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In Sleeping in a noisy environment, quite a lot of the answers are almost duplicates or very slight variations of the theme of ear plugs.

How do we handle such cases? Should we downvote the similar answers, and if so, which to choose as a keeper? If downvoting, should one comment? Which other options do we have?

Edit: In addition, how to handle when multiple answers are quite similar? What options do we have to consolidate answers?

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I removed the exact duplicates.

In these cases, please use a custom flag on the question saying that many duplicate answers exist. Since the NAA (Not An Answer) and VLQ (Very Low Quality) flags are not generally reviewed with consideration of other answers, they do not work.

Also, I will use this opportunity to reiterate part of the manifesto: Each answer should contain only one solution! On this question, for example, an answer may recommend ear plugs, while another recommends white noise. This helps not only in the cases of duplicate answers, but also lets users vote on specifically the solutions they like.

  • And NAA is "Not an answer" flag – holroy May 31 '15 at 18:58
  • @holroy Correct. I clarified that in my answer. – Mooseman May 31 '15 at 19:00
  • Hmm... I don't see which you have removed, but there are still 4 almost identical answers (including my own). Do we have any options to consolidate these, or something similar? – holroy May 31 '15 at 19:16
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    @holroy I cleaned up two more, including yours. Not all similar answers are duplicates, however: some contained more detail than others and for that reason can stand side-by-side. The community should choose the better answers through voting. – Mooseman May 31 '15 at 20:59

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