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I am pretty sure that there must be already a topic about this, but on my search I only found topics about same answers from different users and same answers on different questions.

Sometimes I stumble across duplicate responses of a new user, which only differs in formatting or a formulation (so they won't be marked as duplicate answers automatically), maybe posted twice due to problems with the editor.

(How) should this be handled?

  • Just ignore it?
  • Leave a comment request the user to delete one of the answers?
  • Additionally flag one of the answers? The problem here is due to later votes I could choose the wrong answer (I would have chosen the older one here).
share|improve this question
I'd say leave a comment. And if it's still there after a while, then flag it. – Bart Sep 13 '13 at 6:48
@Bart thanks, but how to ensure not to flag the wrong answer, since it's not predictable which one might get voted later. Feels like a dilemma for me. – bummi Sep 13 '13 at 6:54
If you leave a custom flag, just be clear there are 2 answers on the same question (and provide a link to is helpful). Let the mod make the decision on which to delete – psubsee2003 Sep 13 '13 at 6:55
up vote 4 down vote accepted

How about using the voting system directly, saving the Mods time not having to be involved ? I'd say this is especially the case, if you know the subject matter of the OP well enough to discern the 'differences' between the 'same' answer :))

With several correct, but near duplicate, answers:

  • merely upvote the one than has the most "correctness" to it - clearer, better formatting, etc.


  • if you want to reinforce that answer at the expense of the lesser ones, down vote the latter.

Then, if that doesn't seem to set the momentum, do as Bart and psubsee2003 suggest and bubble it up to the moderators.

Does that seem reasonable ?

share|improve this answer
Thanks, that seems to be a nice solution. – bummi Sep 13 '13 at 16:28

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