I saw this question this morning and gave an answer. In the time between me typing my answer and submitting it, there had been a comment and another answer posted.

Both said broadly the same as my own answer. The other answerer has made some comment on my answer. I think (s)he is making the point that our answers are the same.

Their answer is more detailed than mine and it was posted first. The second comment "it's up to you", as it's from a high rep user, makes me think that I should do something - but what?

What is the correct thing to do in this situation?


3 Answers 3


What is the correct thing to do in this situation?

It is up to you.

  • you are allowed to delete it.
  • you are allowed to ignore anyone and leave it as is.
  • you are allowed to make your answer better than the other (but make sure to not copy the other answer and make it -really- special).

Now the nerd in you should opt for 3 and try to outdo the other person ;)

  • The most productive option :) Commented May 20, 2015 at 20:47
  • This answer is 100% correct, I'll just add that even if you don't think your answer is as good as the other one, leaving it there may still help someone in the future, you never know. I would almost never delete my answer in this situation :) Commented May 26, 2015 at 0:55

Personally, I would just leave it. Having multiple answers (even if they're similar) doesn't hurt and perhaps you can provide more help in case the answer doesn't work directly that the other person can.

However, If you notice an answer has been posted prior to clicking submit (you'll get a little bar saying a new answer has been posted that you can click) and it's what you were going to say or better, then you probably should just abandon that answer. As unfortunate and annoying as it is, that's just what happens some times.

Please take this with a grain of salt, it's just a my personal opinion/practice. I may be in the wrong, I don't know if there's proper SE way to handle this.

  • I have seen the 'another answer has been posted' message before, but it did not appear while I was answering this particular question.
    – Carl H
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 17:07
  • @CarlH Then it's fine. You can't help what you don't see :) Commented May 21, 2015 at 17:34

This has happened to me before, in these instances I tend to make an edit to my post referring to the other.

I also like to +1 and give a comment, especially if I feel the others answer is better, I hope that this gives some guidance for the OP to select an answer.

I would otherwise leave it, if the OP posts an edit to their question after trying the first answer, I can then edit my question rather than having to rewrite the whole thing.

That is how I mostly proceed.


  • I agree DaveM and I will do it with a +1, as long as it is their own work, and not from your work where you are the one that asked the questions to come up with the right answer. It happened to me where they built their answer off my troubleshooting, then on a comment I made, they changed theirs at the same time. It was frustrating that I did the work, but they got the credit.
    – Terrance
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 15:03

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