiarism would indcate that it isn't, but that generally focuses on enhancements to prior questions.
A side note right at the outset: it happens that the two answers which generated this question are from the same well-established user. That's unfortunate because it could be construed that this meta question is an attack on Barrie. I don't want this to get personal. I want to examine the practice and the consequences. However in order to make sense of the examples it's necessary to identify the answers concerned.
Example 1: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/70270/why-does-be-have-more-than-three-forms — Barrie's answer appeared 11 minutes after mine and presents what is basically a summary of my second paragraph. I can't believe that a single sentence was prepared simultaneously with a formatted table.
Example 2: What does it mean that Republicans in Congress “need to get off their hands and stop rooting for failure”? — Barrie's answer appeared six minutes after mine and says more-or-less the same thing, although again not having taken the time to find a link.
Now, after several hours, the difference in timing cannot be distinguished and in the case of Example 2 we have two almost-identical answers with identical timestamps. Consequently the previous question's discussion on voting is hugely relevant: which answer to vote for/against if it's not possible to tell them apart?
While (currently) my prior answers have more votes, Example 1 has a comment which extols the "bulls-eye" nature of the answer — which was copied from mine!
Is this practice really acceptable? Should I simply have flagged the answers?