I find the "duplicate answers (auto)" flag the most difficult to handle on Stack Overflow. Here's how I try to handle the situation, but I'd appreciate some further pointers and corrections if this is not correct:

  • First, I check if the questions are duplicates. Exact duplicate answers typically mean duplicate questions and if this is the case, I vote to close accordingly.

  • I post a comment under the most recent answer, explaining that duplicate answers should not be posted and that the user should flag/vote-to-close as a duplicate.

  • If I feel able to do so, I judge the answer like any answer and vote accordingly.

  • I then mark the flag as invalid to make it go away.

Is there any further action I should be taking other than the above? Is it OK to mark the flag as invalid in this way - seems a little awkward?

  • (The related sidebar is magic and makes my searching ability seem rather poor...) Dec 15, 2013 at 20:29
  • You just commented that your dupe question about dupe answers is a dupe in itself?! Dec 15, 2013 at 20:53
  • 2
    @AshishNitinPatil Yup! Nothing came up in my searching, but as usual the "Related" sidebar put me to shame almost immediately after I posted. But I prefer not to delete my questions if they are duplicates as they just increase the search terms that may lead to the other question. Dec 16, 2013 at 8:10


Browse other questions tagged .