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I came across this question today after it had been revived by another answer.

Difference between latch and flip-flop?

And noticed the two most recent answers both had comments noting that the question was two years old and that the answers hadn't contributed new information.

I haven't seen this policy in this SE site before (or any other I frequent) and was wondering what the general consensus is.

My understanding is that there is nothing wrong with answering old questions and it is encouraged, but I am unclear on the duplicate information policy. I have seen questions where the same information has been presented, and sometimes it is useful because two answers may explain the same information in different ways and a user may find one helpful and the other not.

What is the general consensus on this?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Looking at the example, it seems like the new answer actually plagiarized an earlier answer - could be that it was saying that in a "diplomatic" way? Anyway, I think the question it valid independently. \$\endgroup\$ – Volker Siegel Jul 1 '14 at 19:43
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Redundant new answers to old questions are usually written by newcomers to the site, who got to the question via a generic web search. They don't yet understand how the site works, and the answers are usually very poorly written, not adding any new perspective or detail that would help other visitors.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like ban the noobs. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Jun 28 '14 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ And how do you expect newcomers to understand how the site works if you instantly and without comment delete their VALID answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Jun 28 '14 at 16:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ And maybe we should have google stop indexing pages older than a few months because how dare new users find and try to participate on this stack right guys? \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Jun 28 '14 at 16:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby Do you honestly believe that just reiterating an existing answer 2 years later, quite poorly, is doing the community any good? We have the advantage of not being one of the huge stacks, which means we have the opportunity to keep our quality standards higher. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Jun 28 '14 at 20:25
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The only problem is that answering old question pushes them to the top, taking space from newer or more active questions. If there is no value in answering, it actually damages fresher content.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The site does that anyway. All those phantom community edits that SE uses to bring up old questions with no selected answer to the top. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Jun 28 '14 at 16:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby that's true, but she's talking about questions that are already answered enough \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Jul 2 '14 at 6:10

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