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I answered a question on Stack Overflow, but the question was repetitive (the same question was asked three times in total) and after my answer was accepted the question is closed because "This question is an exact duplicate of: ..."

So what is the right thing to do in similar cases:

  1. Copy the answer to the open question
  2. Copy the answer to all of the same questions (if they are not closed yet)
  3. Do nothing

I don't think that the third option is best because then I can't earn reputation from my answers, but if I post the same answer in repeated questions then will my answers also be considered as redundant?

  • Ignore all those questions and move on and remember not to do this again. – iBug says Reinstate Monica Jul 29 at 8:59
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    @iBug By deleting references to "spam" in the original post, the recent edit has to all intents and purposes invalidated part of angussidney's answer and the opportunity to explain why "spam" is the wrong term to use. However, the OP explained why they defined duplicate questions as "spam" and, if you think about it, their analysis has some foundation. What is spam, if not the mass mailing of the same information to hundreds if not thousands of users? Likewise posting the same question on one or more website, could be defined as spamming or "spammy" (my proposed solution). – Mari-Lou A Jul 29 at 10:05
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I'm assuming by 'spam' you just mean a question which has been posted multiple times, whether that be by accident or on purpose. By Stack Exchange's definition, this isn't actually spam, as it isn't an unsolicited promotion of a product or service:

Spam

Exists only to promote a product or service, does not disclose the author's affiliation.

If they posts are duplicates of each other (as you have described in your question), then you shouldn't try and answer all of the questions - instead, you should flag the rest of the posts as a duplicate of the one which has the best answers. As a general guideline, you shouldn't answer questions which follow the guidelines for closing - you should flag them instead.

Of course, if the question actually is spam (i.e., it's promoting something), then you should flag as spam instead.

  • But how can I figure out which question remains open, because none of them had answers or just one. And should I copy my answer to the open question? – Noel Nemeth Jul 29 at 9:16
  • If someone else has already flagged the questions as duplicate, then there will be a comment below the question saying something like 'Possible duplicate of ...' - in which case, the link should take you to the question which will remain open. If you're the first person to notice the duplicate questions, then it's up to you to decide which question will become the canonical question (i.e, the one that remains open). In that case, if the questions are an exact copy & paste of each other, then pick the question with the most useful answers, or failing that, the highest number of answers. – angussidney Jul 29 at 9:37
  • If none of the questions have any answers, then any will do - your guess is as good as mine. – angussidney Jul 29 at 9:38

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