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In this question a user copied and pasted code from an article written by someone else. I believe it is unfair to vote the answer up since copying and pasting code/text isn't really doing any work. What do others think about up voting or down voting? I believe in some situations it's ok, no need to reinvent the wheel, but in this situation the source doesn't elaborate well and I think the poster could have at least explained better. Also copying from wikihow and not saying that's where it's coming from isn't (in my opinion) a reliable source. Are some sources more accebtible to copy from than others?

UPDATE: the answer has since been removed

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marked as duplicate by ben is uǝq backwards, Toon Krijthe, Martijn Pieters, Bo Persson, psubsee2003 Mar 26 '13 at 11:50

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2 Answers 2

You are allowed to quote external sources providing you credit the original source. Especially in this case when the answer violates Wikihow's terms of use. It doesn't have to be a reliable source (this is not Wikipedia) -- up- and downvotes determine whether it's a good answer or not.

I say either edit the answer to add a link to the original source and downvote, or flag for moderator attention.


I did some digging and it seems many of the user's answers are copy-pasted without attribution:

There are probably more, I didn't go through all the answers. Many are also link-only. He also seems to have a habit of pressuring people to accept his answers (1, 2).

I don't think it's malicious, he just doesn't know he shouldn't be doing it. He would probably stop it if a moderator notified him. (I'll also comment with a link to this in one of his answers. EDIT: He deleted the answer (10k+) where I added the comment.)

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Not only is copying and pasting code/text not really doing any work, but copying and pasting code/text without linking to the source is wrong. Although the answer contains a wikiHow link, that's a link to a different article:

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Secure-Session-Managment-System-in-Php-and-Mysql

The article from which the user has copied is not referenced at all:

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Secure-Login-Script-in-PHP-and-MySQL

Not only that, but his answer, before the latest edit, was something entirely different yet probably just as unhelpful: a full code dump seemingly from nowhere.

Based on the fact that he has simply copied and pasted without so much as a proper reference, as well as his response to your comment on his answer which shows me he doesn't really want to take himself seriously, I deleted the answer altogether.

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