Today I got into a situation while answering a question on Stack Overflow and choose to answer with all the etiquette I know. Simultaneously I got a comment on my answer saying "it's the same answer", while there was a key difference in my answer.

Let's say it was a case of synonyms. However, there the other answer was very different except that it's a kind of synonym keyword.

The other answer choose "to answer" (Index.notnull), and I've chosen "to reply" (Index.notna).

In reality, it was related to the Python pandas library.

Don't we have the freedom to put our answers unless it's exactly the same as another answer or copycatting?

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    You have the freedom to post any answer you want, but everyone else has the freedom to downvote your answer if they want. – Pika the Wizard of the Whales Jan 29 '19 at 15:56
  • @pizzastaticvoidmain, that's true but i want to understand the meaning saying same while i see that guys using similar keywords while answering on other post then not like same that's what i want to know the difference saying same. However, downvote Even SO askes to comment to clarify before downvote. – user326929 Jan 29 '19 at 15:58
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    If your answer is very similar, people still sometimes consider it a duplicate answer. People are encouraged to comment when they downvote, and it sounds like they did. – Pika the Wizard of the Whales Jan 29 '19 at 15:59
  • No, duplicate comes when the POST which is there has answers already before. but we both are the ones who are answering for a question. – user326929 Jan 29 '19 at 16:01
  • A duplicate answer is an answer that is the same or very, very similar to another answer on the same question. It sounds like your answer was similar enough to be considered a duplicate. – Pika the Wizard of the Whales Jan 29 '19 at 16:02
  • here is link , i removed my answer was df[df.index.notna()] – user326929 Jan 29 '19 at 16:04
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    That smells like a chameleon question, to me. Note the shifting requirements in the answer comments. – fbueckert Jan 29 '19 at 16:05
  • @pizzastaticvoidmain, yes, i have given my answer here. – user326929 Jan 29 '19 at 16:06
  • @fbueckert, its really been chameleon. – user326929 Jan 29 '19 at 16:14
  • any comparison so far :-) i'm okay with downvotes those will also make me understand. – user326929 Jan 29 '19 at 16:15
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    Well, like I asked before, is this question specifically for how Stack Overflow deals with duplicate answers? Or is it supposed to be more general for how the whole Stack Exchange network handles it? – fbueckert Jan 29 '19 at 16:19
  • in general it should be applied to whole Stack n/w. – user326929 Jan 29 '19 at 16:21

In general, it depends on the site. Each one will handle it differently. For instance, my home site of Arqade's policy is to:

  1. Downvote an answer that doesn't add anything new. (New is interpreted fairly broadly)
  2. If over 20k, vote to delete. Add a comment that says there's nothing new if not.
  3. Once enough downvotes accumulate, the Low Quality queue can use Recommend Deletion, and not need moderator intervention.

From what I can find on M.SO, the process looks somewhat similar. I'm not that familiar with most sites, so I'm not sure how others would handle them.

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