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When I was looking C# stored procedure with parameters question, there is a weird situation.

I found 7 same answer. (Not 100% same)

Look at these;


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@Tim Rogers

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In my opinion, this should not be in Stack Overflow. Because SO is useful, simple, self and clean. We love this properties. There is also properties like dublicate for questions, why shouldn't be for answers?

For this, maybe should be like a Dublicate Answer button. And we can choose which answer(s) duplicate. Then moderators can approve or reject. Or also higher 50K users. I don't know.


People can find the right solution (Also there is "accepted answer" but this can be help). Questions with a lot of answers, prevent for salad questions :) And a simple, clean and nice site.

EDIT: Yes you are right. We can't decide which answer should live but what we can do about this subject?

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But think of all the precious rep you get from adding more noise to the page! – random Jun 6 '11 at 13:10
If you look at the time stamps all the answers were added within a minute of each other, therefore there's a good chance they were all added without the knowledge of the others. – ChrisF Jun 6 '11 at 13:16
@ChrisF Yeah, i see it but this is a block for delete or edit the answer(s)? This pic isn't right for SO, i think... – Soner Gönül Jun 6 '11 at 13:41
At least there are high odds that this is the correct answer. :-) – Bo Persson Jun 6 '11 at 14:13
@ChrisF: Since you have the 5 min. grace period there's a good chance that one or two have copied from each other. What i want to say is, in my opinion people should delete their anwer then instead of "free riding" for reputation on the most upvoted answer. Maybe a vote-for-delete button would help. – Tim Schmelter Jan 26 '13 at 12:37
up vote 15 down vote accepted

I see your point, but a "duplicate answer" button won't work.

Answers to clear, answerable questions often are similar. There's nothing that can (nor should) be done about that. Different from duplicate questions, this is not really a problem though - all the information is gathered in one place, and voting and accepting is supposed to pick the best ones out of the crowd.

Closing duplicate answers would always be unfair. For one thing, how do you want to identify which answer deserves to live? What if two people wrote up the same code, but one of them made the effort of actually testing / checking / compiling it before posting?

One thing that I would support is encouraging users to delete their own answers once they realize it's a duplicate - say, for example, through a badge. High-reputation users often do that, but it's not very widespread as a practice.

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The "least unfair" method would be to compile a new (CW) answer from the originals and delete them all. But still not a perfect solution. – Toon Krijthe Jun 6 '11 at 13:25
+1 "deserves to live" – mcgrailm Jun 6 '11 at 13:36
+1 for the badge idea, I've always done this and wonder why more people don't clean things up. – Lance Roberts Jun 6 '11 at 15:38
Doesn't the Disciplined badge do this? – Troyen Jun 7 '11 at 2:54
@Pekka I agree with all your words. But Is it nothing can be done for this situation? In my example, they had 6 similar answer can see. Yeah, we can't decide that which answer should live but i still think it is a weird situation. – Soner Gönül Jul 28 '11 at 7:14

Keep in mind that all of these questions have a timestamp to within a minute of each other. That means that it's likely there were no other answers up when they hit, "Post your answer".

Also, the flag that pops up on the header that says, "Another answer has been posted" takes at least a minute to appear, if not a minute and a half.

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I see duplicate answers as a problem (noise is bad) but I don't think what you're suggesting is an acceptable solution (other answers cover the why). I take it as a personal responsibility to delete all of my own answers that duplicate another, even if it was only a few second late. But it's a personal responsibility. Other people don't feel the same way and that's their prerogative. If I can convince others to do the same, great.

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No, similar answers in the same thread should not be deleted.

On your examples, if you check the time of those answers you'll notice that they were posted almost at the same time. I'll be p** if someone deletes my answer because somebody else posted a similar one only 5 seconds before I did.

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Honestly, I get pissed when people don't delete their answer if they were beat out with the same answer. Have some civic responsibility for keeping the site clean. At that point you're just trying to gain rep. – Mark Peters Jun 6 '11 at 13:18
@Mark: But how do you know who posted the correct answer first... For example, UserA posts an incorrect answer, 5 seconds later UserB posts the correct answer, UserA sees this and changes his answer to be correct within the 5 minute time limit. Should UserB then delete his answer because it looks like UserA answered it correctly first? I have personally seen this happen multiple times, so are you sure you're getting pissed with the right people? – ho1 Jun 6 '11 at 13:37
@ho1: That's exactly why I don't think there should be a feature that deletes duplicates. It's a personal responsibility only, as my answer states. You know whether you were beat out by someone else, because the preexisting answers are there when you are returned to the page after you submit your answer, in an unedited form (or at least unedited since you submitted your answer). – Mark Peters Jun 6 '11 at 14:40

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