Should we be flagging answers that basically say:

John's answer is great and I agree with everything he said, and also this!

On other SE sites, this should be a comment on the answer and the person who posted the answer would choose to edit their answer to include it or not.

If it should be flagged, how would I flag it? Other SE site have a flag that basically says "me too" where the poster isn't really answering the question, but I don't see that option here.

I just want to make sure I am flagging things properly before I actually do it.


3 Answers 3


We expect answers to be independent — after all, the other answer might get deleted, or changed, or buried in a long list of other answers, and it's not useful to force readers to search just to understand a new answer. (For more, see the FAQ Should I be requesting people answer the question independently?)

Flagging is probably unnecessary. You can take care of this with a comment that links to that FAQ and asks them to make their answer not rely on other answers. If you do run into a case where flagging seems right though, just use the custom flag reason, which lets you write a short description of the problem for the mods.

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    \$\begingroup\$ for now, I added a comment to the answer requesting the user expand on their answer so it will stand on its own with no reference to the other anseer \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2017 at 15:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the answer is sufficiently non-standalone, flag it as "not an answer" (just adding a link in support of another answer is "not an answer" IMO). \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Sep 21, 2017 at 15:47

If an answer repeats another answer, that's fine--sometimes there's more than one way to say the same thing, and maybe a later user has a more cogent way to express the concept.

If an answer relies on another answer and would be incomplete if the referred-to post is removed, that's a problem and should be responded to with commenting, voting, editing, flagging, etc., as appropriate. As always it's usually good to start with the gentlest, lowest impact solution and escalate as needed, so I wouldn't use a custom flag until commenting and editing failed to produce an improvement.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In this case the answer was I agree with every John said, here is a link to support it. I posted a commented recommending they expand the answer to a point that will stand on its own \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2017 at 15:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SaggingRufus A link-only answer is low-quality on it's own. If the only real information was a link, flag it, regardless of whether it mentions another answer or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:25

On other SE sites, this should be a comment on the answer and the person who posted the answer would choose to edit their answer to include it or not.

On other SE sites, the comment will live longer. If it were Stack Overflow, where there is no time for mods to comb through posts and delete comments, I'd say post it as a comment to the answer. It will live forever and be helpful that way.

Here, this comment will vanish fast. I've had comments vanish over the time I needed to go out and grab a pizza from the store, doubting my memory of posting it in the first place when I came back and it was nowhere to be seen.

So I guess it's a matter of how much of it is an answer and how much is just agreeing.

  • I sometimes post disclaimers saying that my answer is not exclusive and that while I think it's valid on it's own, it does not mean you couldn't or shouldn't do $OtherAnswer as well. I think that's valid. Example for "not exclusive".

  • I sometimes post answers that come to the same conclusion as existing answers, but for a completely different reason or using a completely different rule. I do mention the other answers to signal that I don't disagree with them, just take another reasoning to the same end. I think that's valid as well, because while one answer with that conclusion might have been enough, the other answer might get invalidated by time, new editions, comments on how their reasoning is wrong or they might just get deleted (could not come up with an example on short notice, this is more the case in other SEs).

  • It rarely happens, but sometimes, the obvious, correct answer is not the answer. Personally, I think quoting with a reference is the right thing to do, as it keeps the answer from being incomplete should the other get deleted. Example of referencing another answer.

So what I want to say is: there is no single answer. Check the post. If it's good information, keep it. If it's just a one-liner or no real information when you take away the "I agree with the other answer" part, then flag it as low quality. Because it is.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It rarely happens, but sometimes, the obvious, correct answer is not the answer That happens all over the SE community. I have found out that the Aviation.SE community is not serious about aviation, which detracts somewhat from how often the "correct" answer and the 'most voted' answer don't match. Too many "enthusiasts" and not enough people with a clue about aviation. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24, 2017 at 23:33

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