I have a problem with objectively identifying duplicate entries in my challenges, so usually I just don't even try. Some of them are really obvious, but some of them are not. Some solutions are too obfuscated for me to even understand. The moment I start to disqualify some of them, I have to be fair about it.

How can I objectively identify duplicate entries?

I am answering this question myself, but my solution has multiple issues. I hope to get better solutions from the community.

• Why not require a description, and identify based on the description? Aug 22, 2014 at 14:50
• @NathanMerrill The question then becomes "How can I objectively identify duplicate descriptions?". That hardly seems like a improvement. I know a duplicate when I see it, but some people get offended when you accuse their answer. I just want something solid (objective) that I can use in my defense. Aug 22, 2014 at 15:00
• there's many rules a user could break (the most common being the ones listed in the challenge). The OP should be the one to enforce those. Aug 22, 2014 at 15:24
• @NathanMerrill I'm not saying the OP shouldn't enforce the rules. I'm simply asking for a way to enforce them objectively. Aug 22, 2014 at 15:42
• Eh, I guess we'll agree to disagree. The OP is always right seems objective to me. Aug 22, 2014 at 15:43
• @NathanMerrill What if the OP doesn't have a complete understanding of every single answer posted on every single challenge? I'm including descriptions here. Not all of us are mathematically inclined, and some people speak in jargon. Aug 22, 2014 at 15:44
• @NathanMerrill Also, the claim that "the OP is always right" is false. I am the OP of this question. The sky is brown. Aug 22, 2014 at 15:47

Add a comment if you think it's a duplicate answer and ask people to up vote the comment. No loss of reputation for the person who answered, still able to get the opinion of the public. Also, you don't get the muddling of the opinions of others (as in, whether or not they think it's a good answer, regardless of its status as duplicate). Other than that, the same issues apply for this as the voting on the answer solution.

• This method is strictly objective. This is the only thing going for it, but hey, it's enough to keep popularity contests going, right?

• The method by which users cast their votes is strictly subjective
• This would have to be posted on every single challenge who wished to apply the rule

Encourage users to downvote the newer of two entries that they think are too similar, in addition to their normal voting routines. Then, disqualify all submissions with less than negative X votes.

I propose X = 3.