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Today, I came across a question on Stack Overflow, in which the same user has answered twice for the same question.

As answers are editable, shouldn't this be disallowed?

If someone has multiple solutions to the same question, should they be provided in the same answer?

If multiple answers are allowed, what should be done if the some part of a user's multiple answers are identical?

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    In this particular case the user appears to have added a second answer rather than editing their original one. However, I wouldn't want to prevent a user providing two answers to a question that provide different methods of solving the problem. Jul 12, 2012 at 9:44
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    If course multiple answers by the same user need to be allowed...sometimes there are multiple solutions available, and it might be convenient to have them in multiple answers to vote on each solution individual. Just flag that short answer for mod attention, explain that it was incorporated into the later answer of the same user, request deletion, be done with it. Jul 12, 2012 at 9:45
  • @Ben: In that case, it should be fine but what if the same solution is posted in parts in multiple answers. Jul 12, 2012 at 9:46
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    @HardikMishra: I'd rather see manual cleanup then some heuristic-algorithm which might or might not figure out if it is correct. Jul 12, 2012 at 9:48
  • I don't understand Why is the question being down voted ?. Is it unclear or not useful ? Jul 12, 2012 at 9:49
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    Sigh. Downvotes are different on Meta
    – Oded
    Jul 12, 2012 at 9:50
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    There are perfectly valid cases where a user might have two answers. I did it here and here for example. In each of those cases the solutions are so different they deserve to stand/fall on their own merits in my view.
    – Flexo
    Jul 12, 2012 at 10:19

2 Answers 2

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It totally depend on the question and how OP represented question.

When add multiple answer, then popup is shown as below which clearly mention you can improve existing answer.:

enter image description here

You should post multiple answers if they are unrelated and

  • they are too long to be in the same post, or
  • they are superficially similar, so having them in the same answer could be confusing, or
  • they are so dissimilar that having them in the same answer would be incongruent, or
  • one of them is likely to meet objection and the other with approval, or
  • you really think it would be better to have them in different posts

Source: When should I add another answer?

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A user may post multiple answers. When they try to post a second (or third, or fourth...) there is a popup asking them whether they are sure they want to add another answer.

As @ChrisF commented, when an answer have already been given, the answer box doesn't appear unless the user clicks "Add Another Answer".

Sometimes a user may want to present two (or more) separate points of view as answers and let the community decide which is best.

In this case, it looks like this should indeed have been an edit – an update to the original answer and would have been better as such.

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  • Also the answer edit box is missing and you have to click a button that reads "Add Another Answer".
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 12, 2012 at 9:46

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