2

the question is this

Is there a Boolean data type in Microsoft SQL Server like there is in MySQL?

there are 4 answers that say the same thing. I flagged one of them as Duplicate ( knowing that I shouldn't irritate people by flagging all on the question ) I happened to flag one that was posted at the exact same time as another (duplicate) answer. but there are 2 other duplicate answers that were posted after, one 1 minute later and another 3 years later.

I thought I was following protocol in not flagging all the duplicates. but only flagging one answer out of the 4 duplicates (probably only 3, there are 2 good answers on this question)


not really concerned with the two that are exactly the same.

This Answer is the one I am more worried about

I flagged because there are 3 answers that say the same thing. someone should delete 2 of them, that is why I flagged. if they were both better answers I wouldn't have said anything and flagged the newest one

Declined Flag

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  • umm.. you need to consider the possible difference in network bandwidth before flagging those.
    – devnull
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 17:20
  • They are still valid answers. The best you can do is leave a comment for the user notifying that the answer is identical.
    – rene
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 17:20
  • 1
    they are still duplicate answers and bad ones nonetheless, 5 word answers. not even a single line, no link, no explanation
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 17:21
  • @devnull there is a duplicate answer on that question. flags are to alert mods to the entire post.
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 17:22
  • 2
    ok what about the last answer, 3 years later? they are all duplicate answers, safe answers but still duplicates.
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 17:24

2 Answers 2

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What you did

You flagged Rodrick Chapman's answer, posted at Jun 29 '10 at 5:18, for being a duplicate.

Why your flag was declined

Five of the answers was posted within 2-3 minutes of time. The answer that you flagged was one of those. That's well within the "Margin of error". Those five are not duplicates, that's just the effect of The fastest gun in the west. Those answers were probably started at the same time. The ones who answered did not know that four others were also answering at the same time.

What you should have done

You should have flagged the answer by ketan italiya, posted on Oct 24 '13 at 5:54. Much later than all the other answers. And preferably also stating in your flag reason that this answer was posted much later than the other ones while still not providing any more information.

If I were a moderator

And I had to deal with the same amount of flags that StackOverflow moderators have to deal with (which is a lot). I would have done the same thing here. The answer that you flagged is not a duplicate.

5

someone should delete 2 of them

Who decides which two get randomly deleted since they were posted "close" to the same time and are so similar? This doesn't seem fair to whatever answers get deleted. You definitely have the option to downvote any or all of them and leave comments suggesting they improve upon their answers with links/examples/explanations.

if they were both better answers I wouldn't have said anything

This sounds contradictive. If they were better answers but still gave the information then wouldn't they both still be dupes?

This Answer is the one I am more worried about

Referring to this answer. This is the only one that should be flagged as a duplicate and probably downvoted (which I did. I also voted to delete it).

But I think flagging one to flag all that they were dupes is inappropriate in this situation. This happens all the time and there's not much to be done about it when they are all similar in quality and time.

Also, when you flag like this, you may want to leave a comment that the answer was posted a considerable amount of time after the others so it is understood that it is not only a dupe but obviously not because they were answering at the same time as others.

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  • 1
    I agree, but this question shows 4 answers that are very similar, one was accepted, the other three should have been deleted, leaving 4 answers to a question that say the exact same thing isn't good for the site, it's not a good example.
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:22
  • 1
    this answer by stackoverflow.com/users/222908/daniel-vassallo is what we should strive for in an answer at the least. a small explanation why.
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:24
  • if they were better answers they would not have been the same either.
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:26
  • 1
    @Malachi Sure we should strive for answers with detailed explanations/links/examples but no site is perfect, including the SE network. We have procedures in place, like downvoting and commenting as I've mentioned, which help deter "bad" answers. My point is, how do we decide which answers get axed when they are similar in time, quality, and content? How do you make a fair decision on this?
    – codeMagic
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:27
  • "if they were better answers they would not have been the same either" undoubtedly? I know I have given and seen answers that are very similar to others while still be very good quality.
    – codeMagic
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:28
  • 1
    a 4 word answer isn't high quality, and two of the words represent the name of the coding environment. I don't think it would have even qualified as a complete sentence. Ax that one first I mean I could have posted it uses bit and it would probably be of the same value or maybe I could use the implied you command use bit there is a 2 word answer. let's leave the code golfing to the Gophers. it's a bad answer. the others are debatable.
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:43
  • @Malachi I'm not arguing the fact that most of those aren't good answers (only one is IMHO). However, there is a low-quality flag which you could try and get through but the question was about them being dupes which I think we covered why that is not an appropriate flag for those answers (with the exception of the very late answer).
    – codeMagic
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:46
  • I can agree with that.
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:47
  • 1
    VLQ flag only on answers that are negative
    – Malachi
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:49
  • I agree. That's why I said you could "try" to get through since you said they aren't "high quality". But that isn't really the question here.
    – codeMagic
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:56
  • 2
    @codeMagic I wouldn't recommend using the "very low quality" flag for answers that actually answer the question and aren't complete gibberish (downvoted or not). We'll decline those flags if the answer is viable, even if it is wrong or there are better ones to the question asked. I don't think people want moderators going around and single-handedly deciding which answers are correct or not, and unilaterally deleting the bad ones. If someone's intentionally farming reputation by duplicating answers on three-year-old questions, sure we'll remove those (like I did here). Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:59
  • @BradLarson you're right. That's why I put "try" but knowing that it wasn't a viable solution I should have left it out and stayed on-topic.
    – codeMagic
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 19:03
  • 2
    @BradLarson - At the same time if you have 5-10 people flagging something low quality then you are not really single handedly or unilaterally doing anything.
    – Chad
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 20:47

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