Almost everything in the answer to this question is just entirely wrong (and yet it still doesn't seem to be downvoted fast enough, as it was still at +1 before I came along):


The answer isn't out of date, or an untested guess, it is simply wrong.

Should we just downvote it and let it "disappear naturally" or is it better to remove it manually?

  • 7
    Nope, it's not up to mods to judge which answers are "right" and which are "wrong, should be deleted". This is an appropriate case for down votes. Jul 25 '13 at 19:18

Answers that are wrong should be downvoted. Sometimes the community will consider an answer correct, shower it with upvotes and then realize it was wrong all along. Only in those cases will I consider deleting the answer.

At the end of the day, seeing an answer downvoted into gray text basically means "Do not listen to people who say this: they are wrong." (This is why I'm quite uneasy with people who decide to downvote duplicate answers, instead of just leaving them at +0.)

  • 3
    Isn't it our policy to delete duplicate answers that provide nothing extra?
    – Frank
    Jul 25 '13 at 19:40
  • 1
    @fbueckert Perhaps badp is talking about answers that are duplicated from a different question?
    – Batophobia
    Jul 25 '13 at 19:46
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    @fbueckert I think it's a dangerous path to take. We can say essentially the same thing, but argue it in different ways, or be more or less clear about it; it doesn't matter who answered first then but who gives the better answer.
    – badp
    Jul 25 '13 at 23:25
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    @badp Most often, the late answer is word vomit from an unregistered user, that says nothing current answers haven't already. If, for some reason, it actually provides quality beyond that of existing answers, I say keep it. It's the crap I have no issue jettisoning.
    – Frank
    Jul 26 '13 at 0:14
  • Like this junk that just got posted
    – Frank
    Jul 26 '13 at 0:22
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    @fbu I'm fully and painfully aware but you have to make sure that what you mean matches what you write. "Disallow duplicate answers" doesn't mean "Disallow shitty duplicate answers posted ten months later by 1 reputation users which add no content on the site."
    – badp
    Jul 26 '13 at 2:16
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    I hadn't clarified. Sorry, I was expecting you to read my mind. :P
    – Frank
    Jul 26 '13 at 2:18
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    @fbu but once you clarify is it really necessary that the answer be a dupe anyway?
    – badp
    Jul 26 '13 at 2:21

Although it is the general SE policy to not delete information that is wrong, but rather to downvote it, I don't personally see any advantage to leaving incorrect information on the site.

If an answer is blatantly providing misinformation, leaving it intact is a disservice to the Internet at large. Search engines don't preserve formatting when they present information, so depending on how it's being viewed, it could be misinterpreted even if it's at -50.

I think it would be advantageous for everyone to delete these kinds of answers. Answers that are blatantly, patently wrong do not deserve to exist on the site. Answers that do their best but just don't live up to our high quality standards are a different story.

  • 1
    What's blatantly wrong to some may not be blatantly wrong to less experienced readers. If something sounds true but isn't, a good answer will mention that and provide several screenfuls of proof and still get downv--- wait a second, I forgot where I was going there. Anyway, failing a sufficiently good answer having a wrong answer confirmed wrong through peer review is not necessarily a bad thing and doesn't confuse search engines; those index the answer order and post score and comments too!
    – badp
    Jul 26 '13 at 2:20

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