Until now I strongly believed the current best-practice for answering a question were: "one answer per question per person" and if you had a different solution to what you originally wrote, I thought, you were "strongly" encouraged to edit-in your answer instead of posting a new answer to a question you already answered once.

Today, to my suprise, I learned something new on StackExchange network etiquette. I raised a moderator flag asking that two (good) answers from the same (reputable) user to the same question to be merged. Very politely the mod deemed the flag helpful, but replied it was OK to post multiple answers. Prompted by that reply I found this Meta.EE question, which confirms that posting multiple answers to the same question is not frowned upon, as long as they are substantially different. Excerpt from the most upvoted answer:

Some questions will be multiple-answer types directly, like tips-and-tricks or best-practices. This allows the ones the community feels are the best/correct to float to the top.

I found myself in the position of posting another answer to a question I already answered some time ago, but instead I edited-in the new, better solution to the same problem that I found recently.

Now my question here is to ask for confirmation that, in such a case, the best-practice is to split the answer in two, removing the new, better solution from the existing answer and post it as a new, independent answer.

Please note that I also read this EE.meta question which is similar to mine, but the discussion didn't seem so clear-cut. Moreover, I'm asking specifically about splitting an already posted answer of mine, not splitting other people's answers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think there is any best practice as it depends highly on the question and answer. I personally would only even think of it if the new answer in any way would invalidate the old answer \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH That was how I thought it should be. In the case of an invalidation, I actually would have deleted the old answer and reposted a new one. But apparently the policy is not that. I probably missed that in these years because very few users do that, but it seems it is that way. Effectively, as someone pointed out in one of the thread I linked to, if it was the contrary, the system could disallow you to post multiple answers, but it is not so. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2015 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Often the old answer is intresting too, and if only to be a bad example ;) if its really wrong, edit some dclaimer into it \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if there are comments on the old answer, or other answers referring to it, it's probably best to leave it in place. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2015 at 19:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman Actually there aren't, yet. And the new part is actually a better solution, while the old one is still valid (two different tricks of the trade, the second of which I discovered only recently). Moreover, the old one was the accepted one, so splitting them could also make sense, since the questioner accepted the old one. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2015 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Something to be aware of is that only moderators and yourself can view your flag history so anyone else gets a 404 not found for that page, you can open this page in a private browser window to see what I mean. Although I guess from the rest of the question you asked for it to be deleted and they just said posting a another answer was OK instead? \$\endgroup\$
    – PeterJ
    Jul 2, 2015 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterJ Oh! Sorry. I didn't remember the flagging history was private. Yep! You guessed right. I flagged because I thought an otherwise legitimate and good answer from a reputable user should have been an edit. The mod actually replied it was an helpful flag, but that multiple answers were OK. I'll remove that link, thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Jul 2, 2015 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


Since I received no other answer to my question and the feedback from the few comments didn't provide evidence I could be doing something wrong, I'll do the split I refer to in my question.

Thanks to those who commented and gave useful insight and suggestions.


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