• Question: Is there a word or phrase for “taking the long way around a square”?
  • My answer: "Scenic route" with enough details and has got upvotes.
  • Duplicate answer posted hours later: "I've always humorously called this kind of thing the 'Scenic Route'"... and no further explanation or additional value.

The issue:

I didn't think the duplicate answer deserved these flags:

  • VLQ, because it's a great suggestion, which is why I had posted such an answer myself. I'm sure the community would have upvoted or edited to improve it, if my answer wasn't posted earlier.
  • NAA, because it clearly gives an answer, although it lacks explanation.
  • Rude or abusive, because the user/post was nice.
  • Spam, because it is not promoting any product.

So I flagged it for moderator's attention: "Duplicate answer, adds nothing new."

Moderator's response: "declined - Using standard flags helps us prioritize problems and resolve them faster. Please familiarize yourself with the list of standard flags: see What is Flagging?"

Community's response: Post deleted by MετάEd, Dan Bron, tchrist..


What standard flag should I have used?

Just worth mentioning that I currently have about 2,478 helpful flags

  • 2
    I personally think there should be a materially a duplicate, lacking attribution to the earlier answer, and adding no or insignificant more information flag. Some number N (3?) of these should cause the answer to be deleted. No one should have had to earn the "delete privilege" to use them (as no one does now for the spam flag, which has even more dire consequences). The flag must force users to link to the earlier answer, and if it was post less than X minutes (20?) before this one, the flag is declined or prohibited. Flagging a dupe answer which is much better presented is discouraged.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 27, 2016 at 17:29
  • 1
    Also, the flag can be used for answered which have high overlap, but aren't perfect dupes. In this case, the answerer should be encouraged to highlight the new material, bedpans brining it forward (closer to the top) in the answer, and if he wants to maintain the duplicate material because it has some bearing on his novel suggestion(s), he is required to attribute it to the (author of) the earlier answer.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 27, 2016 at 17:31

2 Answers 2


This happens all the time. You don't need to flag it at all.

Often in this situation, someone will (and should) leave a comment that this answer has already been given and that it adds nothing new (and maybe could be edited to add more information or some other way to improve it, etc.) and perhaps even down vote. Often, high rep users will vote to delete the answer. It doesn't need to involve a moderator at all. Moderators should ideally be involved in issues that can't be resolved by the community itself, or that might take too much time for the community to act on, etc.

But you don't own the answer just because you wrote it first, and you need not alert anyone. If people want to upvote it, they can. You can down vote the other person if you like. Leave a comment. You can leave it to the community to delete (I do this all the time, that is, cast a delete vote when appropriate, and also a downvote if needed to delete) but involving the moderators isn't necessary.

  • Thank you, that's a well-written and detailed answer. :)
    – NVZ Mod
    Jul 28, 2016 at 15:00
  • Can you cast a "delete" vote if such a low-quality-duplicate-with-no-additional-value answer had some upvotes?
    – NVZ Mod
    Jul 28, 2016 at 15:47
  • 2
    @NVZ - I don't think so. It takes three users with 20+K to delete an answer with a 0 or negative score. However, delete-worthy answers rarely have a positive score. Jul 28, 2016 at 18:22

It's very low quality. It's sufficient to flag it as such. It doesn't need a custom flag which puts it in my workflow.

  • Ah, well. Thanks for the response. Sorry for overburdening you. :)
    – NVZ Mod
    Jul 27, 2016 at 17:10
  • Also, what if somebody had up voted the duplicate? Would my custom flag be welcomed then?
    – NVZ Mod
    Jul 28, 2016 at 2:32

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