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Not sure if this has already been discussed here, so here it goes. Often, when reviewing the Late Answers queue, I run into some answers that seem to be posted many times by the same user

I understand this is probably because their author find a solution to a problem that hasn't been documented/answered yet, or they consider valuable, or maybe it's something hard to find, etc., so they post it many times on different questions.

Examples here and here.

What shall be done when this happens? Should I flag one of them (probably the latter) so it's deleted and recommend the user to simply quote the first one? Is it ok to have both?

  • I think they spam the same answer in order to get easy rep. I treat them all as standalone answers, although sometimes they highlight duplicates that can get closed off. – Burgi Dec 16 '16 at 19:08
  • When I catch users submitting the same answer to multiple questions I submit a comment that they should flag one of the questions as a duplicate of the other question. Logically if a question has the exact same answer, then they are duplicates of one another. I then issue a non-helpful vote on the answer to the least helpful question. – Ramhound Dec 16 '16 at 19:34
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    "Logically if a question has the exact same answer, then they are duplicates of one another." That isn't necessarily true. For example, I have recommended the procedure to disable Fast Startup in Windows 10 to people with entirely different circumstances: one who couldn't access the files on his Windows partition within a dual-boot configuration, and another with an old laptop whose wireless NIC wouldn't initialize properly during a power-on sequence with Fast Startup enabled. – Run5k Dec 23 '16 at 13:49
  • @Run5k I get your point, but then they're the same answers after all (although they've been posted on different questions). I wonder if it wasn't more correct to post it just once and refer to it on different questions by leaving a comment "hey, check out my answer on this question, as it applies here too http://.." – nKn Dec 24 '16 at 13:28
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    @nKn , I understand your perspective but I don't think that would be applicable to entirely different problems. One of the primary goals of Super User is to build a comprehensive collection of high-quality questions and answers that people can reference. I essentially agree with the feedback from Ramhound and Ben: if a question is primarily a duplicate of a previous query, flag it appropriately. But the scenarios I posted above are a perfect example of how the same technical solution can apply to vastly different problems, and as a result the author shouldn't be diverted to another question. – Run5k Dec 24 '16 at 14:19
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If the questions are duplicates, one should be closed as such. In that case, it should be explained to the user that we prefer information to be centralized, so they should flag instead of posting the same answer to both. Once the duplicate question relationship is established, one of the duplicate answers can be deleted. Those two questions look pretty similar to me (same hardware), but it looks like they're trying to do slightly different things, so I don't have strong feelings either way.

Each answer must address the question. Ones that don't should be flagged as NAA, and ones that do so poorly should be downvoted. Usually, a copied answer needs to be tailored to make sense as a direct response to its question. If each duplicate answer makes sense in its context, then they're fine. In this case, the answer does seem like it might be helpful to both questions, so I'm not too worried about these.

Identical answers already cause an automatic moderator flag to be raised. If there is a specific moderator action you think should be taken, you can raise a custom flag.

Relevant MSEs: Is it acceptable to add a duplicate answer to several questions?, Duplicate answers (not questions), Reposting an identical answer on a different question.

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