Today I asked a question, and I got this answer, however in a few minutes another answer was posted:

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Now this answer is almost identical to the first:

enter image description here

Except for the fact that it does not give an example use. And I even commented as you can see to suggest that the answer is updated with an example use, and the answerer replies to say that they won't do so because the other answer already covers that. So I don't see the point for this second answer, it gives the same information except it is missing some detail which the other answer covers. And it is not going to help future readers as it doesn't add anything new.

However when I asked if someone could delete it, they said no (@Seth), so I am wondering what the community opinion on this sort of thing is, should almost identical answers be deleted, especially if they lack detail that another answer provides, but are almost identical in every other way?

I mean I have seen many answers like these being deleted in the "very low quality" review queue, so I don't see why this one should stay. But I would still like to know, generally what to do about identical answers such as the one given as an example. Should they stay? Or should they go as they don't provide anything new?

  • 7
    To clarify some: I delete duplicate answers all the time, but I don't see a reason to delete an very similar answer just because someone was a few minutes later than someone else, so I, in general, don't delete similar answers like that. Especially because answers are often edited and improved/updated/changed within the first hour or so. I don't know what the community's opinion is though, so I encouraged the ever Paranoid Panda to post this Q.
    – Seth
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 19:45
  • Same here @Seth. It's pretty easy to tell when an answer has just been copied and pasted. I've had a similar question, but it has to do with answers being duplicates of other questions' answers (aka plagarism without reference).
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 0:45
  • Have a look here: all answers posted within minutes of each other...
    – Fabby
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


Here's my opinion.

If duplicate answers arrive within moments of each other it's not really that surprising. It's the fastest gun in the west syndrome and very similar answers are bound to occur.

However an identical answer several days earlier like the one found here I consider a problem. In this case it may simply be that the user requires some guidance on using the site rather than the blatant rudeness it appears to be on the surface. I do think late identical should be deleted in favor of those that came before them, however similar answers that are more cohesive or fully formed should be left to the voting process.

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