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I periodically go through my old answers, looking for those that received no votes and no commentary, with a strong bias toward deleting them. I figure if this site is a resource to be searched for questions and answers, I owe it to the community to delete my share of the chaff.

Does anyone else do this? Is it even remotely possible that this should be encouraged? I'm talking self-policing only.

Edit: I have seen others do this, and appreciated it, so I thought it worth asking about.

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4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Yes - I do this. It's one of the reasons I've asked for the ability to see separate up and down votes so I can see those answers that truly have no votes. If an answer has equal numbers of up and down votes (usually 1!) I'd like the chance to be able to correct the answer.

I also only delete where my answer is just one of several that say the same thing. If there are no (or only one or two) other answers then I will leave it.

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I do it as well (when I want to procrastinate) –  Tom Ritter Jun 30 '09 at 15:13
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I suggested on UV that we change rep recalcs so when they happen rep for deleted answers doesn't effectively get removed. Specifically, rep for a deleted answer/question would be the higher of 0 and the net rep from the post.

As it stands, if someone gets a couple of votes on an answer where there is a better version or theres just lots of the same versions there is a disincentive--however small--to deleting it. We should remove that disincentive.

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+1 I agree. I've deleted questions with up to 5 upvotes because I felt people were upvoting me for the wrong reasons and the answer was not correct in the context of the question. I'd hate to be penalized for that. –  Paolo Bergantino Jul 3 '09 at 23:33
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I'd say leave them there. It is a collective base of knowledge and even though a particular answer may not be voted up or have commentary. There is still merit to have your details there.

As for down voted answers, that's a different story. 8^D

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This question speaks to a desire for support in finding such question to delete them. So you're certainly not only in the pursuit. However, I'm not sure this is behavior that should be encouraged. They're your answers, so you're welcome to do as you choose. But generally speaking, I think un-upvoted answers are unlikely to be seen after the first hour or two of the posts existence. And from that point on, someone who is actually reading through all the answers, is probably looking at a similar but not exactly the same issue, and therefore, unless the answer is incorrect or bad practice, it could potentially provide a meaningful piece of information.

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Hey that's my question! :) –  ChrisF Jun 30 '09 at 15:12
    
yes it is, seemed relevant to this question, and didn't know if you'd be here posting the link yourself –  Timothy Carter Jun 30 '09 at 15:13
    
Far too much time on my hands at the moment :( –  ChrisF Jun 30 '09 at 15:14
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you might be able to say that about everyone who spends their time here on meta –  Timothy Carter Jun 30 '09 at 15:16
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