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What if I see a question that I know the answer to, but it has already been correctly answered? Should I give my own answer if I feel that my answer is better than the one that has already been provided?

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We have a policy of deleting duplicate answers. That only applies to answers that don't add anything on the existing answers, though. If you believe you can provide a better answer, feel free! If you can provide a better answer, you have nothing to worry about.

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  • A better answer doesn't necessarily add anything, and if you're not adding anything you can probably just edit the existing one – Aequitas Dec 3 '15 at 2:08
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    @Aequitas A better answer doesn't automatically have to add something new; we'd prefer it, yes, but if its a better quality answer, we'd be doing ourselves a disservice by deleting it. That's meant more for those one liners we often get, where new users think we're a forum and chime in with their two cents. Editing shouldn't be the default action; people can, and should, provide their own answers, if its higher quality. They're putting in the effort; its only fair they get the reward. – Frank Dec 3 '15 at 2:14
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    The way I see it, "better quality" has value in and of itself and a high quality answer added to lower-quality answers therefore does add something, namely quality. – MrLemon Dec 3 '15 at 12:46
  • What is the approved method of dealing with such answers? Flagging? If so, what flag? I get so many of these declined – kalina Dec 4 '15 at 15:17
  • @Kalina Duplicate answers? Downvote. At 20k, vote to delete the answer. The Low Quality queue takes care of the rest. – Frank Dec 4 '15 at 15:45
  • so no flags? sadface – kalina Dec 4 '15 at 15:47
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If you can improve the existing answer by editing, without changing their intent, then do so. So, you could improve formatting, spelling, grammar, phrasing, add a screenshot, that sort of thing.

Here's an example of a question that already had an upvoted accepted answer that I thought had a problem. I started to edit it, then realized I would be changing the actual content, and instead posted a new answer.

Kalina has since edited the answer to account for the problem I noticed, but you can see the previous version in the edit history.

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If you think you have a better answer than the best answered answer, you could try I believe. Even if you do not have a better answer, you may still help them out with your answer! Everyone likes to help others.

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  • No. Posting duplicate answers doesn't help anyone and adds more work to the review queue. – Studoku Dec 4 '15 at 8:21

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