I can't believe there is no question about this, but I didn't find one. What should I do, if there is a question Q2 answered by user B which is literally copied from the answer to a formerly posted question Q1 answered by user A?

Well I voted it down, set a comment including the explanation and a link to the original. But I am not sure if I should flag it for moderator attention. Obviously it is no spam and there is no one offended (directly), but it lowers the quality of SO, it is plagiarism and thus not fair. On the other hand if question Q2 is different from Q1, it is no duplicate.

To flag or not to flag, that is the question. ("copied" from Shakespeare :-)

EDIT: I found this: How to deal with answers exactly copied from other SO answers but no advice about flagging it for moderator attention.


1 Answer 1


I don't know whether there is an official rule on this - maybe it is worth establishing one. Generally though, if in doubt, definitely flag. Plagiarism is behaviour that needs to be addressed by moderators.

As always, looking at the user's history uncovers more:

I sometimes wonder how widespread this practice is - although I imagine they always get uncovered sooner or later because people recognize their own contributions.

  • Saw this yesterday. OK I publish what I found: stackoverflow.com/questions/5100694/… copied from stackoverflow.com/questions/4654864/…
    – Kay
    Feb 26, 2011 at 11:10
  • Thanks for your advice, so I did my first flagging. You are right expecially if you look at your special area of interest, where you've got some knowledge know (in my case accelerometer) chances are pretty good to find those people.
    – Kay
    Feb 26, 2011 at 11:19

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