I'm sure other users have noticed that people asking questions here are also posting the same questions in reddit, usually after few minutes or hours. The result is very often that OP receives the same (or a very similar) answer in both sites. In my opinion, this behavior shows disregard for the time and effort of those that are providing answers in both sites.

Should there be a policy to close such questions or some other mechanism to disincentive such behavior?


I should have specified that cross-posting and referencing the other site (usually Reddit) is perfectly good etiquette as exemplified by the links posted by @D. Ben Knoble below. So I'm wondering if there is a policy in place to deal with cases in which links are not included to let others know the question was cross-posted to other site.


2 Answers 2


I think what it really comes down to is "what is the purpose of this site?" If you view this site as purely a way to help out people who are experiencing a particular problem then sure, I can see how cross-posting can be considered annoying.

If your view this site as a long-term useful "database" of Vi/Vim knowledge then I think it doesn't really matter.

And sure, helping out people is certainly part of this site, but I don't consider that to be the primary goal.

Today I received an upvote on an answer I posted in 2015. Yesterday I got two upvotes for answers from 2016 and 2019. This is pretty typical of most days, where I get updates on answers from years ago. Many of these answers are not novel in the sense that no one else ever documented such a thing before or that they contain some sort of spectacular new insight. It just documents a way to get a specific task done, or solve a specific problem. Sometimes I maybe did a better somewhat better job than what already existed out there, other times I didn't. What does matter is that it's all available right here in a format which makes it comparatively easy to find.

Is cross-posting really that different from "an answer already exists out there", other than the smaller time difference? Is that time difference really important?

Asking questions is contributing; I can't stress that enough. I've learned a lot about Vim because people asked questions I hadn't thought of before. A whole bunch of plugins have been inspired by questions here. Without people asking interesting questions this site would be dead. Does it really matter that someone also asked the same on Reddit? Does it matter that it was today or a year ago? Does it take away anything from any answer I provide here, which will (hopefully) be useful for people for years to come?

Now, if you are primarily here just to help people out then that's completely fair; everyone has their own motivations for posting here, and I can see how cross-posting can be frustrating with that outlook.

Purely from a pragmatic point of view, cross-posting is going to happen no matter what we do; neither of us can change it. It's just a fact of life I'm afraid. So instead of being frustrated about it, it's better to just accept it for what it is. This is true for much of life, really; sometimes easier said than done, but in the grand scheme of things, is it really important?

When I lived in Asia I very quickly learned that expecting people to mostly follow traffic rules similar to Europe would not be good for my blood pressure; memes about "Asian traffic" are kinda true. So I stopped expecting people to drive like a sane person and my default expectation was for them to drive like a !@#$&. After that there was no longer much to get angry about. It sounds ridiculously simply, but it actually works. Funny how that works 🤷

So in short, just answer questions you think are interesting and don't worry about it.

  • I think both views ("long-term useful database" and "... a way to help people") are complementary. A database cannot be useful if it doesn't help people in some way. The annoyance of having users posting the same question almost simultaneously on different sites affects the willingness of others to keep contributing to the site. If I suspect any given question was already answered elsewhere, then why should I post an answer here? I can investigate the issue if I find it interesting without posting an answer (cont)
    – r_31415
    Aug 4, 2022 at 20:17
  • In response to your question on the importance of time differences, I believe it is important because if a question was answered a long time ago, then there was enough time to prevent duplication of effort among users.
    – r_31415
    Aug 4, 2022 at 20:17

Current policy is that cross-posting to other StackExchange sites is heavily discouraged (cf. the ability to migrate questions).

However, cross-posting is generally accepted to other sites (e.g., Reddit). See Am I allowed to indicate crosspost links in my questions on Stack Exchange?, Where in my cross-posted question should I mention that the question is cross-posted? on StackExchange Meta. Note that keeping posts synchronized is difficult, and answers cross-posted from one site to another need to include proper attribution.

  • Yes, that's fair when users cross-post and include links to the other site to prevent duplication of effort. Unfortunately, this is not the norm. I should have specified this in my question. Is there a policy when references to the other sites are not included?
    – r_31415
    Aug 3, 2022 at 19:56
  • 1
    @r_31415 not that I'm aware of. Suggestions as answers can however be voted up or down to build consensus.
    – D. Ben Knoble Mod
    Aug 3, 2022 at 20:10

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