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I just stumbled across a simple one-sentence computer security question on Stack Overflow that is copied directly from the textbook. No further explanation, nothing done to show any understanding or effort on the part of the asker.

What is typically done in this situation? I was tempted to immediately call him/her out in a comment, but I don't actually know if there is a policy against this or not. Is there? What should my response be?

marked as duplicate by PolyGeo, gnat, Werner, Patrick Hofman discussion Dec 4 '15 at 6:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Copying a question doesn't seem the same as copying an answer to me. The OP isn't trying to pass knowledge off as his own. But it still doesn't feel right. – Denial Dec 4 '15 at 5:43
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    This one is closer, but is unresolved: Would it be wrong to copy-paste questions from Quora? – Denial Dec 4 '15 at 5:45
  • Making out someone else's work is yours seems to be just as plagiaristic to me when applied to a question as when it is applied to an answer. Also, what makes you think that other question is unresolved? It has two answers - one from Stack Overflow's founder with 8 upvotes. – PolyGeo Dec 4 '15 at 5:49
  • @gnat no, the focus here is about being copied, not about no effort. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Dec 4 '15 at 6:09
  • @ShadowWizard you mean, about stuff covered in Open letter to students with homework problems? – gnat Dec 4 '15 at 6:11
  • @gnat exactly this, yes. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Dec 4 '15 at 6:13
  • @gnat true, that's why asking in general is problematic since there's no single correct answer. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Dec 4 '15 at 6:17
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    @gnat your possible duplicate made me realize that I am actually more offended by the sheer laziness of it more than I am the fact that it is copied. – Denial Dec 4 '15 at 6:25
  • @ShadowWizard your possible duplicate is very interesting, and there is some healthy discussion on this topic there. One trend I'm noticing is that there is no real consensus on this topic in terms of how to respond to this sort of thing. – Denial Dec 4 '15 at 6:33
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    As an aside, this is my first Meta question, and I didn't realize there were site specific Metas. My apologies if this question was in the wrong spot. – Denial Dec 4 '15 at 6:34
  • @PolyGeo Just noticed the edit on your comment. I said unresolved because there was no marked answer. I don't know who the Stack Overflow founder is. I only know Jon Skeet :) – Denial Dec 4 '15 at 7:10
  • Accepted just means that the question asker was satisfied with an answer. Often this matches community opinion as expressed through upvotes but sometimes people forget or are unaware about acceptance, so I would not treat unaccepted as being the same as unresolved for the community. If you want to learn about Jeff Atwood I strongly recommend watching this YouTube video: youtube.com/watch?v=HRRWDf-xB2Y – PolyGeo Dec 4 '15 at 7:24
  • @PolyGeo Certainly knowing who he is shapes my view of that thread, and makes it definitive vs. just some guys opinion. I was looking for a distraction from work, I'll check out that video right now, thank you. – Denial Dec 4 '15 at 7:32
  • Well, I still don't think this one here is dupe enough of any of the selected two, but since it also can't have a good answer guess it's not that bad. All in all, there's no strict rule about such things. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Dec 4 '15 at 8:08
  • @ShadowWizard Those were precisely my thoughts as well. If anything I thought the Open Letter and my link were closer, but I didn't know how to change what it was designating as the dupes. Perhaps I don't have the rep. Oh well. – Denial Dec 4 '15 at 8:44

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