I just failed this review audit. This post looked good; very concise. However given that the question had 5 other answers, I thought the odds of this post being just a repeat of information in another answer was quite high.

I opened up the question, and the very first answer was the same as this one, word for word, and highly upvoted. Aha! I thought to myself, someone plagiarising for cheap rep. And I went to flag.

But as it turns out, the duplicate answers were one and the same, anonymised for the review.

I tried to have a think of ways to prevent this occurring, but I have to admit I'm drawing a bit of a blank. Does anyone else know of a way?

n.b.: I'm aware that a small amount of false positives as a price for catching more robo-reviewers is pretty reasonable, so if this isn't easily fixable I guess that's fine.

  • 1
    Why didn't you look for the other answer? You did put in most of the effort of checking the context, but then you did so only partially. – user213634 Aug 29 '13 at 13:08
  • Is there anything wrong with answers having repeated information? Are we supposed to flag answers that have the same content as other answers? – user2461391 Aug 29 '13 at 13:10
  • @AndersUP That's true, I probably jumped the gun somewhat. I will be more careful in future! – jam Aug 29 '13 at 13:20
  • @user2461391 If the answer is identical, or if the answer is much later and adds nothing new then yes. The latter is always a matter of judgement - but if somebody posts an answer days or months later and doesn't cover any new ground, I'd flag it for deletion. – user213634 Aug 29 '13 at 13:29
  • @user2461391 But timing and intention is essential: If the two (identical) answers were posted close to each other - within minutes - then it is just two similar answers. If one comes much later, doesn't add anything new and overall smells of plagiarism then the newer should be flagged. This answer sums it up fairly well: meta.stackexchange.com/a/93884/213634 – user213634 Aug 29 '13 at 13:37
  • @user2461391 The point here is that it was the exact same answer, word for word, and that's simply plagiarism, which isn't allowed. Someone going and posting original content, in their own words, that simply provides equal or less information that other answers that have been there for a while isn't violating any rules, but is (arguably) not a useful post. Being "not useful" you could downvote if you wanted, but you would only want to flag for plagiarism. – Servy Aug 29 '13 at 13:57

This is by design. Audits of good answers are anonymized so you can't just look at its score, or its author, or its author's rep, or anything like that; you have to actually read the content to decide if it's good or not. Had you glanced at the rest of the answers to the question, you would have noticed that there was no plagarism going on, as there was no duplicate answer to be found.

In the future, you can probably assume that if an audit matches the top answer of the question, it's way more likely to be anonymized than plagarism.

  • Ok, so I guess the answer is as I suspected then: 'be more careful!' :) – jam Aug 29 '13 at 15:21

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