I was answering this question but when I answered, my answer was converted to a comment. I think I understand the point of this system but I still feel robbed. The answer I posted was short but complete, had reference material and was correct (I hope or now I look foolish). Shouldn't I be allowed to receive credit for this answer or am in the wrong here?

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    That's definitely a comment. Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:21
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    Looks like the question you answered should be closed as a duplicate of the question you linked to. So, no. Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:22
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    @user414076, ok then what would be considered a valid answer for that question?
    – Daniel
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:22
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    The system is correct. If you think the questions are dup then flag. Otherwise, you need to write a bit more. A bare link without much explanation is not acceptable.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:23
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    @Daniel Anything that essentially says "Find your answer over there" is not an answer. It's a pointer at most.
    – Bart
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:24
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    Keep in mind that internal links are every bit as prone to breaking as external ones - our content sees quite a bit of churn over a year's time. Even if the link is to SO itself, you need to wrap it for safety by at least summarizing what can be found there, and explaining how it relates. But if an answer to another question sufficiently answers the one you're working on .. isn't it a duplicate to begin with?
    – user50049
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:26

2 Answers 2


If the linked answer, sufficiently answers the question, then the new question should be closed as a duplicate (in your case, flagged for closing).

Else, you need to include the explanation and relevant matter in your answer.

Answers should be self-sufficient, and should include any necessary content from external resources within them, with attribution.


I quote stackoverflow's How to Answer.

A link to a potential solution is always welcome, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there . Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

You just posted the link as an answer with your assertion like "no, I don't think you HAVE to have it". You neither quoted the most relevant part of an important link nor added context. Answer is a statement of your known solution to given problem , whereas comments are giving opinions on a problem. If all needs to be done to answer a question is to post a link to an answer for a similar question , then the question should be flagged as duplicate.

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    Though in this particular case, with an internal link, that might will indicate a duplicate. Quoting relevant parts might not be the preferred approach.
    – Bart
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:25

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