This situation occurred many times with me.

When two people answer a particular question in a very similar way, and it is in no way copied from one another since they are off by just a minute at the maximum, what is the best thing to do?

For example, I answered a question in a particular way and by the type I submitted, I see another answer solved in the same way, just a few seconds earlier. Do I delete my answer?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ If it really does duplicate the answer of someone who posts before me, I delete my answer. If it adds anything additional, I leave it - but usually edit it to emphasize the new material. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 3:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If you delete your answer and the other deletes their answer for the same reason, then there are no answers left... I wouldn't worry too much about this is I were you. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ See also this post and also some of the posts linked there. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak That post, as far as I see, is about posting the answer 10 minutes later. My problem is more like posting seconds later, without knowledge of the previous post existing. It is nobody's mistake, but I just would like to know the right thing to do in such situations. Delete my answer or not. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ @WinVineeth Did you look also at other posts I linked to? Basically you are saying that this question is closer to yours: Courtesy/Etiquette: Writing an Almost-Identical Answer just After the Previous? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


I think that both of the posters should edit their answers to say that they did the same thing at (nearly) the same time.

I think the owner of the question should post a comment saying which answer is better (in their opinion).

If the answers are identical, make the earlier one the answer (because the second one might be copied-and-pasted).


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