So, there is a question that has 1 answer, which the user has already accepted. For me the answer is not bad. It is similar to what I would answer but has no Backing.

Funny enough, it has several upvotes, I always fail to understand the logic behind that. In any case, originally I was going to answer the question but when I saw this other anwer that was similar, but without backing. So I didn't post my answer, because I wasn't sure if I was going to add too much value. I waited several days and it still has no backing.

The user is new I think, and since I am not a moderator I didn't want to seem rude telling him to add backing or so, I don't normally do those things, plus several people upvoted the answer. Maybe is is so common that the backing is obvious. Like it obviously comes from his experience? Or maybe it is there and I am not seeing it.

In any case, would it be all right in these circunstances to post a similar answer, offering my backing, that is my background and some additional advice?

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    Note: there are no such things as an "obvious" backing. If you don't see a backing in an answer than either 1) the backing is missing. Or 2) Things aren't clear and they should be edited to make it clearer. In any case, feel free to leave a comment asking for clarification. Things here are moderated by the community and moderator are suppose to do as little as possible (eg: only do the stuf that regular user can't do). – Ael Dec 3 '19 at 17:14
  • Also, if you things an answer is lacking, you should definitively flag it as "Not an Answer" so it can go through the review queue and the community can decide if the answer is indeed lacking or not. Also, if you are hesitant to flag an answer/leave a comment. Feel free to drop by chat first. – Ael Dec 3 '19 at 17:18
  • @Ælis I happen to be "blind" I don't know what the correct word is. Sometimes I just don't things that are there, so I am afriad to flag something when it actually has the backing I am not seeing. Specially if it has upvotes, I mean the user wil probably well it is obvious I do this in this and that situation. – Mykazuki Dec 3 '19 at 17:24
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    Don't look at upvote too closely. They don't always mean that much. Also, if you think you are being "blind", then it's better to leave a comment saying "Hey there! I might have missed it, but how do you know that...?" and to flag too. However, if you don't want to comment, you shouldn't be afraid to flag. Even if it's "for nothing". If you flag something that shouldn't be deleted, then it won't. However, if you don't flag something that should be deleted, then it will stay up longer and might never actually be deleted. – Ael Dec 3 '19 at 17:43
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    I think scohe already have a great answer but I'd like to add a few notes here: moderation is the work of every user who's willing to do so. If you think an answer lacks backing up, feel free to make the answerer aware, and flag for review so that other users can review it in the queues too. We mods actually take care of very few "invalid" answers, as the community already does a great job at it. – avazula Dec 3 '19 at 20:49
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    Now, the policy about backup changed a bit more than a year ago, so maybe the upvoters aren't caught up with the changes yet... Or maybe they disagree with it and think back-up-less answers are self sufficient. In your case answering would be perfectly valid since you said that the current answer lacks citations (and therefore is not self-sufficient yet). And as scohe said, I don't think there's anything wrong in confirming sth that was already said w/ different backup- it only proves that's a good solution. – avazula Dec 3 '19 at 20:52
  • Old meta, but relevant: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1504 – Em C Dec 3 '19 at 22:10
  • @Ælis do you flag it as a not answer or moderation attention? Because I mean the answer clearly tries to answer it just lacks backing. – Mykazuki Dec 4 '19 at 2:27
  • As "Not an Answer" so that it can go through the review queue and be moderated by the community. – Ael Dec 4 '19 at 7:54
  • @avazula I haven't done it in this site much because I am still getting used to the rules. Also when a post has several upvotes it makes me second guess myself, maybe I am seeing things wrong and I don't want to make the answerer feel bad because I am just blind to things. I followed Ælis and flagged it as not an answer to see if others agree. – Mykazuki Dec 4 '19 at 14:21
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    @Mykazuki if you're unsure you can drop by chat and ask the regular users in there, we're always happy to help :) – avazula Dec 4 '19 at 14:26
  • @Ælis I flaged as you told me and the person added a backing that made me feel my answer was totally not needed. – Mykazuki Dec 4 '19 at 23:32

I think this question can be generalized to: "Should I answer a question if my answer is the same but my logic/reasoning is different from an earlier answer?"

And to that I'd say absolutely! What we care most about on this site is the backup and reasoning behind your answer. That's where we really get to learn more about the solution and interpersonal skills in general.

If you're attempting this, I'd make sure to acknowledge that your solution is similar to that in another answer to make it clear that you're not plagiarizing. Something like:

I'd suggest something similar to [@Mykazuki's answer](link/to/answer/). However, while they focus on [...], I'd [...].

However, I think there are a couple things to be careful of:

  1. Your answer still needs to be able to stand on its own. It shouldn't just be commentary on another answer. You need to fully fledge it out.
  2. Don't just add another voice to the hoard. On a recent HNQ we had an extremely large number of answers all with the same advice and extremely similar backup. If you see a few answers all offering the same advice already, even if your backup is different, it may not be a good idea to give the same solution yet again.
  3. Make sure your backup is sufficiently unique. This is a bit more subjective, so it'll probably be up to community moderation (through comments/flags) to determine. But make sure that you aren't just rewording an answer. Saying "I had different backup!" isn't an catch-all excuse for writing a duplicate answer.
  • ahh thanks a lot! Yes I was hesitant because someone could say "but you are just saying the same with some differences". – Mykazuki Dec 3 '19 at 17:23
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    I think the key there is referencing the other answer, like I mention @Myka. But if someone says that, you can send them my way :) – scohe001 Dec 3 '19 at 17:25
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    I'm ok with this ~80%, caveats being - I think it should be more clear that answers still need to be self-contained (e.g. if you write "what they said" but their answer isn't backed up, it'll probably get deleted and then yours won't make sense). And I don't really want to encourage near-duplicate answers (like on a recent HNQ, got quite a few "I'm an atheist and here's my feelings about prayer, so anyways, same as what everyone else said").. after a point it's not adding much, and commenting to suggest additions would be better. – Em C Dec 3 '19 at 22:18
  • @EmC good calls, all. I tried to put them into my own words. Let me know if you think it needs to be edited further or if there are any other caveats. – scohe001 Dec 3 '19 at 22:32
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    nice, thanks for adding!! +20% :) – Em C Dec 3 '19 at 22:36

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