This question was asked and I first flagged it as a duplicate as it seemed to be one. After taking a little time to research, found out a bug report on the class the person was using. Added a comment so he could check if that was the case and indeed it was. Now, since this could affect other people coming to the site and helped the asker solve his problem, I answered providing the link. Was I right to do it? I feel it might not have been appropriate.

  • 5
    What happens to your answer once the link dies?
    – PeeHaa
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 15:50
  • Good one. I'll edit to provide a description of the bug with the link, that way even once it dies, the description should, I hope, help. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 15:52

2 Answers 2


If you no longer think it's a duplicate, you should revoke your close vote, add a comment saying you don't think it's a dupe, and provide a substantive answer that could include a link but is still useful even if the link dies.

If you still think it's a dupe, add the substantive answer to the original.

If you now aren't sure whether it's a dupe or not and aren't willing to write a substantive answer but just wanted to provide the link to be helpful, leave the link in a comment on the question (and possibly also on the original question) and at least know you helped a little. Consider returning to give the substantive answer when you have a chance.

  • Wow, I completely missed that you can retract a close vote now. Did this just slip under the radar, or did I miss something in the last few days? Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 15:59
  • @LBT snuck up on me too but see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/915/… Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 16:01
  • "I first flagged it as a duplicate...". How does one revoke a flag though? Do you use custom flag option and say you were mistaken about the question being a duplicate? Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 16:05
  • I tried to undo my vote but I can't... it says I raised the flag but I don't have the option to remove it. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 16:05
  • there is perhaps a difference between voting to close and flagging to close. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 16:16

From How to Answer

Answer the question

Read the question carefully. What, specifically, is the question asking for? Make sure your answer provides that – or a viable alternative. The answer can be “don’t do that”, but it should also include “try this instead”. Any answer that gets the asker going in the right direction is helpful, but do try to mention any limitations, assumptions or simplifications in your answer. Brevity is acceptable, but fuller explanations are better.

Provide context for links

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.

I think the above 2 mostly apply in your case.

Remember, you are the judge. If you think your answer/link is useful, just make sure your follow the other guidelines.

For example, place the link and:

  • tell what's it regarding

  • how it helps answer the question in relation to its content

  • give some more useful information from the heart :)

Your duplicate flag should have been declined anyway by the reviewer. Note you can always flag it again specifying a custom message.

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