I'm finding such cases recently, especially when going through my history of Low Quality Posts, I found that many answers that were:

  • flagged as Very Low Quality
  • are totally, and maybe dangerously wrong, but try to answer the question (a), or are wrong and buried in irrevelant content (b, rather rare)

  • heavily downvoted

  • are not spam or rude/offensive, and/or should not be deleted as not an answer
  • and got deleted

Many answers in the review queue got a lot of recommend deletion votes. Though there is no recommend deletion reason about partially or totally wrong answers.

Wrong answers should not be deleted except the most extreme cases; We have downvotes for dealing with wrong answers. To conclude, this is my proposal:

  • Do not delete wrong answers, even if they are mis-worded. There have been some meta posts about this, but still, this happens.

  • In really extreme cases (a big part of cases b) described above), delete answers that are literally totally and/or dangerously wrong, really bad-worded and mis-speled, are full of irrelevant content or spam, and possibly are in between other answers (got upvoted).

  • I am not exactly sure what kind of problem you're trying to illustrate. Are you saying that it's a problem that wrong answers are downvoted and voted for deletion?
    – Yuuki
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 21:18
  • There's a massive difference between wrong answers, and answers that don't actually attempt to answer the question. The lower the quality, the stricter I hold it to literally answering the question.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 21:57
  • 4
    Is there a reason you have bolded like 90 percent of this?
    – user11502
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 3:49
  • @Ash Yes. IMO it looks better. But edited it out, since it seems most people disagree with me on this.
    – user143228
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 8:24
  • @Yuuki I'm proposing that wrong answers should not be deleted, only in extreme cases.
    – user143228
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 8:25
  • @Frank Yes. But answers that try to answer the question, and are wrong, and don't cover the page up (don't have upvotes or aren't 50% of the answers) should not be deleted, but downvoted.
    – user143228
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 8:34
  • That's why it takes six users to delete it. If its that low quality, why do we want to keep it? You've made no arguments as to why we should. Its crap, its wrong, there's nothing worth saving. SE is about signal to noise. Wrong answers are noise.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 13:26
  • One thing worth noting that might be confusing the issue: posts can get pushed into the review queue if it hits certain criteria, not only by flagging it. I wouldn't advocate flagging wrong answers, but if it gets pushed into the queue by down voting, I wholeheartedly support regular users recommending deletion. That's why its there. Mods shouldn't be actioning it, but the community most definitely should
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 15:19
  • @Frank You just hit the nail on the head of this problem now, by your last comment (totally agree). That totally changes the situation here - maybe it should be "Please don't flag wrong answers". Or does it?
    – user143228
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 17:06
  • 1
    I think in some cases a wrong answer is useful. The downvotes and comments saying it doesn't work means I won't end up wasting my time trying it. And yes, I do see such answers in the review queue. I reject these on the basis that downvotes should be the primary method for showing that an answer is wrong. Other than that, crap answers (low quality, answering wrong question etc) should be removed.
    – user101016
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 19:30
  • 1
    @camelCase Yep. That's my point - use downvotes to mark wrong answers and delete / recommend deletion votes to mark non-answers. Wrong answers say what NOT to do - they are helpful many times.
    – user143228
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


Normally, you're right: users and moderators shouldn't go around deleting wrong answers. However, there are some extreme cases where a questions answer section is mostly just low quality crap answers, such as here (14 answers, 7 deleted) and here (13 answers, 10 deleted). When a question is overrun by that many low quality answers it doesn't benefit anyone. All it does is clog up the answers section. When I come across situations like those, where most of the answers are low quality, then I step in and perform some clean up, because as a moderator part of my job is to handle those "Exception cases", and 75% of a questions answer being crap is definitely one such exception case.

Now, onto your specific examples. For your first answer, I was the deleting user there, and I deleted it because it wasn't actually answering the question. It may have been attempting to answer a question, but it wasn't attempting to answer the question the post was about, so it just noise. We actually have a meta about deleting answers like this here.

As for your second answer, I agree that one could have just been left alone, and I disagree that it's not an answer. If I came across that I would have rejected the flag, and left it alone (now if there were 10 low quality answers all saying the same thing, I might perform clean up like stated above, but that's not the case here). However, it's not adding any additional information, is by a 1-rep unregistered user (who rarely ever return to the site), and contains a bunch of irrelevant information. So, although I wouldn't have deleted it myself, I don't see any harm done by it's deletion.

  • "14 answers, 7 deleted" means 7 out of 14 answers got deleted, or 7 out of 21 answers?
    – user143228
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 8:26
  • 1
    @RudolfL.Jelínek 14 total answers, 7 of them deleted (so 50% deleted).
    – user11502
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 14:54

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .