There have been a few times where I have come across a question with a wrong or incomplete answer, provided a correct answer and then had the original answerer edit/correct/expand their answer to match mine.

If this is done quickly enough the stolen answer often gets the up-votes (it was answered earlier) and sometimes is marked as the correct answer (which at that point, it is).

I am not against people correcting wrong answers (especially little mistakes) or making some revisions. Nor am I against the idea of up-voting multiple correct answers - although I rarely do it when there are duplicate answers, I just up-vote the one that got there first.

All that to say, what is the general etiquette when you have had your answer stolen? I could leave a comment but that would tend to make me look like a petty jerk. I could down-vote the answer, but the answer is now correct so I'm really down-voting the user which may feel good to me, but be misleading to other users. Or I could just suck it up, be irritated, delete my "duplicate" answer and move on - this seems like the most mature, if least satisfying, response.

Perhaps there is a middle ground or precedent that I am unaware of for these types of situations?

  • 11
    Hehe, I once had a question asker take my answer, edit it into another person's wrong answer, and then grant a bounty to that. Guess you'll just have to live with it...
    – Arjan
    Jan 27, 2011 at 20:13
  • @Arjan: +1 for "live with it".
    – Shog9
    Jan 27, 2011 at 21:08
  • Well, @Shog9, to be honest I first tried to get a reason from the question asker, but failing a response, I indeed learned to live with it... :-)
    – Arjan
    Jan 27, 2011 at 21:49
  • 3
    I am so tempted to copy & paste one of the answers below as my own
    – Pekka
    Jan 28, 2011 at 10:31
  • 3
    @Pekka Dare you to. Go on, it'll be great, etc. :-) Jan 28, 2011 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


Oh it depends on where you live (tag) in SE. In some lower population tags, the competition can be rather intensive. However, the only professional approach would be to move on. Due to the grace period, it is a lost cause for you to pursue any action. (Even after deleting your competing answer, any 10k user can see it).

I reckon if you are concerned more about rep than correct answers, it is time to move out of the site for a while and breathe some fresh air.

Your answer has been borg-ed and it is now part of the SE collective, even if you are not attached to it.

  • It's only temporarily if you're trying to say that they won't see it when they drop below 10k. Standard question deletion leaves a post that can be seen by 10k users and moderators at all times.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jan 28, 2011 at 10:16
  • @Grace. Great to know that. I thought I read that deleted answers with no activity is culled. Jan 28, 2011 at 10:19

I find this happens rarely, rarely enough for me to grit my teeth and move on.

  • 2
    but boy do I grit my teeth
    – MetaGuru
    Jun 19, 2012 at 15:42

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