What is the consensus or policy on crossposting answers on a single Stack Exchange site or across different Stack Exchange sites? (I searched and found a lot of questions and answers about crossposting questions but none for answers.) I often encounter a situation where:

  • There are duplicate questions on one or more Stack Exchange sites
  • Some these questions are linked together through the "duplicate questions" notices
  • Some of these questions are locked
  • Possibly some of the questions have good, comprehensive answers

In some of the cases where the above happens, there are sometimes isolated questions without good answers even when good answers exist on some of the questions. In other cases, no good answer exists, but the questions are still scattered. For me, this creates a situation where I'm not sure where to post an answer even if I am confident I can answer a question well.

My question is about what to do in such situations. Is it okay to crosspost the same answer on all the duplicate questions? Is it okay to make one the canonical answer and link to it from the other questions?


If you know that there's a potential duplicate on the same site, you should not be answering the question. Instead, close vote, or close flag. If you want to answer, post your answer on the duplicate target.

This is even more the case if you're just copy/pasting an answer between several duplicates - there's a system in place to handle duplicates, and copy/pasted answers aren't it.

Duplicate questions on other sites are less stringent - you can answer these and that's fine. Make sure you're not copy/pasting someone else's answer - it's fine if you want to quote it because it's useful, but remember that content on Stack Exchange is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, and you have to attribute where your source material is from.

  • This is especially true if your going to post an exact duplicate of an existing answer you already submitted to another question. One could argue that you can plagiarize yourself, so you could make a new answer, of multiple parts of your other answers if the answers to none of the existing questions answer that new question. – Ramhound Nov 4 '16 at 1:00

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