Recently I'm seeing answers from new users, that don't add anything to the discussion. That is, some answers have already been posted, and the new answer says only what has been said before, without even elaborating on it like earlier posters have done. My impression is those users have not read any of the other answers before posting their own.

What should be done about such answers? My intuition has been to flag them as "low quality", but then I see those flags disputed. When I myself see such answers in the "low quality" queue, I want to recommend deletion, but among the reasons provided there's no "this answer has already been given by someone else".

What then is our stance on such answers? Do we just tolerate them and do not upvote them? Or can we perhaps add an appropriate reason to "recommend deletion" from the "low quality" review queue?

  • 2
    Did you post a comment indicating that the answer is a duplicate of existing answers without adding new insights? I have been doing that on Anime.SE, and it's convincing enough for reviewers to delete the dupe answers. Otherwise, the reviewers won't understand why the answer is deemed as low-quality. Also, there's no canned reason for this case, but the system doesn't prevent the user to post a custom comment directly on the post then recommend deletion without posting any canned reason.
    – Andrew T.
    Jan 19, 2019 at 19:07
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    I agree with Andrew. When I see duplicates I try to leave a comment like "how is this different from (link to other answer)?", with appropriate helpful language especially for new users. My goal is a comment that assumes good intent while pointing out the other answer, so other people seeing the answer will also see the comment and perhaps act on it. Jan 20, 2019 at 1:19
  • perhaps you aspire to be just like this guy... cbsnews.com/news/… but realistically... this site will never achieve even a minute fraction of Wikipedia's mind share.
    – ashleylee
    Jan 30, 2019 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


When we're presented with an answer marked as low-quality, we can see the original question and comments on that particular answer, but we can not see other answers.

We can click on the link in the question section to see the answers, but sometimes reading them all is a chore. Honestly, it's never occurred to me that I need to read other answers in order to determine if a given answer is appropriate. I feel I only need to read the question.

Nor do I think anything is wrong with an answer that is otherwise good but happens to repeat what other people have said. It can help a questioner to hear the same points more than once.

I've written duplicate answers before. Sometimes it's because the other one was posted while I was writing, or it's because I skimmed the other answers, didn't see what I had in my head, but it was there and I missed it. Then there are times I do see what I plan to write but I have another way to express it that I think is useful, so I do. If I see a long well-fleshed out answer that covers all the points I would have, I don't answer (though I might comment with an additional point or something).

If an answer is short and uninsightful and duplicates other answers, then I can see deleting it. I agree with others though: leave a comment saying why you want to delete it. I realize this is a double edged sword because the author will see it and maybe get pissed or argumentative. After getting some blowback, I tend not to leave comments at all when I take action on a post.

But as a reviewer, I don't vote to delete answers that seem like reasonable answers to the question. Give me a reason to delete and maybe I will.

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