I was given an ethical quandary the other day regarding a review. I wonder if the SE network can or should put in a filter to prevent something like this happening. I believe the circumstances can apply to any SE site.

The sequence of events was:

  1. I posted an answer to a question. It contained three paragraphs which gave the answer and some justification and references.
  2. Someone gave my answer an upvote (not an acceptance).
  3. Another user posted an answer which was a one-liner which repeated the core of my answer but not any of the justification. I did not immediately notice this.
  4. I noticed the Very Low Quality review queue contained an entry and I started to review it. It was the other user's one line answer.

This is my quandary. Should I:

  • Recommend deletion. Be thought of as rejecting a competing answer to my own in spite.
  • Edit the post to improve it. This would make it more like my own earlier post and would look as though I'd tried to answer twice.
  • Click 'Looks good' and let it through - although it was low quality.

After mulling the options, I clicked 'skip' to wimp out and let someone else make the decision.

Is it possible and/or desirable for there to be a filter such that VLQ reviews are not offered to people who already have a post on the question?

2 Answers 2


Don't just click the Looks OK button if the answer isn't good.

To a large degree it doesn't matter that you've already tendered an answer, we trust you to be honest in your appraisal. If you feel you cannot be impartial then use the Skip button.

If you think you're up to it and can be impartial then your only option is to recommend deletion as you are obviously not in a position to edit it into shape (you would be better off editing your own answer into an even better one).


Cast your vote. Unless you're a mod, you're vote isn't the end all be all. If you vote for deletion based on low quality, others will have to confirm. You could downvote and provide a reason as well. If you're really afraid of us reading you're mind, you could (although I don't really recommend) doing a drive-by downvote, but providing a reason is kosher and recommended.

I once recall a question on ServerFault where there was much speculation, in part because no one could find explicit recommendations from MS on the matter. Everyone knew the 'right' answer, but no one could 'prove' it. Therefore, someone d/v'd my answer, because I didn't produce citation, after someone else did (sound familiar?) However, they left a comment saying why they downvoted. So, I went, researched on my own, and find citation that ended up being different from the other answer. After the edit, they reversed their vote.

So, while it's likely they could have just pinched your answer, there's little you can do to prove/remedy that, it's just a flaw of the system, however a downvote and comment will show where you stand on low quality answers.

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