I flagged an answer today.
The key factors were:
- It was posted almost four years after the question was posted and received an accepted answer.
- It was just one line which merely rephrased what the accepted answer had established about four years ago.
At worst, this is plagiarism. At best, It was redundant and added nothing new of value to the post.
Giving the guy benefit of doubt, I decided not to raise a custom flag accusing him of plagiarism. Instead, I raised a VLQ flag given the length and content.
The flag was rejected.
What is our policy on such answers? What should we do when we see an answer which merely parrots what other users had contributed years ago?
In my opinion, such answers should be removed as:
- They are redundant and add nothing new of value.
- They could be upvoted (Not sure by who but it happens every now and then), giving that person rep s/he doesn't deserve.
- It is unfair to the person who answered before that their contribution is rephrased without any credits to them on that very thread.
- Given that there is an interval of an extended period of time between the old answer and the new answer, it is highly unlikely that the new person hadn't read the older answer before posting h/is/er own. So that in turn makes it very unlikely that this was done in good faith.