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Sometimes when I post an answer someone posts the same answer. But I think this is a problem at all. There are two way while this could happen:

  1. Post nearly at the same time. (No problem, could happen)
  2. Straight copy the answer and write it was your own. (NOT community conform)

I think there could be a new way to handle such happenings. The first point can be threaded with a f.e. handshake of both answerers, where they can approve each other as same but not copied answer and divide the reputation ( only my suggestion ;) )

But I think the more problematic way is the second where someone only copy-paste the answer to get his answer on top of the answer list (actives and new ones are on top) and the person who asked the question mark this pasted answer as "Answer".

Is there a way to mark such copy-paste actions as "Copied Answer"?

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2 Answers 2

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where they can approve each other as same but not copied answer and divide the reputation

No, I totally disagree about "reputation sharing". Apart of being hard to implement, there's really no need for such a thing. If both answers are good, they both deserve the same reputation.

to get his answer on top of the answer list (actives and new ones are on top)

Wrong. The default answers order is "votes" meaning accepted answer will always be first regardless of its score then sorted by the answers score, highest first and same score answers shown in random order. You might have clicked "oldest" or "active" at some point without even noticing it.

Is there a way to mark such copy-paste actions as "Copied Answer"?

Yes. Flag, choose "Other" and explain. Did it more than once.

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  • a classic "answered at the same time"... ;-) care for sharing rep? I don't think so.
    – Shai
    Aug 29, 2013 at 7:02
  • @Shai enjoy the 10 points! ;-) Aug 29, 2013 at 7:04
  • You are right with default sort is votes, but if there are not votes the latest becomes the first i think.
    – Martin
    Aug 29, 2013 at 7:04
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    @Martin nope. It's random, every page refresh you'll see different order of same score answers. Aug 29, 2013 at 7:05
  • @ShaWizDowArd - maybe random, but can be ;)
    – Martin
    Aug 29, 2013 at 7:07
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As you pointed out yourself, duplicate answers can happen innocently when both answerers answered roughly at the same time, this is an Okay situation.

As for copy-paste answers (can be spotted easily by looking at the answers' time stamps) you can simply flag the copied answer for moderator attention.
This type of behavior is not welcomed in SO and I believe not too common. I believe that moderators has the tools and capabilities to handle such rare cases of copied answers.

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  • I would be curious to know how the moderator would distinguish between "legitimate" duplicate answers and copy-pastes in that context. I don't think any moderator would be able to act on such a flag, unless s/he has access to psychic powers. Aug 29, 2013 at 7:04
  • @FrédéricHamidi You can simply look at the time stamps - if answers were given seconds away, it's okay otherwise it's copy-paste.
    – Shai
    Aug 29, 2013 at 7:11
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    @Shai there are edge cases where user starts to answer then get distracted for few minutes, coming back without checking new answers and post his own. Happened to me few times, though personally I usually delete my answer in such a case when I spot other similar answer. Aug 29, 2013 at 7:16
  • @ShaWizDowArd I think this is the reason for not making this process automatic, but rather have a (wo)man (moderator) in the loop.
    – Shai
    Aug 29, 2013 at 7:24
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    @Shai agreed. Usually one can tell copy&paste by seeing the wording, if it's the same answer just with some variable names changed there's high chance for "stealing". Aug 29, 2013 at 7:25

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