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If one person answers as a comment, then another answers as a question, the same answer, then the original commenter answers with an answer similar to the comment, which answer should be accepted? e.g. This question has one answer that came early, another person commented an answer on that, and then someone answered with that comment, then the original commenter answered with his/her comment.

Similarly, if there are two answers that are the same and both work equivalently, how should the accepted answer be chosen?

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I'm not sure I understand the context. You linked to an answer. Was the answer also posted as a comment? Which comment, on which answer? I see no comments on the question. – Aaron Bertrand Jul 17 '12 at 16:43
I didn't mean to link to an answer. – Jakob Weisblat Jul 17 '12 at 16:45
Also I think these are two separate questions. One question deals with a very specific and localized scenario, the other a much more generic one. – Aaron Bertrand Jul 17 '12 at 16:47
up vote 6 down vote accepted

For your second question, if two people post an identical answer (or identical enough), the tie-breaker should be time (earliest wins). A lot of people try to reward both users as equally as possible by accepting the earlier answer and up-voting the later one. (I'll leave out any guidelines on what to do about placeholder answers and FGITW problems.)

Another tie-breaker could be completely subjective. Some people like an explanation around their code sample, for example, so a tie-breaker in some cases might be the one who explained the answer better, or supplemented it with additional information, included links to official documentation, etc.

In the end, which answer you accept is totally up to you. I'm sure you'll get other suggestions here in addition to mine, and you can formulate your own guidelines based on these, but if you want to choose which to accept from similar answers based on the alphabetic order of the username, or the coolness of their avatar, that's your call. Just be aware that, at least IMHO, most responders will expect you to judge equivalent answers based on time.

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