I had asked this question on http://programmers.stackexchange.com about a month ago about NULL causing database problems. Today I saw a very similar question here which was asked just 2 days ago(It would explain how I suddenly got a flurry of upvotes recently). It even starts with a very similar sentence.

Can this be considered as plagiarism in stackexchange context? The community wiki answer for this question contains link to my question.

2 Answers 2


No, we do not consider it to be plagiarism.

The question was written in the author's own words, so that is pretty much the end of the matter, as far as Stack Exchange questions are concerned.

No doubt many people reading the BBC article would have had the same basic question raised in their mind. It is not surprising that more than one person in the world chose to ask about it on one Stack Exchange site or another. There are probably other similar questions posted in response to the same article on non-SE sites as well.

There is nothing to suggest we should do anything other than assume good intentions here.

Speaking more generally, if a pattern were to develop, the community might decide that a user's contributions were becoming disruptive or just not in the best interests of the site, which could have consequences. I would stress that there is no suggestion that is the case here.

Relax and enjoy the extra views and upvotes the link to your question has generated.

  • First of all I'm not complaining here. Secondly, if an idea is copied from someone else that is also plagiarism even if the person who has copied has used his/her own words.
    – Nitish
    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:51
  • 7
    @Nitish your question is good, but I think your assumption is wrong. Plagiarism means copying someone's artistic/technical/creative work, not having the same problems or asking the same questions. What is the original work in your question that you think was plagiarised? Eg: If I have the same question as Paul it doesn't mean I plagiarise his work, it just means I was maybe studying the same problem.
    – Marian
    Apr 21, 2016 at 13:44

All contributions are under the Creative Commons license, where

You are free to:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

There's a link at the bottom of each page.

Of course, if attribution has been omitted that's naughty.

  • There's nothing to indicate that the author of the question on one site was even aware of, let alone copying or adapting, the question from the other site in which case no attribution is needed. Apr 28, 2016 at 7:03

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