I'm talking in particular about this answer.

This made me think how we shall proceed when, in the same question, there's a new answer that doesn't include any new relevant new information.

The same question was already made in meta.stackexchange but there's no accepted answer and, therefore, one doesn't know how to proceed.

My decision was to just leave it as it is and add a comment asking the user to consider adding more information.

What are your thoughts?

1 Answer 1



There's no definitive answer to your question, because circumstances vary.

  1. Answers that really are "exact duplicates" are rare, but answers that are similar or quote the same facts are very common. Expressing the same answer in different ways is okay, but answers that don't add anything new (e.g. additional facts, different conclusions, or greater clarity) are likely to have other problems too.
  2. Similar-but-different answers may not be the canonically-best answer, but can sometimes add value or resonate differently with future readers.
  3. Answers that are unhelpful, off-topic, or wrong can be commented on or downvoted to provide feedback to the poster and future readers.
  4. Answers that are "broken windows" can be flagged for review or moderation.

In this particular case, it seems to me that the post in question is a low-quality answer, with the apparent intent of providing anecdotal support for one team's implementation. This is probably exacerbated by a language barrier, as the syntax and grammar include common errors for non-native English speakers.


If you feel strongly about the answer, you can:

  1. Comment on it or edit it.

    Salvageable posts should be edited when it doesn't take away from the author's original intent. Comments can help the OP and future visitors understand where an answer may fall short, but can also make some posters defensive and/or argumentative. Strive for the former, and try to avoid the latter.

    Sometimes a comment alone (or a comment and a downvote) can encourage the author to improve the post more than just a vote (see next item), but people and results will vary. You are never required to comment on a question or answer to vote on it.

  2. Vote it down if you feel it's downvote-worthy.

    A downvote costs you rep, and only takes 2 points away from an answer. It is a useful feedback and signalling mechanism, although it can feel unfriendly to new users.

  3. Flag the post as low-quality, or some other appropriate flag to enqueue it for review.

    While I would agree that this is low-quality, and has other problems too, I wouldn't flag it as "not an answer" because it does attempt to address the original question.

  4. Bring it up on meta.

    You've already done this. It's generally the right thing to do when there's a fundamental question about community standards, or to get more eyeballs on a specific situation.

  5. Flag it for moderation.

    Flagging it for moderation gets diamond mods involved in the review. Moderators can do various things like converting answers into comments (which is what I'd be tempted to do with this one if I did anything with it), or to address urgent issues such as spam or CoC violations that aren't really well-suited to the standard review queue.

None of these things are mutually exclusive, but they basically provide the range of actions users can take and represent a rough sequence of escalation for problematic posts. You can take as many of these actions as you feel warranted, but I'd generally work my way down the list in order to give posters (or the community) a chance to improve a post.

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