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I tried searching for this, also from the list of suggestions that comes out when you're writing the question, but nothing seems to address this matter. The closest I found is Best Practices when editing your own answer, but it seems to address my problem only in part. In any case, if I missed some question that actually answer this, please point me to that.

The problem is that I posted an answer last year (July 2011) which got accepted then, but today I received a down-vote on it and it took my attention.

So I did some research and I'd like to change my own answer pointing out different things. Not totally different but not even totally similar.

Once I read that rep is not important, but giving the right answer is important. I agree and actually I'm not concerned about down-votes that much, or if that answer gets un-accepted, but rather that this "editing" would be looked at like something dishonest. Is it frowned upon or does it happen regularly across the SE sites? Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I wanted to have some insight on this.

What should I do?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Once I read that rep is not important, but giving the right answer is important.

In the scheme of things, rep isn't important and doing the right thing is. However, the Stack Exchange sites try to reward you heavily for doing the right thing, so the two generally go hand in hand.

That said, giving the right answer is important. The mission statement of the Stack Exchange sites is to provide high quality questions and answers.

If editing a post of yours improves the quality of it and the overall content in general without changing the context of the rest of the content on the page, then you're doing the right thing.

but rather that this "editing" would be looked at like something dishonest.

Revisions to content are publicly displayed, so I wouldn't worry about anything looking dishonest. And there's also the flag system, if an edit that you made was truly out of line, it's more than likely going to get caught (it might take some time, granted).

In the end, if you believe your improving the content of the entire Q&A overall, then you're doing the right thing and it's fine.

You might want to state when you make these edits, however, something along the lines of "because of <event/change>, these are the things you have to take into consideration" or something of that sort to indicate why the answer has changed.

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If you have a good reason to change your answer, please do it.

Sometimes you have learned some new information that can be added to the answer. And sometimes the situation is changed.

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