I just went through a Stack Overflow profile of a person while searching an answer. Basically I got two links; this and this from my search. Both have the same answer. Like one copied another's answer as is.

And I went through that persons profile and I saw his answers. There's one more copied answer, it got 3 upvotes and +25 bounty just by copying! Again as it is, nothing changed.

The original answer didn't have at least three upvotes and I upvoted it. As per this answer on meta I should flag it. I did. Before I did, it showed 13 inform moderators flag remaining. After I flagged I got the same below. I guessed it decreases for each and every flag. Or may be not. Please correct me on this. If it didn't get 13, then will my flag be a waste?

And I even informed a guy who posted the original answer from where another guy copied. Is this the right thing to do? This is the first time I flagged and I'm interested to learn about this.

  • 4
    13 inform moderators flag remaining means that you can cast 13 more flags for moderator attention. It does not mean that the answer has been flagged 13 times. It is referring to your daily limit of flags.
    – Ren
    Mar 14, 2013 at 11:26
  • 3
    Your writing is just a little bit jumbled - but yes. It's good that you flag. Plagiarism is not tolerated, there should at least be attribution to copied content.
    – J. Steen
    Mar 14, 2013 at 11:27
  • @J.Steen yes. I'm bad in that but I'm trying to improve.
    – kaul
    Mar 14, 2013 at 11:29
  • 2
    Typical troll who get reputation he does not deserve; if he keeps doing it moderator should suspend him in my opinion. Mar 14, 2013 at 11:41
  • @ShaWizDowArd Yes I'm with you. I don't really answer because I don't have that ability. The reason I use SO is to get solutions. But I guess I will be answering some times. I will improve but no copy business.
    – kaul
    Mar 14, 2013 at 11:46
  • 3
    Cheers @Vinay, keep in mind that if you see existing answer that can help in other question proper action would be posting comment on that other question saying "See this answer (link here) it might help you too". Other actions, like posting new answer with just link to the other answer, are not acceptable. Mar 14, 2013 at 11:50
  • @ShaWizDowArd I will...
    – kaul
    Mar 14, 2013 at 11:52
  • 2
    Completing @ShaWizDowArd 's comment- ... and such SO link only answers are converted in to comment if there is no more description added.
    – Himanshu
    Mar 14, 2013 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


Yes, flagging the offending answers with link to the originals is certainly the right thing to do. I've handled this appropriately.

I would like to extend a word of thanks to you for helping us track down plagiarism cases — as one of the most serious possible offenses you can commit anywhere (not just here), we take such behavior very seriously and will not hesitate to conduct thorough investigation and take action where appropriate.

Also, you don't have to worry about the number of flags you have remaining. As mentioned in the comments, this number represents how many flags you have left for the day; your flag count will replenish as the day rolls over. Furthermore, as you use flags wisely (resulting in them being marked helpful), you'll be rewarded with even more flags to use in the future. Once again, thanks for your help.

  • 1
    Also, copying own answers is not welcome. Instead we should close/flag as duplicate.
    – Himanshu
    Mar 14, 2013 at 12:25
  • 2
    @hims056: That too, although I wouldn't consider that as plagiarism so much as a different issue altogether. Mar 14, 2013 at 12:26
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn Cool site.. cool moderators thanks a lot for the answer.
    – kaul
    Mar 14, 2013 at 14:19

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