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How to deal with answers exactly copied from other SO answers

I came upon a question yesterday that had been voted for close once, for reasons of being an exact duplicate (which, when following the auto-generated in-comment link, it very clearly was.) I voted to close as well. A couple minutes later, an answer was posted that I'm almost 100% certain was copy/pasted from the (well researched) accepted answer to the linked duplicate. The question was eventually closed, but the answer poster still received a few upvotes prior to that occurring.

The question: C# Enum compiler bug/glitch? The duplicate: .NET Enumeration allows comma in the last field

Now, my questions:

  1. Do you keep rep from questions that are closed? I know that if it is eventually deleted then a recalc will reclaim the rep, but what of closed but extant questions? (I would imagine that you would, since the fact it's not closed meant that it was deemed worth keeping the duplicate around.)

  2. What is the current thinking on this kind of situation? On the one hand, I find it annoying that a clearly cribbed answer garners rep for the poster. On the other hand, maybe I should be blaming the upvoters, since they could just as easily not voted (or even downvoted.) I suppose voting is the community's way of making their opinion known, but I'm still curious to hear what others think about this topic.

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marked as duplicate by Lance Roberts, Josh Caswell, ChrisF, Cody Gray, Lorem Ipsum Aug 11 '11 at 14:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Please provide a link to the question you are referring to. – Robert Harvey Aug 9 '11 at 15:44
@Robert edited to add the links. – dlev Aug 9 '11 at 15:49
I looked at the linked questions, and everything looks fine to me. I don't see any evidence of plagiarism. See also… – Robert Harvey Aug 9 '11 at 15:51
@Lance I believe the expression is "hoisted by my own petard". – dlev Aug 9 '11 at 15:51
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is up to the community to reward or penalize such answers. If you don't like what is happening, vote the answer down. You can still vote answers on closed questions, as long as they are not locked.

Blatant copy/pastes are routinely deleted by the moderators.

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I think the "community votes" makes sense. Thanks for insight and the blog link. – dlev Aug 9 '11 at 15:59
Well, it's bound to get a few downvotes now that it's been highlighted on meta. – razlebe Aug 9 '11 at 17:44

It's fine to answer duplicates, all questions need answers, but you should also either vote or flag to close. I don't think copying another's answer is good, though copying your own from another question is ok.
You do keep the rep from closed questions, but will lose the rep from deleted ones after a recalc.

In this specific case, it seemed like he modified the answer somewhat, so it doesn't look like an exact copy. Correct answers would probably be hard to make seem too unique.

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Even if your own answer, I'd stop at copying only the briefest answers and discourage copying "encyclopedia-like" answers, a link with summary (as a comment) should suffice. Encyclopedia-like answers (while great) shouldn't be duplicated in full but linked to. – Jeff Mercado Aug 9 '11 at 21:43
@Jeff, agreed, I've found that most copies need modification anyway. I'd never copy a full article (caveat: my answers are pretty terse). – Lance Roberts Aug 9 '11 at 21:50

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