A few days ago a new user answered How to set document font to times new roman by command. This answer basically is the same as the accepted answer, just recommending an outdated package (according to l2tabu) and not answering the 14pt chapter heading requirement at all. Another user commented it would be a good first post.

To me it seemed that similar to the accepted answer that I thought it would be more of a comment on the accepted answer, because the only noticeable difference (to me) was another package recommendation. Thus I flagged it as "Not an answer", which was "disputed":

review result

Question: If an answer seems to duplicate the accepted answer (and maybe doesn't even fully answer the question) should I flag or downvote it?

I've used the search on Meta to find some previous questions, but I'm not sure any of the answers I found (which are also in the related links section on the right) answers my question.

  • Do you have to take an action?
    – percusse
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 10:42
  • 5
    The reasons for Looks Ok are hidden and most times not really comprehensible. I have the impression that many 'disputed flags' should have been not disputed.
    – user31729
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 10:45
  • @percusse No. But I wonder if I choose to take action what to choose.
    – TeXnician
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 11:29
  • 11
    if it's a duplicate of the accepted answer I'd say that flagging it as not a answer isn't appropriate. You could I suppose downvote (but I never downvote) or leave a comment under the answer asking that it is clarified to highlight the differences from another answer. Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 12:56
  • @DavidCarlisle: Probably spam then... ;)
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 15:07
  • @Werner I wrote in the present tense, I can't account for the actions of my former self:-) Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 15:21
  • 2
    I would just ignore the extra answer, unless it is obvious spam. Sometimes, an accepted answer is very limited in scope, because the original question was narrowly defined. Adding an answer that expands upon the accepted answer, even slightly, may be helpful to other users who find the thread via search. If not, then nobody will upvote it.
    – user139954
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 15:58
  • 1
    @RobtAll Have you looked at the example? What does it really add?
    – TeXnician
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 17:40
  • My comment was "in general."
    – user139954
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 0:28
  • 2
    If an answer is an exact duplicate of another (valid) answer, then I don't see how you can flag it as “not an answer” — after all, if two answers have the same content, then if one is an answer the other one is too, because they are identical. And if it is not an exact duplicate, then too the difference may be good. (In this specific example, one thing the new answer adds is brevity.) Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 4:25
  • @ShreevatsaR: If an answer is an (exact) duplicate of an existing (good) answer, then I don't see why this isn't considered either as plagiarism or 'stupidity' to post an identical answer? What does it add then other then opportunity to get reputation for the person that posted it
    – user31729
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 20:44
  • 1
    @ChristianHupfer: Yes it can be considered plagiarism / stupidity / poster can be downvoted / flagged for violating community norms, etc. All I'm saying is that flagging as "not an answer" doesn't make sense. Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


My approach would be to flag it as Very Low Quality, pushing it to the VLQ review, where the community can further decide what to do with it. That pushes it into the right direction. I'd also post a comment to the answer with a justification as to why the answer is of low (or poor) quality. This will help users voting within the VLQ review as only the question (not the other answers) is visible from within the review queue.

Since it does answer the question, flagging it as Not An Answer seems incorrect.

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