Just now I saw this question and this question two questions which are deleted afterwards, which appears to be copied exactly from another existing question, and surprisingly some "users" also answered exactly like the question they are copied from, and they all get upvoted.

Therefore, I believe they are actually spammers and flagged the questions.

If these questions are indeed by spammers, shouldn't it be reasonable for the system to detect this kind of question as exact copy and blocked automatically?

P.S. The reason I notice the two questions is that one of them appeared on the "hot questions" list, and when I view it it feels really strange due to the answers (including low-quality ones) getting same amount of upvotes, that's when I finally realize that it is an exact copy.

I feel that I found the situation due to being lucky. But what worries me is that the system didn't catch them automatically.

2013-06-19: This question on bricks.se seems to be having the same situation. Again, discovered on the "hot question" list.

ridiculously high score!

  • 10
    It looks like a case of multiple sock puppets copying existing questions and answers and upvoting each other.
    – Antony
    Jun 18, 2013 at 7:39
  • 2
    Close voted, downvoted and flagged...this won't take too long.
    – Bart
    Jun 18, 2013 at 7:46
  • 2
    Fail in copy paste: See this stackoverflow.com/a/17162795/1369235. He just copied the text without clicking an edit button. (fail to add link). :D
    – Himanshu
    Jun 18, 2013 at 7:49
  • It's banhammer time. Did they think they can get away with this? Jun 18, 2013 at 7:58
  • 1
    Wow that's one big sock puppet ring! Congrats for spotting it. Jun 18, 2013 at 8:11
  • 3
    Strangest thing is that some of them seem to have been posting serious and okay content before.
    – Bart
    Jun 18, 2013 at 8:15
  • It just baffles me as to why they/he would even think to do a straight copy & paste if they were just going to answer and upvote each other. Is coming up with a unique question to upvote each other that difficult? Jun 18, 2013 at 8:22
  • 5
    Look what you've made me do...
    – yannis
    Jun 18, 2013 at 8:29
  • Seems that the questions are finally deleted. @Yannis Hope you'll get them back :)
    – Alvin Wong
    Jun 18, 2013 at 8:30
  • 1
    It looks weird
    – Himanshu
    Jun 18, 2013 at 8:51
  • 1
    @ShaWizDowArd Tim Post took care of them
    – yannis
    Jun 18, 2013 at 10:15
  • 1
    @hims056 well, only you can see this so no big deal. It's not like bad hair day. :-) Jun 18, 2013 at 10:21
  • 1
    This has been asked about at least once: Automate on-site plagiarism detection except that one says to push such questions to review whereas this one says to outright block them. Jun 19, 2013 at 13:59
  • 1
    @BoltClock The question you linked to is about answers plagiarism, but this one is not exactly the same since this is about someone copying existing questions (possibly to make it looks like a good question).
    – Alvin Wong
    Jun 19, 2013 at 14:04
  • 1
    @Alvin Wong: It seems pretty general to me - the examples just happen to be answers and not questions. Jun 19, 2013 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


This website is a community site. You can not invent technical measurements to prevent that fully and actually you should not use technical measurements to solve communication problems.

Report these nests when you spot them here on meta, and it should generate the needed awareness these topics deserve.

  • 3
    'You can not invent technical measurements to prevent' - you can invent a measurement to prevent fully exactly copies. It's actually built in considering, that by asking a question the system suggests you similair questions...
    – Karl Adler
    Jun 18, 2013 at 10:52
  • 1
    If I'm not mistaken, there is already a check in place for exact duplicate question, but I believe it was designed to prevent a user from reposting identical questions. This type of issue might not have been included in the check. Jun 18, 2013 at 11:42
  • @abimelex: sure, but those are easy to circumvent. If somebodies copies like in this case, those weren't exact copies as well (on the level of markdown)
    – hakre
    Jun 18, 2013 at 13:47
  • Since the current system can already generate a list of "related questions", it would be trivial to compare the question to the "most-related question", wouldn't it?
    – Alvin Wong
    Jun 18, 2013 at 14:42
  • @AlvinWong I'm only guessing but "related questions" are probably on pre-cached keywords. A full comparison of every question would be required to implement this, so I imagine that would quite expensive. Jun 18, 2013 at 14:47
  • @AlvinWong: Well, this sort of "programmers triviality" probably, in fact it will be very much work and as those problems can't be solved technically (because it's a social problem - not because you can't try to bury it under technical stuff). However as it's just much work (and sure the opposite of trivial) it's just not worth.
    – hakre
    Jun 18, 2013 at 14:47

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