6

Somebody copied the question How to remove watermark from pdf using pdftk? and reposted it on Stack Overflow (link).

I think that this was not a traditional crosspost, as the posters of both questions have accounts on both sites and the copied version lacks the link the original has.

Problems:

  • The SO question already has an accepted answer, while the SU question is still unanswered.
  • I'd also say that the question isn't really a good fit on SO.
  • If crossposting a question on several sites (by the same user) isn't allowed, this case should't be treated any different.

So, what to do now? Options:

  1. Leave everything as it is.

    Meh. I dislike leaving questions unanswered if there's something that can be done about it.

  2. Answer the question using the existing answer on the SO question.

    Normally, I don't have a problem doing that (with proper attribution, of course). But since it's character by character the exact same question, it feels like rep whoring.

  3. Request migration on SO and close the copied question as duplicate.

    That still leaves the question unanswered.

  4. Request migration on SO and close the original question as duplicate.

    That seems unfair to the poster of the original question.

  5. Request migration on SO and merge the copy into the original question.

    If I understand correctly how merging works, this should result in having the working answer on the original question.

My personal favorite is option 5. Thoughts?

  • 1
    Flag for deleting IMO – James Mertz Jul 13 '12 at 2:32
  • 1
    @KronoS: I assume you mean the SO question. That's also an option. Doesn't seem awfully nice to the user who answered it, but I guess that's what you get for answering off topic questions. – Dennis Jul 13 '12 at 2:35
  • I'm sorry I misunderstood and thought the answer was on SO and not here. I would still flag and have mods migrate the answer. – James Mertz Jul 13 '12 at 2:42
  • @KronoS: Seems like I am misunderstanding something. The answer is on SO. – Dennis Jul 13 '12 at 2:44
5

In this case the question isn't that great for either site, however for future reference I would follow these guidelines:

  • If it's off-topic unanswered on SU then flag for deletion or vote to close
  • if it's off-topic BUT answered AND the answer is of a good quality here flag for migration of the answer
  • Vice-Versa for SO as well.
  • I think it's a fairly good question for SU (although the wording could be improved). I didn't know you could migrate answers as well. That seems like the right thing to do. – Dennis Jul 13 '12 at 2:53
  • 1
    @Dennis You technically can't migrate answers — but if you delete one of the parent questions you can basically move that around. – slhck Jul 13 '12 at 3:05
  • 3
    If they were asked independently and are on topic on either site, there's no compelling reason to close/migrate either. Those cases are rare though - usually it's either off-topic for one of the sites, or the same user cross-posted them, which we discourage. – nhinkle Jul 13 '12 at 3:16
3

In this case, it's best to close the question as offtopic, with a link to the Stack Overflow question as a comment - especially considering the only one "answer" doesn't really answer on any way.

Also on this:

Answer the question using the existing answer on the SO question.

Normally, I don't have a problem doing that (with proper attribution, of course). But since it's character by character the exact same question, it feels like rep whoring.

You can always mark it as community wiki & thereby forego any rep gains. I tend to do this, especially when answers are shoved into questions.

Request migration on SO and close the copied question as duplicate.

That still leaves the question unanswered.

Well, the accepted answer status is also transferred during migration, and the other question can be closed as duplicate.

Request migration on SO and merge the copy into the original question.

If I understand correctly how merging works, this should result in having the working answer on the original question

This would be the ideal course of action - there's a redirect from Stack Overflow as well as from the other question on Super User.

  • You're the second person saying that the question isn't really a good fit for SU, so maybe I'm missing something. It asks how to achieve a specific task with the software pdf toolkit. Why is that off topic? Well, the accepted answer status is also transferred during migration, and the other question can be closed as duplicate. – Dennis Jul 13 '12 at 11:16
  • Heaven forbid commandline utilities become offtopic for Super User. o.o – iglvzx Jul 13 '12 at 11:32
  • 1
    in this case -> not talking about this question, talking about a scenario where an off-topic question is posted in a way it is posted as demonstrated in the linked question. I talk about this question in particular in my last sentence. // @Dennis – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 13 '12 at 11:50
  • also, cc @iglvzx – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 13 '12 at 11:50
  • 1
    @Sathya: But you closed this specific question as off topic... – Dennis Jul 13 '12 at 12:25
  • 1
    @Dennis that's generally what I do cross-posted questions, till the cross-post gets cleared and is brought on one site. In this case, I've flagged for migration to Super User. off-topic isn't the best reason, but gets the closest one. – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 13 '12 at 12:42
  • 1
    btw, @Dennis the 2 questions have been merged. – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 13 '12 at 14:57
  • @Sathya, is there anything we can do about the plagiarism? I feel bad for the original OP not getting any credit/rep for their question. – iglvzx Jul 13 '12 at 16:17
  • @iglvzx If it's becomes a trend, there's always a day in the penalty box. For now, I wouldn't worry about the two. – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 13 '12 at 16:44
  • @Sathya: I realize I'm asking way too many questions about this rather insignificant issue, but is there a particular reason why your merged the original question into the plagiarized one? Vice versa would have made more sense to me. – Dennis Jul 13 '12 at 20:28
  • @Dennis the merged stub wouldn't be visible on the migrated question, hence merged the other question so that the merge is obvious. – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 14 '12 at 5:05
  • @Sathya: I didn't know about that. Makes perfect sense now. – Dennis Jul 14 '12 at 11:35

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