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In my opinion, an upvoted, incorrect answer being accepted can do a great deal of damage; after all, people will think it is correct because the many people who upvoted it cannot all be wrong. How can I flag the question to request the attention of an expert in a subject?

I am aware of a related question, but that question is concerned with a downvoted answer being accepted.

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Just out of curiosity: why a downvote? –  EFraim Aug 3 '09 at 14:04

4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

An "expert" has no additional control over accepted answers, only the question asker can mark an answer as accepted (save for bounties). Therefore, the best you can do is provide what you believe the right answer is, and if you believe it's appropriate, leave a comment on the accepted answer briefly pointing out the issue someone might run into if they attempt to use that solution. It is the responsibility of the consumer of the information, to protect themselves from bad code by using all the information provided. There is no way you can force someone to read past the accepted answer, but if someone chooses not to, then they have failed to do their part. Your part is to provide a correct answer, and comment on flaws as necessary. Hopefully people viewing the question in search of a solution will look through multiple answers, see yours, and understand why it is the better solution. Additionally, hopefully they upvote your answer as well, so that it floats up right underneath the accepted answer.

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It appears the incorrect answer has been accepted here. Could we have an expert come in and address this? –  Jeremy Stein Sep 29 '09 at 18:23

If the answer is getting numerous upvotes and then it gets selected as the accepted answer, why are you so sure that it is not correct?

And if it is not correct, then make your own answer and say why it is not correct and give the correct answer. If necessary, leave a comment on the user's question so it will gain more attention to the original author. Perhaps you will sway him/her with your argument.

"calling in an expert" doesn't make a whole lot of sense because for all you know one of the experts had already upvoted that answer which you believe is wrong.

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The trouble is that stackoverflow's all-in-one place system makes it very hard to distinguish experts in a particular field. –  EFraim Aug 3 '09 at 12:51
    
As an example - that's the common problem on Yahoo Answers too, because "many upvoted it" does not mean "it is right" –  EFraim Aug 3 '09 at 12:52
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@Efram - re your first comment, thats not a trouble. Its a bonus. There are no experts. Even Jon Skeet who literally wrote the book on C# has asked 18 questions and has provided answers that are not the accepted one. Putting your faith in special Experts is part of the reason a certain other site sucks and SO does not. –  Rob Allen Aug 3 '09 at 12:58
    
You still have no guarantee that an "expert" is going to act in the manner that you believe, and you can't guarantee that anybody is going to listen to them. Sure they might, and if an expert in the field posts an answer, it is likely going to get voted up if there is enough attention to it. But "calling in" an expert is not going to work and you can't expect a Guthrie or Hanselmann or Skeet (ok, maybe Skeet) to just come at your beckoning everytime you feel that the community was wrong. That's your job to convince people otherwise, not to go cry to someone else about it. –  TheTXI Aug 3 '09 at 12:58
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@TheTXI: I believe you miss my point. I am not going to cry to anyone. After all I do know the answer is incorrect already. But the point of stackoverflow is to indicate the right answer to those who don't. So what you are basically saying - just screw all those people. –  EFraim Aug 3 '09 at 13:02
    
I'm telling you to write the correct answer and explain why the other one is incorrect. If the people do not listen to you, then there is not going to be anything you can do about it. Why is this so hard for you to understand? This is a community site and there is no users (aside from mods) with more power in terms of the credibility of their answers than anyone. If you can't convince anybody that yours is the correct answer, well then that's just too bad. –  TheTXI Aug 3 '09 at 13:03
    
@TheTXI: It is just that I hate warring with somebody over obvious things. It always leaves you with a bad feeling. Especially on SO, where people can think your only motivation are rep points. –  EFraim Aug 3 '09 at 13:36
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So you would rather try and alert an "expert" in the field to do the warring for you? –  TheTXI Aug 3 '09 at 14:10
    
@Ehpraim: I'm in ur comments, refutin ur points: answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090712153431AASg5Uh –  belgariontheking Aug 3 '09 at 14:14
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@TheTXI: No, rather a person whose expertise alone would suffice. You have a nice way of perverting other people thoughts by the way. –  EFraim Aug 3 '09 at 16:03

If you're really worried about it, edit the answer and fix the problem yourself... Leave a revision comment (and, optionally, a comment on the answer) describing the reason for the change.

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That assumes you have enough rep (which is not always the case). –  perbert Aug 3 '09 at 17:59
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EFraim does though. And IMHO, anyone who wants to really contribute to SO should strive to obtain editing abilities - it's the surest, most efficient way to correct errors and improve the site. –  Shog9 Aug 3 '09 at 18:22

If you know the answer (and can prove it with code or a couple of links) then do so in your own response and add a comment to the incorrect accepted answer.

Some newer folks like to check things off as answers. Once they try the first incorrect suggestion they will come back. If there is a new suggestion with better support then they will try that, and, if it proves correct, select yours as the correct response.

Flagging it for an expert doesn't necessarily get the user a correct response sooner.

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The thing that concerns me is that the answer is subtly incorrect - because it introduces race condition for instance. –  EFraim Aug 3 '09 at 12:50
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make that clear in your comment and provide a fix in your response –  Rob Allen Aug 3 '09 at 12:56

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