When answering questions that are except duplicates of other questions i feel the site only gets more cluttered, especially when the answer also is a copy of an old answer.
The last time the subject was brought up (in 2009*) there seemed to be a consensus that rep. gained from answering a question that is then getting marked as a duplicate should remove rep gained from that since you are not adding any value to the site.
I'd like to know if that has changed over the last years and if there is a need to do that. From my personal experience with SO i have found that answering trivial questions that have been asked a thousand is "rewarded" with lots of rep while searching for duplicates is not.
Since i feel "getting rep" is what is used to guide users into the direction of what is "the right way to go about asking and answering questions on SO" maybe that should get changed?
On the other hand maybe we should stop worrying-and love duplication and let that rest?
While i'd rather like Joels POV (i hope i don't misquote there):
Don’t answer questions that have already been answered elsewhere. Yeah, you might earn a couple of points of reputation, but, because you are duplicating content, you are actually making the Internet worse. [...]
luckily what i think doesn't matter that much but instead there is meta. So let me know
For a proposal there is not much more to say than aggregating the old thread:
On closing a question as duplicate:
- Question asker loses all rep gains or losses
- Answers lose all rep gains or losses
On reopening a question that was previously closed as duplicate
- Question asker has the rep reapplied
- Answers have rep reapplied.
The people that provided the duplicates show be rewarded when the question is closed as a dup.
There should be an initial recalc when this feature gets accepted and implemented
Another way could be not to remove the rep gained from dup. question but lower it to show that, while answering is valuable, it's not as useful for dups.