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I think there is a general practice in place that when duplicate answers are posted, the slower users will defer to the faster one by means of upvote and a deletion of their own answer. When this doesn't happen, both answers get upvoted when only one answer is necessary. (In this particular instance there are four virtually identical answers that have all been upvoted).

Should we encourage the slower user to delete their own question if they fail to do so? Is this even a problem?

Related Questions:

Do you delete your own answer when it’s a duplicate?
Dealing with duplicate answers?
Accepting a duplicate answer etiquette

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5 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I don't necessarily think you want to encourage deleting the answers. I think that if the user isn't going to do anything with it they should perhaps think about deleting it, but more often I would like to see the users elaborate more and make their answer stand out above all the rest, regardless of when it was posted, and then it will filter up.

Duplicate answer shouldn't be a call to delete, but it should be a call to make your answer better. If you can't, then yes, you might as well delete it.

The more good answers you can get, the more chances you will collect rep from them and the more chances that the OP will find a suitable solution.

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I like the idea that duplicate answers are a call to be more specific/separate your answer out from the pack. –  Kzqai Nov 15 '09 at 17:08
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Slower? Not necessarily. Redundant? Yes! If an answer adds nothing to what is explained by another answer, then it should be removed. All too often, I see one or two decent answers followed by a handful of hastily-written "me-too" answers - there's nothing good about that. Down-vote and move on.

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I think its all about better answer than identical answer. If I post a duplicate answer then I see whether I can improve my answer if not then delete the answer. This should be user's choice whether to delete it or not.

Some times there are more than 3/4 duplicate answers which are posted in long intervals just because it is easy to answer but they are very less in count. having a couple of duplicate answers wont hurt ;-) in the long run one answer will move up leaving the rest behind.

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If I post the exact same answer as someone within seconds of them, I certainly won't delete mine, and wouldn't expect them to delete theirs. To me this is a "tie", we both knew the answer and hit the finish line at the same time. Now it's up to the judges to see who "wins".

At the same time, if I come across a post like that, I'll upvote all the similar answers that were within seconds of each other.

Rep IMO shouldn't be about who got the answer first, it's about what you know.

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I'm going to upvote the person who voted first if you post next to each other. If you want my vote, you better make sure your duplicate answer gets edited and turns out better than the prior one so that you look better. –  TheTXI Sep 9 '09 at 19:23
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Competition encourages quality.

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I wish it always did, the problem is that speed beats quality often. –  Ian Ringrose Sep 24 '09 at 9:28
    
not necessarily a bad thing -- i post a question, i want my answer asap, and just enough to get me coding again is perfectly fine –  Dustin Getz Sep 24 '09 at 15:26
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