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In answer to a recent question, a user has posted two different (conflicting and quite short) answers. I'm wondering if this is recommended behavior.

The question has the form

What is the best way to X?

and the two answers are distinct suggestions. When asked about this, the user's explanation is:

They're incompatible: The OP asked for the best. I have two candidates, so I gave them both.

I would have expected that if one has different ideas or possible suggestions, these should be combined into a single answer. The possible problems that I see with posting two answers are:

  • It's confusing. If I am a reader or the OP, I wonder, "these answers seem really different -- which one does the answerer really agree with? Which one is right?"

  • It could be used to farm reputation. I highly doubt this is the intention in this case, and this is probably not a very effective way to farm reputation, but I feel weird about upvoting both answers, even though I may agree with both, because that is double the amount of reputation that would normally be given to an answer that I agree with.

Question: What does the community think?

  • 1. Is it recommended to post two answers in a situation like this?

  • 2. If I agree with both should I upvote both?


For reference, here is the post I am referring to.

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  • I don't post this an answer because I haven't yet given much thought to the problem. As far as I recall, there's no official guidance on this kind of situation, but I agree with you that it's suboptimal and potentially confusing. For what concerns how to vote, recall that voting is a personal choice: if you think that both are useful, you can certainly vote both if this is your wish. – Massimo Ortolano Apr 3 '20 at 14:39
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    For what it's worth, I flagged both as Not An Answer (up to the mods to decide on that one..) and downvoted them both. Not so much because they are different distinct answers from the same person, but because neither of them explains the thought process or even bothers to help OP distinguish between them. I upvoted the third answer because it does. – Bryan Krause Apr 3 '20 at 16:05
  • I don't see a problem. Reputation is useless and random anyway and a comment takes away the confusion people could or could not gave the answers – user111388 Apr 3 '20 at 16:34
  • An upvote to the question means yea and a downvote no, right? – user111388 Apr 3 '20 at 16:42
  • Where is the duplicate question? – user111388 Apr 4 '20 at 17:36

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