For reference, these are the two questions at issue:

Detect if an element has been resized via javascript?


-moz-resize event

The askers have completely different questions arising out of two separate parts of the web stack. One wants to know how to watch for resize on elements they make resizeable via CSS, and the other wants to know how he can listen to a browser resize events on any element with JavaScript.

I put the same answer for both without duping because they are not the same question - in fact, they're fundamentally different. This act of moderation is the equivalent of saying all questions about various construction tasks that can be accomplished using a hammer, should go under the same question: "What do I use to hit nails?". Perhaps it's a simple lack of domain knowledge and the moderator does not understand the difference, but whatever it is, it's certainly not in the best interest of the asker who is left with a sub par set of answers.

  • 2
    So you're saying that the exact same answer applies to both? There is nothing you can adjust in either answer to make it more closely target the specific question asked (assuming both questions truly are different)?
    – Bart
    Mar 22, 2013 at 16:58
  • 1
    Yes, the exact same answer is the underlying solution to both. But the askers are coming at the topic from very different angles, so duping would seem to lose much of the context, not to mention the fact that when another person has a question from the CSS side, they won't be expecting the question the other fellow asked.
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 17:00
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    If the exact same answer applies to both (and there is absolutely no way in which you could change your answers to more uniquely apply to the differing situations), then they must almost certainly be dupes. And closing them as such would have one of them act as a pretty decent signpost for the other one.
    – Bart
    Mar 22, 2013 at 17:03
  • I've just flagged that one, don't be surprised if the asker contests this though, just saying.
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 17:08
  • 1
    Well, then you can surely explain why you flagged it as such.
    – Bart
    Mar 22, 2013 at 17:21
  • 3
    I recently came across a similar scenario where two different questions share the same solution. I'm not sure why most users here disagree. Think of it in SEO terms: if I'm looking for a solution on the web, I'm going to find a match to the question, not the answer, since I don't know what the answer is yet. Please don't close these for being duplicates but instead, take Rachel's approach.
    – Adam-E
    Mar 22, 2013 at 20:36
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    @Adam-E - yep. In this instance, the asker of the -moz-resize CSS question was likely searching on Google or SO using the CSS keywords he felt were most likely to be related to his need. Given the solution is more generic, closing out his question or not allowing the generic answer on it basically puts developers searching from different angles at a disadvantage. As I previously stated, this is deeply flawed - it's the equivalent of saying all questions about various construction tasks that can be accomplished using a hammer, should go under the same question: "What should I use to hit nails?"
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 20:53
  • 4
    What do you want me to advise you on? I've said all I can say. Don't post word-for-word duplicates but adapt them to the individual questions, if those are not exact duplicates. That's it. I did not vote for those questions being duplicates of each other. And from what I can see nobody else did either.
    – Bart
    Mar 22, 2013 at 20:59
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    @Bart - I have adapted the answer the most it can be adapted for his question, what do you want me to do, change the method names in the JS just for kicks? It is a generic solution that works for many non-dup, but similar questions, not sure what else I can do either...
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 21:10
  • Well, great. Let's see if it gets undeleted.
    – Bart
    Mar 22, 2013 at 21:12
  • @Bart - oh, I thought you were able to do that once I corrected things, my fault.
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 21:39
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    @Bart "If the exact same answer applies to both (and absolutely no way in which you could change your answers to more uniquely apply to the differing situations), then they must almost certainly be dupes." - well, someone finally realized your statement 'certainly' isn't certain in all cases. I wish the members/mods on this thread had taken the time to understand the differences in the questions and the generic nature of the shared solution before disparaging me. Unfortunately their belittling answer was erased, robbing future viewers of a teachable moment in the ignorance of rubber-stamping.
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 25, 2013 at 18:23
  • @csuwldcat And I wish you would have taken the advice you had been given several times in several ways to (even slightly) modify your contributions to more closely address the specific discussion, so we wouldn't even need to have this discussion here.
    – Bart
    Mar 25, 2013 at 18:27
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    @Bart - I barely modified it Bart, the answer would have been just fine without adding 2 near-meaningless sentences to the top to appease some arbitrary rule that didn't even apply in this case. I guess someone saying "Hey, we were wrong in this case, turns out that this was a completely valid situation and we overreacted" is too much to ask - then again, I pretty much expected a 'defend-it-to-the-last, we-did-nothing-wrong' reaction. There's no need to reassert your belief in the objective infallibility of the members/mods who tore me up on the now-deleted answer - I heard you the first time.
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 25, 2013 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


Typically when I want to duplicate one of my answers to a question that is not a duplicate, I be sure to post the answer like this:

I recently posted another answer that addresses this situation:

copy of answer in a blockquote tag

Include something explaining how the answer applies to the OP's specific situation at either the beginning or the end of the post.

There are a few things to note here:

  • Link going back the original source
  • Block quote used for copied content
  • Custom text addressing the specific question

Straight copy/paste of answers, particularly long and detailed answers, often look suspicious and can raise red flags to users.

  • They could be generated by a spammer
  • They could be plagiarism. SE has a policy that if you copy something, you should attribute it to the author
  • Someone could be copy/pasting answers to a bunch of questions containing certain keywords just for more rep, instead of taking time to read questions and making sure their answer applies to the question

In addition, a copy/paste answer is often not as useful to the person asking the question as an answer that is tailored for their specific situation.

Although this may not be the case for you, they are common occurrences and users sometimes don't look too closely at specific details when handling such situations.

So to be on the safe side, try to always customize your answer to be specific to the question asked, and include a link back to the original answer.

  • 1
    Thank you for a kind, informative answer. I did some of what you mentioned by preemptively adding a comment to each that detailed why I added the same answer twice. I even asked how best to deal with this situation. I have since added a bit to my answer here - stackoverflow.com/questions/10451504/moz-resize-event/15560444 - to try and make it more specialized to the asker's question. The situation remains that the answer is a generic solution that happens to apply to both, so specialization is not required. Thank you again for your cordial tone and informative, helpful answer!
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 19:20
  • @csuwldcat Glad I could help :) If you made an edit to your deleted post to address the reason why it was deleted in the first place, you can Flag it for a moderator and ask for them to undelete it. Just select the "Other" option and explain that you have edited the post to address the reason it was deleted, and that you are asking for it to be undeleted.
    – Rachel
    Mar 22, 2013 at 19:28
  • Wow, never knew about the Flag > Other route of correction either, thanks for another helpful answer!
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 19:31
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    Excellent suggestion on how to quote yourself and link to the other answer, but you have to be careful when you do this that the questions are truly different than each other because you can downvoted for answering questions that are obvious dups (very rare, but some people see it as trying to farm rep) Mar 22, 2013 at 19:41
  • @psubsee2003 That's a good point to make. I updated the first line in my answer to try and make that clear.
    – Rachel
    Mar 22, 2013 at 19:46
  • Rachel - I've updated the post in the way you described, will this work? --> stackoverflow.com/questions/10451504/moz-resize-event/…
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 19:59
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    @csuwldcat Seems OK to me, but it was deleted by a moderator so only moderators can undelete the post. The only thing I'd probably do is specify that the link goes to your blog, such as such as changing "you can read the full post here" to "you can read the full post on my blog"
    – Rachel
    Mar 22, 2013 at 20:02
  • Done, hopefully that helps! Thank you Rachel.
    – csuwldcat
    Mar 22, 2013 at 20:08

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