So there's an old question about The Walking Dead. At the time of asking, I answered it.

A few months ago, new information was found - a game (unreleased at the time of asking) featured the painting of those words as one of the 'tie-ins' to the show/comics.

Someone else noticed, and posted an answer. The answer, in my opinion, was good but not great. Rather than hijack it and add the explanations/discussion that I edited into my answer (which would have made the answer substantially mine) I copied the single fact of the answer into my answer, and added the explanation there.

I am, however, uncertain that this was the right thing to do. I did it for several reasons:

  • The answer, despite being several months old, had only 2 upvotes (it wasn't being seen)
  • There were important points that I felt needed to be made regarding the games being canon
  • My answer, despite being less right, was the one being seen. The edit substantially improved my answer, making the default first answer more accurate for people who find it later.
  • I will now share in the reputation gained from this information.

To my view, had I only done it for the first three reasons, it would be fine. But I know myself: I also wanted the reputation gains. In my own view, this makes it ethically questionable, despite the fact that I clearly cite my source, link it, and encourage upvotes for the other answer as well.

This is a situation that may arise again, so I wanted the community's take - is this the right way to handle the situation where a lower-voted (and arguably, less well discussed) answer provides information that a higher-voted answer doesn't?

  • 1
    did you upvote the one that gave you the information?
    – acolyte
    Jul 9, 2013 at 20:35
  • @acolyte: Yes. I also commented on his answer, saying that if he objected, I'd remove my edit. He hasn't been on since posting that answer, sadly.
    – Jeff
    Jul 11, 2013 at 20:36

3 Answers 3


Yes, I think the way you handled it was just fine. You noted that the information was brought to your attention by another answer, and improved and expanded on it. instead of just copy-and-pasting it. Remember that in the end, we are a collaborative site, not a competitive one, despite the existence of reputation.

  • HERETIC! -1, just to ruin your reputation! :) Jul 9, 2013 at 13:36
  • 4
    Besides what Kevin said, you might want to thank the other poster by name, and not just with linky-love.
    – sjl
    Jul 9, 2013 at 19:06
  • @sjl: Good point. Done.
    – Jeff
    Jul 11, 2013 at 20:37

First of all, the legal requirement to copy any data from one SE location to another is to reference the OP, and where to find the source data. So you should give a bone out to the OP, in any case. It seems you have done the right thing there.

Secondly, there are many examples of answers building upon other answers. This is a commonly acceptable practice. If you are only adding a small amount of information, that's perfectly fine. I would at the very least upvote the question in note to ensure that the person gets some benefit for their work.

  • I have, indeed, upvoted the answer I sourced from.
    – Jeff
    Jul 9, 2013 at 13:29

If reputation is only a side effect and not the goal here (as I would hope that it could be), then it doesn't matter who gets it assuming the other person has as much as they need and deserve to participate here adequately.

If however, this is just a game where people are trying to get the highest score, then you did cheat.

As a community, I suggest that we need to attempt to decide which of these two possibilities we want to be true.

  • I NEED MOAR POINTS. MOAR!!! Is there a cheat code for this?
    – Arammil
    Jul 10, 2013 at 10:42
  • @Arammil: It's called being me. Well, ok, being DVK. But I'm close.
    – Jeff
    Jul 11, 2013 at 20:37

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