From time to time, an Stack Exchange newbie will answer a question, then sometime later they come up with new information; however, in some cases, they don't simply go back and edit their original answer; they instead post a new answer below the first one in that very same question.

One example is this answer on unix.SE.

My question

I am scratching my head why double answer posting is permitted to begin with. Shouldn't Stack Exchange prevent people from posting twice?

My suggestion

As Bill the Lizard mentioned, we already have a pop-up warning about double posting; my suggestion is twofold, either:

  • We limit people to one answer per question.
  • If we are not willing to limit to one answer per question, I would suggest that multiple answers to the same question is a privilege that is earned after X number of points (500 points seems right to me). This would prevent new users from blindly posting things others need to clean up later.

They already do this.


Some people just choose to add a second answer anyway.

  • 1
    Ok, but why do we let them answer twice? – Mike Pennington Dec 3 '11 at 17:46
  • 8
    @MikePennington Because sometimes you actually do have two different answers. It's better to have the ability and not use it most of the time than to not have it at all. – Bill the Lizard Dec 3 '11 at 17:51
  • even if you have two different ways of answering the same question, that doesn't require two discrete SO answers. I see your point, but I guess I don't see that as sufficient justification to allow it. Perhaps double posting could be a privilege that is earned (after 500 points, or so)? – Mike Pennington Dec 3 '11 at 17:53
  • 7
    @MikePennington I agree that it's used way too often (we clean it up quite a bit on SO), but with the way voting works I think it's necessary to have available. If I leave two different answers to a question (one in JavaScript and one in jQuery, for example) then the community can vote on which one is a better solution. – Bill the Lizard Dec 3 '11 at 17:56
  • 8
    @MikePennington Perhaps double posting could be a privilege that is earned (after 500 points, or so)? This isn't a bad idea for a feature request. The vast majority of bad double posts I see are from new users. – Bill the Lizard Dec 3 '11 at 17:57

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