I reviewed the first post of a user (this answer). They asked a question on SO and posted an answer a day later (and marked it as the accepted answer).

Then today he answered a question here on GDSE with essentially the exact contents of his Stack Overflow answer (along with a link to it).

Would have it been better to only give a small explanation, with a link to the existing SO answer, or is copy/pasting the text of the answer on SO appropriate?

I thought the second option would be the most appropriate (because you don't want to oblige your readers to go somewhere else), but at the same time, duplicating content on Stack Exchange seems unnecessary.


3 Answers 3


I think it's fine to cross-post answers if they're still useful and relevant, and copying the full text should be encouraged.

Link-only answers are bad, even if they link to another Stack Exchange site. If the answer on Stack Overflow gets deleted, or someone edits it to be more relevant to the SO question, we'll lose an answer!

Stack Exchange user contributions are CC BY-SA 3.0-licensed, so someone could even re-post someone else's answers, with attribution. I think this is a good thing.


Cross-posting answers is bad. It's already bad enough that the question is a cross-post (as it generally must effectively be, if the same answer text is applicable); instead of actively harming the network by diluting the available information, improve it by writing a better answer to the question.

You can cross-post portions of an answer if they make sense to use as a starting point, but in general we want to elevate the level of discourse, particularly as it is related to game development, on our site and demonstrate what makes us useful and unique within the StackExchange ecosystem.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ We're making contradictory-sounding initial points, but I think we're mostly preaching the same thing. If writing a good answer involves copying a bunch of stuff from another SE site, it's still a good answer, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Anko
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure; if you're re-using (but building on) cited/quoted material from another answer. If you just copy-pasting an answer with zero (or minor) fixups, I don't think that's good. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 19:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree. If somebody already has a perfect answer that fits both situations, I think they shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel (or their own answer). \$\endgroup\$
    – Superdoggy
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 18:17

It would be better to link to the original answer and explain in detail how it can be adapted to the question. However, since it's an answer and not a question, I would prefer to let the voters decide the quality of its composition. If another answer is more clear, but states the same facts, the overall better answer should win out democratically.


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