13

On Workplace more than any other Stack Exchange site, I see Me Too answers duplicating most or all of the content of earlier, better/more elaborate answers. We've got some question quality problems IMO as well, however I'm not sure improving question quality can solve this problem.

I'm not sure if it's because "everyone's an expert" or what, but the duplicate answers are essentially noise, and for the most part they get upvotes. This problem can be seen in a huge way on Is it acceptable to use pirated software on the job? and to a lesser extent on How can I reduce the size of a long resume without hiding all my skills and experience?

How can we discourage these duplicate answers that don't add useful information?

  • 3
    I asked for taser-over-IP functionality, but everyone said I was being an extremist. – voretaq7 Apr 25 '12 at 4:23
13

Downvote!!

And (very important) tell the user that you're downvoting because their answer already exists in another answer. I view downvoting without comment to be more destructive than constructive (unless it's a truly terrible question/answer), so be sure you comment on why you're downvoting

This comment is actually more important then the downvote itself, because it will not only tell the user why they got downvoted so they can change the way they answer in the future, but it also tells other users who view the answer why it was downvoted and to not use similar behavior as well

If you get moderator assistance and approval, you could also flag bad/duplicate answers for deletion or to move them to comments if they simply clarify something an existing good answer says

  • 9
    Just a note: A comment is nice when there's none, but if there is already a comment saying pretty much the same you'd say, just up vote it, adding a "me too" comment kinda defeats the purpose of cleaning the site from "me too" answers. – yannis Apr 20 '12 at 20:38
  • @YannisRizos Well yes, definitly just upvote existing comments that say the same thing instead of posting a new one if one's already there :) – Rachel Apr 20 '12 at 22:40
  • 2
    Hm? Did you just post a comment that agrees with an earlier comment? Why not just upvote the earlier comment insted? ;P – yannis Apr 20 '12 at 22:57
  • 1
    @YannisRizos I did :) – Rachel Apr 21 '12 at 0:44
  • This is not going to work. 5 people have to downvote to have any significant impact no the reputation, and then all it takes is a for newcomer with an association bonus who didn't bother to read the longer answers to cast a pity upvote to completely negate that effort. – Dmitry Grigoryev Jul 5 '17 at 8:39
-2

I agree that we don't want two answers that say the same thing. But in real life this can often get into very hazy cases.

What if an answer says basically the same thing as an earlier answer, but says it more clearly? I've had a few times on other SE sites where I've seen answers that I believed were accurate, but poorly worded, and where making it clear would take more than a brief comment. Maybe you'd say I shouldn't have made such posts, that if the answer was already there, I should just leave it at that. But if someone reading it is unlikely to be able to understand it, etc.

I often see answers that repeat part of what's in other answers, but add additional information. You could, of course, debate whether this additional information is of value.

  • 1
    the question explicitly states that it's about "Me Too answers duplicating most or all of the content of earlier, better/more elaborate answers". Cases when another answer says it more clearly are hardly within scope of this discussion. Though that could be a sensible topic of separate discussion, if one could find examples of later-but-better repetitive answers – gnat Aug 10 '15 at 15:16
  • The point I was trying to make is that whether an answer just repeats a previous answer or provides additional insights or information is a subjective evaluation. Unless it's word for word the same, it arguably adds SOMETHING: some different information, an alternative and maybe better way of explaining, etc. My idea of "more clear" and yours may not be the same. I may think that some additional point is a valuable insight while you think it's a trivial side issue. Etc. – Jay Aug 10 '15 at 17:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .