I declined your flag. Here's why:
This is the flag I responded to in the moderator queue (which, as I've talked about before, shows no context):
The answer doesn't add anything not already stated in at least two other answers. I'd consider locking the question as I don't think anything new can be added.
To which I'd answer: So? We have thousands upon thousands of instances where users provide the same information in different answers. It's one of the things that makes Stack Overflow great.
As far as locking the question, that's a really bad idea, for multiple reasons.
In this case, this was seen in the moderator queue -- and it wasn't a "This user copied answer (link to answer)", it was just, "This has already been said."
As moderators, we are not judges of which two answers that say something similar (or even the same) get to stay. What if all three had been upvoted? Why is it our job to say, "I'm sorry, your answer doesn't belong just because you got to the party late?"
We are, however, the judge of plagiarized content. That's a magical phrase. If you can show that a post was copied word for word from another post, then your flag will be marked
helpful every time.
In your case, there are other things you can do instead of flagging:
- Do nothing.
- Leave a comment.
- Vote the duplicate answer down - difficult as technically it is useful (assuming that the answer is correct).
In this particular case, any of those three would have been ok. Flagging for moderator attention with a flag reason of
other is a bat signal that says, "This needs to bypass normal channels and get dropped into the moderator queue." Remember, that queue (at any given time) has hundreds of flags in it -- most of which went through the normal channels.
When you're flagging with a flag reason of 'other', it helps us out the most if you're sure that this is something that should be taken up by a moderator, and not by the community -- and that this is important enough to bypass normal channels.
In the case of a guy that got to the party late? That doesn't really fit.
Someone flagged the answer a second time, and the follow up flag was much more helpful in explaining the situation:
an answer with the same code and with a better explanation has been posted about 3 years ago.
In the case of the the above flag, I may have deleted the post, but I definitely would have marked the flag as helpful.