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If an answer was correct when it was posted, but it's no longer correct now, what is the correct procedure to follow? (as long as you didn't write it)

I should just downvote it, or comment it, or flag it, or what? (assuming a correct answer has already been posted and upvoted)

marked as duplicate by user106385, Robotnik, galacticninja, Frank, Kodama Sep 22 '15 at 15:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • @Timelord64 it is somewhat similar, but definitely not the same question. You assumed that you would be able to write a new answer if needed, while here I explicitly said "assuming a correct answer has already been posted and upvoted" – o0'. Sep 20 '15 at 21:54
  • My question still apples to answers that already have an alternate correct answer, as does the answers to the question. Tge only real differance is that I suggest an alternative solution, initially. – user106385 Sep 20 '15 at 21:57
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I think the best option is to initially leave a comment saying "Hey, as of XX/YY/ZZ this is out of date. Would you mind updating?" That way, anyone who is looking quickly can see this isn't accurate anymore, and you give the answerer a chance to edit in new information. After a day or so, I'd say it's fine to downvote (and if you'd like, leaving a comment about how it's no longer accurate). If you know the current answer, you could make a new answer.

The initial comment is by no means required, but I think it's a nice gesture. An example of this in action would be one of my Destiny answers - a significant system in the game was recently overhauled, and one of my previous answers was completely incorrect. Thanks to a comment, I was notified and updated my answer to reflect the new state of the game. Honestly, I barely even remembered answering that question (it was asked several months ago), so without the comment my highly voted but no longer accurate answer would have probably lingered for a while.

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    You should always leave a comment if you come across an outdated answer, but not because it gives the user a chance to update, but so that anyone else seeing the answer knows that it's no longer applicable. – Wipqozn Sep 20 '15 at 15:42
  • Here is another good example of 'leaving a comment to update' working from my history. I was the commenter in this scenario. Note that, whilst it's worth just leaving a 'This is out of date' comment, it can also be useful to provide some updated info as well. This obviously wont work in all cases, but if the OP doesn't come back to update it, at least the info is there – Robotnik Sep 20 '15 at 15:57
  • You should be downvoting immediately, to let other users know that the answer is not valid anymore. You should also leave a comment to inform the OP. If the user updates their answer,you can remove the downvote, or even upvote. – user106385 Sep 20 '15 at 22:12
  • @Timelord64 - If you've previously upvoted the answer, your vote will be locked in unless the answer is edited, meaning you will be unable to downvote it initially. Just a nice corner case to throw a spanner in the works :) – Robotnik Sep 21 '15 at 1:10
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    I think just adding a comment about how the question is out of date is far more useful to the OP and future readers over downvoting. Some users never come back (to correct the answer), plus as @robotnik mentions you may not have the ability to downvote. Another problem is that under different scenarios you may not be informed of an update to the answer. Generally, downvoting adds a lot more maintenance overhead to all concerned. – user101016 Sep 21 '15 at 13:21

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