When posting my answer I check that it doesn't repeat others as required by our FAQ.

In current UI, this becomes difficult when question already has many answers.

I would want that questions with 10 or more answers (including deleted ones) have additional UI allowing me to review each of previous answers individually prior to posting my own.

In a sense, this is sort of an enforcement of an "Atwood's warning" that pops up when one attempts to answer questions with multiple answers:

Did you read through all the existing answers first to make sure your answer will be contributing something new?

Side note, personally I would prefer above to be there even earlier, at 5-7 answers; it is proposed at 10 because at this point it becomes way too cumbersome to check prior answers in regular UI.

Such a UI could be similar to one currently used in review queues (which is not surprising as what I want is basically kind of review). Features I would want to have there are:

  • allowing me to traverse between answers (next/previous)
  • showing me preview of my answer among others, as if it was already posted,
    preferably with an option to submit an answer, enabled after I took a look at all other answers
  • allowing me to return back to editing my answer (cancel review)
  • 1
    FWIW, when deciding on whether to post it at MSO or here, I picked our meta because request is based on site specific FAQ
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 6:56
  • 3
    Does a question that already has 10 or 20 answers posted to it really need another one? Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:38
  • 1
    @RobertHarvey meta.stackexchange.com/questions/166566/… The problem is there is a huge culture on many sites - The Workplace in particular - of "oh this answer adds some value, so even though it's not really a good answer or isn't totally answering the question I'll toss an upvote at it" or the drive by "gonna upvote all answers!!" type voting...
    – gnat
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:41
  • 1
    Thanks for a feature that I'll always ignore and never use. It's far too aggressive. The warning appears when there are just two flipping answers!
    – Jim G.
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 23:01
  • @JimG. I am not sure I follow. If one can make a valuable and original answer, it is worth adding no matter if question has no answers or one or ten or more. It's only that currently, system makes it easy to add garbage answers and difficult to add original ones
    – gnat
    Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 12:52
  • related: What can we do about me-too answers?
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


To avoid misunderstanding, I realise that feature like this would make it technically harder for me to post an answer. Imagine I am willing to add 20th answer to some question, that would mean I have to pass through checking 19 prior answers before posting my own, go figure.

But, if I really believe that my answer is that important, such difficulties shouldn't and wouldn't stop me. Quite opposite, as a responsible answerer, I would be grateful for making it more convenient for me to ensure that my answer is really valuable, that it will stand out among others and ultimately contribute to Stack Exchange goal to "make the Internet better".

Another consideration worth stressing is that as an author of a new answer, I am in quite unique position to help enforce "Don't Repeat Others" rule.

Just think of it, any "outside" reviewer willing to ensure this rule would have to compare each answer against each other, a daunting task when there are many answers (n factorial comparisons when there are n answers).

As opposed to that, my task as reviewer is much easier, I only need to check n existing answers from others against mine (which I know by heart, which makes comparison only easier). I think that giving responsible answerers an opportunity for such a review would be very beneficial for the site.

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