After seeing a question on Stack Overflow that had 7 answers, all of which practically said the same thing (not word for word, but the general answer as a whole, although some of the answers were more helpful), I thought that something should be done, but what?

Should we flag the least helpful answers? Downvote? Nothing?

  • Depends on the question itself. Sep 4, 2013 at 14:58
  • 2
    @psubsee2003 Not a duplicate. That one is about having 9 identical answers, this one is about having 7 :P
    – user000001
    Sep 4, 2013 at 15:33
  • 1
    @user000001 I guess this calls for a canonical question then with "X" answers so we can link all of them? :-) Sep 4, 2013 at 15:35
  • @psubsee2003 lol. I guess so.
    – Sam
    Sep 4, 2013 at 15:37
  • @Sam to address your question, this is not worth an answer but one thing to consider is answers might be dups of each other, but they might have been posted at nearly the same time. Personally, I check out the time stamps. If someone is copying an idea and posting an answer hours or days after the post was written deserves a comment & a downvote (at least as how I judge). But if they are written at the same time, it is best to let the authors clean them up themselves if they want. Sep 4, 2013 at 15:41
  • @psubsee2003 Sure ok, that sounds fair to me.
    – Sam
    Sep 4, 2013 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


If you feel that an answer is not helpful you can downvote it. You are given full freedom to define "helpful" however you wish. If you feel that an answer isn't helpful because it was posted after another answer, or answers, and adds no more value, then that's perfectly acceptable. It's a view that a number of people hold, although there are others that feel that that reasoning isn't sufficiently unhelpful to justify downvoting. It's a decision you need to make for yourself.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .