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On this question, I wrote an answer, posted it, then, without realizing it, went back in the browser and edited my answer. After posting that answer, I discovered that I had not, in fact, hit the edit button as I had thought...I had hit the back button in the browser. So, I ended up with a double answer post and needed to delete the original answer (as the edited answer was better).

(As an aside, I actually got notification of a new answer [which was actually my first answer] while I was working on the second answer.)

Sure, I can delete the answer. I flagged for a hard delete (perhaps a bit OCD of me, because it just looks ugly to see the same basic answer twice, even if only me and 10k users can see it) but was declined.

Is there anything we can do to minimize accidental reposting? Here are some ideas I came up with:

  • Add a MessageBox on that submit to inform the user they already have an answer on that question (with the side effect of making *double* sure the user wants to answer the same question twice, first on the "Answer Post" link and second at "Submit Answer" button).
  • Add some server-side heuristics to check for overly similar answers (90%-ish) and either
    • stop the submit, or
    • request confirmation of the submit.
  • Do nothing, as it isn't a huge issue or worth the extra effort for such a small gain
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I've never had this happen to me. My bet is that this happens so rarely that it's not worth worrying about. Just delete and move on. Or blame it on the unicorns if you get called out. – Matt Fenwick Jul 30 '12 at 19:13
Hard to see how you thought you were editing an answer in a completely empty post box. If it wasn't empty then this might be a once-in-a-million threading race kinda bug. – Uphill Luge Jul 30 '12 at 19:14
@Uphill It wasn't empty. I apparently had hit back in my browser after submitting the answer the first time, got distracted, then came back to the answer and thought I was in edit mode. – saluce Jul 30 '12 at 19:17
Hehe, yes, work can be such a distraction from SO. – Uphill Luge Jul 30 '12 at 19:20

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