What is the etiquette on blender.stackexchange for answers on the same question saying essentially the same thing?

From meta.stackexchange:

We don't see that getting several answers to a question as a problem. Even if the answers are saying essentially the same thing, using different words - this means that there is a better chance of people understanding at least one of the answers.

The way I see it, this is lame reputation stealing.

How so? People can upvote as many answers on a question as they want - you are not limited to upvoting on one answer.

This suggests that duplicate answers are okay. But.

What if the second answer explains it differently, but in a less clear/detailed way? Should it still be kept around?

There have been cases where multiple users write almost the exact same answer within a couple of seconds of each other. If the answers are really similar, should the second be deleted?

I've noticed that for the most part users have deleted their duplicate answers, or they were deleted by the community. However, on SO this kind of duplication seems more commonplace.
Could this be why our answer ratio is doing so poorly?

On the other hand, if duplicate answers are a bad thing, is it good to have redundant and potentially lower quality answers lying around for the sake of a statistic?

Here are some examples (you'll need to have enough rep to view deleted posts):

It's a bit hard to find example answers, as most are deleted..

  • $\begingroup$ Somewhat offtopic - "Duplicate answers" Could also refer to two different questions with the same answer. For example, "What is this view? Screenshot of wireframe mode" and "How do I delete all selected vertices in a model" would have the same answer, but be completely different questions. $\endgroup$ – Joehot200 Jun 30 '15 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Joehot200 Well, I'm not sure about that particular example, but these are covered in this post. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jun 30 '15 at 17:46

Whether or not you find an already existing answer for a question on stackexchange strongly depends on which keywords (or tags) you use to search.

More answers on a questions improve the visibility of a solutions due to different wording. This is also encouraged by the Answer Ratio 'performance indicator' which is currently 1.5 and should be at least 2.5

The best answer is usually voted to the top. IMHO we shouldn't delete dups this would worsen the answer ratio and searchability. Once the answer ratio is above 3 we could consider this again


A note on this: if someone else has already posted a correct/good enough answer, instead of posting your own better one, Improve theirs.

  • $\begingroup$ I would say only do this if your ideas are very much aligned with their answer and relatively little improvement is needed. They may not take kindly to having their answer hijacked. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 May 4 '16 at 4:29
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 A note on the note on this: Ask them if they'd like the improvement in the comments. Be-aware that posting a nearly duplicate but slightly better answer after the effect is equally if not more annoying then someone improving your answer. Besides, someone can always roll back edits. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms May 4 '16 at 15:47

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