I frequent the review queues (on ELU SE), edit to improve answers from new users, and upvote them often, and later find out that they're merely copypastas of earlier well-received answers.

I sometimes leave a comment guiding the new user, or notifying others about it being a duplicate.

I'd like to have these exact duplicates deleted as quick as possible, or they'll earn reputation they don't deserve, which may lead to them repeating their mistake, or misusing the privileges they gain.

I don't think these duplicates deserve a VLQ or NAA flag, since they're copying good answers.

I often custom flag and notify moderators, but I may (rarely) get 'declined' saying, "duplicate answers are okay", because mods may not have had the time to go through other answers to see how much is duplicated.

I'd like to propose that we add a line to the Help Center > Privileges > Trusted User page under "When should I vote to delete an answer?" that guides 'trusted users' to vote to delete copypasted duplicate answers if they add nothing new.

Note: I am not against similar answers that explain the same concept in different words. I am against duplicate answers that merely copypaste parts from other answers without attribution or any additional commentary or any original content by the new user.

Note 2: I see such exact duplicates very rarely. Getting a flag declined for this is even rarer (almost non-existent). Nevertheless, I propose this update to the help page, for it will be beneficial in the long run. Plus, it's just some additional text, not code, so there's no extra cost to implement this.

  • "I often custom flag and notify moderators, but I may (rarely) get 'declined' saying, "duplicate answers are okay"" - When you explain the issue then make sure your write "that answer has been copied from: [link to other answer]" instead of "this answer is a duplicate".
    – Tom
    Jun 27, 2017 at 9:26
  • @Tom I often do explain which answer it is copied from. But the idea behind posting this meta is to update the help page, which I think would be beneficial in the long run.
    – NVZ
    Jun 27, 2017 at 9:28
  • I just wanted to make sure, that your custom flag explicitly says that the answer is a copy from another answer, because a mod shouldn't decline that.
    – Tom
    Jun 27, 2017 at 9:32
  • Just as the system detects duplicate answers by the same user, it should probably check other answers on the question for substantial similarity, especially in review-queue answers. That would be a great help, and probably not an enormous overhead. Jun 27, 2017 at 9:39
  • 2
    @AndrewLeach Something like that was already proposed some time ago. Jun 27, 2017 at 9:46
  • @PatrickHofman Thanks for that link. I've upvoted that feature request. I hope they implement that someday.
    – NVZ
    Jun 27, 2017 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


How about we delete copypasted answers by new users?

From any user word-for-word repeating answers should be deleted. If the answer is posted on another question, the question should be closed as duplicate instead.

I'd like to have these exact duplicates deleted as quick as possible, or they'll earn reputation they don't deserve

If you custom flag it, like you do now, it should eventually be deleted. Indeed not as quick as it could be otherwise, but still the reputation gain will be lost and thus it will hurt the user posting the duplicate.

I would love to see this feature be implemented automatically though, just delete the answer and instead flag / vote to close. This related proposal could work for that too: Can we update the duplicate post finder to include other users?

  • Question may not be a duplicate. I'm referring to new users' first or late answers that simply copy parts of other answers under the same question.
    – NVZ
    Jun 27, 2017 at 10:06
  • 1
    In that case it could just be deleted. Jun 27, 2017 at 10:07
  • 1
    @NVZ clarified. Jun 27, 2017 at 10:20

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