I am not sure whether I should write this on MSE or MAU, but here I go anyway

Context: Couple of months ago, I came across a dearly interesting question related to corrupted desktop environments (unfortunately, one of these). The question was answered fairly well by a user "X" who had about 500 reputation (the answer wasn't accepted and had only one or two upvotes, but was factually right and well formatted).

Lately, I happened upon the same post and noticed that, that answer had been deleted by the user. Upon further investigation, I discovered that a different question with an identical body to the former question has been posted by them and self-answered with the exact same answer and have got a reasonable amount of upvotes on the question as well as the answer.

I could be wrong with my assumption, but the main objective is to know what stops a user from doing what is aforementioned OR if it is allowed/encouraged to do the same on SE.

2 Answers 2


First, I would assume this is an extremely rare scenario.

Second, if the answering user reposts another users question without any modification, this would be considered blatant plagiarism.

However, if the answering user asks a similar question in a way that's not plagiarism, posts it and answers, then technically that's within the rules (but possibly prone to duplicate closure etc.).

It could still be argued that this isn't a very ethical way to act, and under all circumstances it should be flagged for further attention by the moderation team.

  • Even if they did modify it, as the original content was CC-BY-SA, they'd have to provide attribution even when creating a derivative work, or they'd be in violation of the license.
    – muru
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 12:52
  • I've changed the wording to "asks a similar question in a way that's not plagiarism" - because this will surely be possible. Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 12:53
  • I assume you do not mean linking to another user's answer using the Share button is Plagiarism. The Share button gives full credit to the person who originally posted the solution. Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 6:05
  • That was neither what I wrote, nor what I meant .. Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 8:20

Flag it - linking the other post, ideally.

It's unfair to the user who posted the answer to the original post - and it's probably worth a mod taking a look.

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