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When voting to delete an answer from review, the following reasons/comments are provided:

Current popup screen with possible comments when voting to delete an answer

I often come across answers in the review queue that simply reiterate information that is already present in other, usually more extensive answers.
I assume this mostly happens because (new) users don't read through the existing posts.

Would it be possible to have a 'duplicate answer' option, something along the lines of the following:

This answer duplicates information already present in an existing answer.
"This answer doesn't add any new information to the existing answers. Please read the other answers before posting yours to see if the information you are about to provide isn't already present, or upvote the answers that include said information."

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  • I guess for such cases you can opt for no reason needed and if you want just write a comment yourself to the answerer why their answer is deleted. It is not necessary to select a reason so I would say no to this feature Oct 28, 2021 at 13:25
  • @JitendraSingh But at this point it's so common (on Arqade, specifically) it would make things easier: I use it more often than almost all the other reasons, I think, excepting "No comment needed" and perhaps "This is commentary ..".
    – Joachim
    Oct 28, 2021 at 13:36
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    At the very least this should be in the Late Answers review queue. After all, it is the place most likely to encounter repeated answers. The only problem is that it would be most productive to actually have a link to the duplicated answer in that comment which might make the UI too complicated
    – Tomerikoo
    Oct 28, 2021 at 13:48
  • @Tomerikoo I agree with your first point. But I don't think a link is necessary: if a reviewer is able to notice the duplicate answer while in the queue, the answerer will be able to find it, too (and forcing them to still go through the answers, if they want to check it out :). I don't think we have to accommodate these users if they were too hasty in the first place. (When VTCing as "This is commentary", we also don't link to whatever it seems to be a commentary on.)
    – Joachim
    Oct 29, 2021 at 7:35
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    When I was saying that we should have a link I actually had the other reviewers in mind, not the OP. It will help the following reviewers find the "dupe target" and confirm that it is, in fact, a duplicate. Bear in mind that most repeated answers are on old questions with many answers and it can become hard to find based only on a comment
    – Tomerikoo
    Oct 29, 2021 at 7:52
  • @Tomerikoo If you want, you can post your well-received comment as an answer and I can give you the bounty lest it go to waste. Your comment offers a less dramatic change to the concept and I can imagine it finding implementation earlier than my request.
    – Joachim
    Jul 19, 2022 at 10:08

1 Answer 1

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+50

This proposal is kind of a complementary one to this one raised on Meta Stack Overflow. The TL;DR is to add a specific flag type for duplicated answers, likely including a link to the duplicated source, instead of using a manual flag.

My proposal there was to have such a flag send the answers to a special review queue, or an existing one like very low quality.

Now this is about getting the answer to a review. Your proposal is about how to handle it inside it.

One way I can think of, is that assuming the linked proposal for the flag will (magically) be accepted, the flag could automatically add such comment on the answer and deem your proposal irrelevant (in the good way, that it is no longer needed).

But let's assume this doesn't sit well with the flags mechanism (no other flag automatically posts a comment) or that it will simply wouldn't get implemented - I fully support your proposal. I too encounter many of such answers over at Stack Overflow, where some questions have tens of answers and are about a decade old. Many users repeat long existing answers, or at least very slight variations of them.

It would even be better to have a link to the duplicated source (as proposed for the flag) in that comment. This will serve as a pointer to the OP, but more importantly - it will help the following reviewers with detecting the problem and getting rid of it faster.


Another good point that was raised in a comment by Karl Knechtel, is that this could be implemented the same way duplicated questions flagging works - you get an option to choose a post that is automatically linked. The same can be done with answers

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