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What's the appropriate etiquette when two people correctly answer a question at the same time?

Sometimes a user asks a question that has a fairly obvious answer, but the user didn't quite know what keywords to use when searching. Or maybe the question is slightly nuanced from similar ones, and he can't quite make the jump to use those answers for his own purpose. In this situation, it isn't so uncommon for two (or more) users to post practically identical answers within seconds of one another. There are many post on meta that deal with this question. The two I found most helpful are: Given two [practically] identical [useful] answers, which answer do you vote for? and Why Isn't There a Way to Consolidate Answers?.

But here's what I'd like to know. If you posted of the identical, simultaneous answers, how do you respond? Should you delete your answer if it came second, even by just a few seconds? Should you delete your answer if the other answer is by a lower rep person to "share the wealth"? Should you or should you not upvote the other answer since, hopefully, you think its correct? Should you just leave them both alone and go on to other questions? I'm curious to know what more experienced users think.


1 Answer 1


I believe in the power of first. If I'm second (third, fourth, etc.) and my answer is not substantively different than a preceding answer, then I will usually delete my own.

There's no point in having multiple answers that say the same thing, we can voice our agreement with the voting mechanism.

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