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It's a while that I'm seeing old posts with a lot of good answers being resumed by new users (no previous activity, 1 rep) to add their answer, which adds nothing to the existing content, and sometimes not completely accurate.

Why is this happening? Is ignoring the right thing to do? May downvoting the answer discourage new people (who may not be understanding properly how the site work) from getting involved?

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If you are going to give feedback to a new user a downvote may not be clear, and I would go as far to say, is never clear. Please leave them a comment and explain the site, you can flag as Not an answer for a moderator or higher rep users to clear out the post with a delete and have a comment explain what they have misunderstood.

A good comment to leave might be along the lines of:

This forum is not like other forums, there is already an answer for this question and the way to support it is up voting. The reason you cannot upvote is because you have not yet attained the reputation required to do so, a rough estimate of both expertise and knowledge of the site. Please try to add new answers other places or ask questions you have. If you have any confusion about the site, visit the [FAQ](http://electronics.stackexchange.com/faq)!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome! Thanks for the space, I think I'll copypaste it a lot! \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Mar 20 '12 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try using a backslash to escape the square bracket instead: [FAQ](electronics.stackexchange.com/faq). Notice I didn't need a space to avoid a link. I typed: \[FAQ](http://electronics.stackexchange.com/faq). See Editing help. \$\endgroup\$ – Andres Riofrio Mar 21 '12 at 3:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AndresRiofrio, Thank you, that is very effective. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 21 '12 at 11:42
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I felt the same reading recent answers to this question, I guess that's the question OP is referring to.
I would downvote, and explain why I do (as you always should). Downvoting means the answer is wrong or otherwise not helpful. If it's redundant because the same has already been said several times before it's not helpful. Possible comment:

I downvoted your answer because it doesn't bring new insights. There are already several similar answers, among which an accepted answer with 58 upvotes.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I would agree with you, but my worry is that it may discourage a new user that is not used to the mechanics of the site; I usually go for the no-vote to express my neutral opinion, but I think that this way it doesn't provide feedback \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Mar 21 '12 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @clabacchio - Even new users should understand that it's no use to repeat for the umptieth time the same arguments. Like you I find these answers rather annoying, and I like to make a point of it. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Mar 21 '12 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, on many forums that is the way that people "vote." The most posted answer is probably correct. I just take the cleaner approach and suggest flagging for a mod to delete, or voting to delete yourself. That way no rep punishment, although a 1rep user loses no rep to a downvote. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 21 '12 at 18:00

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