Reviewing answers, I recently experienced the following workflow problem:

There is a late or first answer and when I click "review", I get the complete question (but without tags, which is a different topic, but in many cases a vital information - think regex in Perl, sed, Postgresql, Python, ... with the subtle differences).
But I find fine answers, and would vote them up. But I got suspicious, that such an answer hasn't been posted before - for old questions though, but even for new questions, experienced users are normally faster.

So I middle-clicked: open in new tab, and there I could see, that other answers already gave the same advice in other words, often upvoted and accepted.

So in this context, another valid answer is just noise and traffic. I used the opportunity to make a comment, that we don't need duplicated answers, but it is not comfortable to find this information, as a reviewer.

I think, we need nearly always the whole thread, except if the answer can be clearly judged as false or spam. Having all the information at hand at once would encourage to look for the answer in the context.

Maybe the review can be more sensible, and only show the answer in context, if there is already an upvoted and accepted answer.

  • Yup. I often feel the need to click through to the whole question when I'd rather scroll down.
    – AndrewC
    Sep 28, 2012 at 11:04
  • 2
    "another valid answer is just noise and traffic" in cases like that I just downvote the duplicate answer. I don't usually bother commenting: I firmly believe that expecting the answerer to check prior answers goes without saying
    – gnat
    Oct 14, 2012 at 5:46

1 Answer 1


Short answer

Indeed, I suggest that we Allow Flagging as Duplicate for answers as well.

Long answer

I encounter this problem as well. Most of the time, I end up writing a comment to explain to the new users that their answers are not valuable if it doesn't bring anything new to the thread. Then how SO works and what they should try to do when replying to a question.

Unfortunately, that doesn't solve the issue. Those threads keep growing with identical or similar answers that sometimes have almost nothing different compare to the previous or accepted ones. Some new users even post on very old thread with nothing new to bring in. I found that a bit annoying when reviewing those post.

  • I can downvote them, but their answer is not really bad, they are just already there.
  • I could still flag them and write my own comment to explain the problem, but I'm not sure how it would be handle.

That's why I believe it would be a good idea to have a Duplicated option in the Flagging pop-up for answers as well.

I also tried to find any other post specifically related to this on Meta, but it wasn't addressed in the same way as you did.

Proposed improvement to flagging, for answers

Is there any reason to ever have an answer duplicated in a question?


I found this answer posted by JimmyPena that would actually give some ideas related to this.

  • I tend to agree on your answer, but I don't see it as an answer to my thread. My thread is about investigating the answer, before I find out, that it is a duplicate - it is hidden by the current review tools. Your answer is about an easy process to mark the answer as duplicate after you found out. Oct 14, 2012 at 19:49
  • Indeed, it's more like follow up on your question, but the topic was so close to yours that I thought it might be fine to post it here. Not sure if I should have posted a new question for that. But if we look at the Question title, I'm not that off-topic :)
    – ForceMagic
    Oct 14, 2012 at 23:44
  • Yes, a new question would be better. The title isn't the only part of a question, but feel free to suggest a better one if you believe it doesn't fit well. Oct 15, 2012 at 16:08
  • 1
    While thinking for a better title for your question, I just found this one meta.stackexchange.com/questions/148739/…. I think it is pretty much what you are saying. I'd rename yours as "Review workflow - showing the whole thread". It might be similar as the other one, but I think it would be better because the emphasis of "duplicated review" will be diminished.
    – ForceMagic
    Oct 15, 2012 at 19:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .