This new user surprised me with a couple of informed and well-witten answers. I am the last to complain about a good writing style, but, curious as I ever am, I copied a few fragant fragments of that fluently flowing phraesology into Google. Entire sentences appeared to be copied from existing material - blog posts, forum answers, and Slide Shares that everyone else seem to share as "original" material.

I am aware that just about every question here on the World Wide Web can be answered with a couple of well-chosen paragraphs from elsewhere on that same Internet (and so I'm going to look for a few choicy paragraphs to insert in here). (What about this:)

Loving something means that sometimes you have to decide what is really best for it, no matter how difficult that can be.

At what point does one declare, "no, you did not "write" this answer, you Googled and copied the most tasty text?"


1 Answer 1


In the future you can flag it for mod attention and we could add:

enter image description here

or you can call out the user in the comments and tell them that the answer was copied from multiple sources to please cite. Some people do down vote for this as an indication that it was not original. We have had some sites come here and say it came from them and we will review the issue and address accordingly. You could always make an edit to include the sources but that may be too much and is up to you.

If it was me I would downvote, leave a comment explaining the downvote and request the user to cite sources, give it a 24-48 hours, review the user's account to see if they come back and if they do I leave the downvote and go ahead and make the edit leaving an additional comment I made the edit for you.

To flag for a mod click the flag link and go to the bottom:

enter image description here

ask to please ad a post notice of:

enter image description here

  • Are you saying that one of the pre-defined flag options would be this? Is so that's pretty rad.
    – Hanna
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:20
  • Let's try this out... I just flagged this question for not attributing the quote "Loving something means that sometimes you have to decide what is really best for it, no matter how difficult that can be" :-P Jun 5, 2015 at 11:04
  • @user568458 I can see the flag, but I don't see a flag reason, so at first it confused the heck out of me. All I saw was the quote.
    – Vincent
    Jun 5, 2015 at 12:50
  • 1
    @Johannes It's one of the annotations mods can leave on answers. There are three of them: citation needed (which would be this one), current event or insufficient explanation. They don't affect rep, and they get attached to the answer until a mod removes it.
    – Yisela
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:07
  • @Yisela Thanks, but could a user flag an answer as needing an annotation like this? Would we need to use the "other" field when we flag?
    – Hanna
    Jun 5, 2015 at 16:24
  • @Johannes edited for you
    – user9447
    Jun 5, 2015 at 16:27
  • Thanks @Darth_Vader, so it's as I thought, we would use the "other" section and then notify the mods that citations are needed.
    – Hanna
    Jun 5, 2015 at 16:30
  • Thanks! Did as you said. I was wondering where those fancy comments came from.
    – Jongware
    Jun 8, 2015 at 0:40
  • just another secret hidden mod feature, lol
    – user9447
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .