I keep running into a lot of neat questions that really get me thinking about some of the stories I'm creating and I've run into a bit a conundrum. I don't want to steal credit for those who had the original thought, but there's pieces of others' questions I'd like to expand upon and maybe get an answer to a question I have.

For instance I'd like to ask a question about the effects of stopping time on the electrons inside of atoms, based on the effects of photons in this question, but I'd like to be sure that there's no objections to asking essentially an almost (but not quite) duplicate question before I do.

Is asking questions like this frowned upon?

  • $\begingroup$ If you can make a quality question, there is no reason not to. This is a collaborative site, the final goal is to build a database people can use to solve their problems. But getting too close to dupe territory is also not a problem. People view close votes for duplicates as a bad thing, and they are not. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


Just ask. Link to the original question in your question. Use a single sentence to clarify why it's not a duplicate.

You're not (to borrow a concept from video games) kill stealing; the site is here to help people find answers, not to rack up a high score in points.

It's extremely polite of you to wonder about this, but rest assured that you won't be stepping on any toes.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, it would be stepping on someones toes if the other person was planning to ask a similar question and then would get their question VTC'd for being a duplicate.. $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 19:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @dot_Sp0T If they were planning on asking a duplicate then... somebody beat them to the punch, and the can use the other person's question's answers. If the other person's question doesn't actually address what they wanted to ask, on the other hand, then it's not a duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – Ranger
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the answer, and accepted for the comment. Thanks for clarifying that for me! $\endgroup$
    – Anoplexian
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 19:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Reputation and the gamification is SECONDARY to building an expert advise Q&A site. There is no kill stealing, indeed. Every thing in the stack network is CC-BY-SA 3.0 anyway. So the only legal requirement is to cite your sources if you are taking from other questions. No need to ask permission (permission was implied when content was submitted). Oterwise, rip away. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 15:44

I personally would ask the Original Poster if they've thought about expanding the question into area xy and if not, if they'd mind me doing so.

Naturally there's a chance that they ill not react, but you gave them the chance and they did not take it. Right?

  • $\begingroup$ I'd ask the OP only because I wouldn't want to steal a question they'd been planning on asking later. If they hadn't even thought to ask it yet, then I don't think you'd need their permission to take the initiative. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh the second part is mainly being polite. I was brought up like that.. $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ The permission to edit and reuse the content was granted when the OP clicked the submit button. You can be polite and ask to chip in, but that is not required. Give credit where credit is due and build up the site. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Mindwin well, the answer was about personal preference in the first place, and even though i do not have to, i usually will ask bc that's me $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 16:41

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