To separate the very similar responses, do you think this is a good thing to vote or to accept answers from people in the lowest reputation for giving a chance to evolve to all?

Or instead do you think it is better not to pay attention?

If so, do you think it would be preferable that the responses are anonymous until they are accepted, thus encouraging the acceptance?

For my part I confess to be quite frustrated not to be rewarded when I give good answers. I think this is the case for everyone and accept the rules of the game, although the above changes might make them more equitable.

  • possible duplicate of Accepting more than one correct answer – YOU Apr 17 '11 at 13:02
  • Thanks for the link, the answers are interresting. – Larry Apr 17 '11 at 13:10
  • possible duplicate of Can I accept two answers? – ChrisF Apr 17 '11 at 13:14
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    I don't really think this is a duplicate of either of those questions. The title qualifies, strictly speaking, but this question looks to concern selecting an answer based on the reputation of the user who provides it, rather than some other metric. – Cody Gray Apr 17 '11 at 13:21
  • @Cody Gray you are right, this is exactly what the question is. I change the question title. – Larry Apr 18 '11 at 7:47
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    Not a duplicate, but you might be interested in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/49000/… – Pops Apr 18 '11 at 14:04
  • Very good link @populardemand, thanks a lot – Larry Apr 19 '11 at 9:00

SO is not a "game." You shouldn't be thinking of it as such. You should upvote all answers that deserve it.

As for accepting, if both are indistinguishable, the polite thing is to accept the one that was posted first (btw, the order that they are displayed in isn't necessarily in order of age). Otherwise, pick the one with more information or that is easier to understand.

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  • Should I mention that when I write "I accept the rules of the game" it s not to be taken literally ? It sounds clear to me SO is not a game, and I am especially aware about it as some submit their reputation in SO when they apply for a job. What interests me is to respect some fairness when I answer questions and explain how I proceeded to tie responses equivalent. In case the answers are identical, I favor the lowest reputations, and I wonder if it's a good thing. Appart this, +1 : accepting the first answer for politness sounds fair to me. – Larry Apr 18 '11 at 12:09
  • @Laurent: Actually, it seems like lots of people think of SO as a reputation game; we get plenty of flags about "unfair" voting, and there are tons of socks running about. So, if I assumed you were being literal, please don't take offense. As to who you select as the correct answer, it is entirely up to you, and you do not have to justify your choice. In any case, having two identical answers is a very rare occurrence, so I would not be spending much time worrying about what to do. Upvote all involved, select the one you think deserves it. – user1228 Apr 18 '11 at 12:14

I usually vote up answers that are similar to each other if they've been posted within about 5 minutes. After that there isn't much point because the poster could see that a similar answer has already been given.

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  • Detecting copy/pasted answers from their timestamp first... Yes, it's a good point I have missed – Larry Apr 17 '11 at 13:13
  • it must be that way ... but what abt the redundancy??? – Santosh Linkha Apr 17 '11 at 13:19
  • It's not their fault they don't know someone is answering a question at the same time as them. 5 - 10 minutes is a big enough window to accommodate it. – JohnP Apr 17 '11 at 13:26
  • well, you do have a point! – Santosh Linkha Apr 18 '11 at 4:43

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