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I am new here (1 week) and I ve been wondering if it is an accepted behaviour to ask a question and then leave the answers there without any comment or accepting any of the answers for days and days. I have been reading through the FAQs and in here and did not got this doubt resolved. Personally I find it really time wasting/annoying/not considered with others time behaviour.

PD- Would also like to know if deleting an own answer with negative votes in it is also accepted behaviour or its better to leave the answer there even is polemic/wrong/missleading and with negative points (could be the case that someone finds it usefull anyway)?

Thank you.

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Have you even tried the answer? If you have tried and you think it is good, then upvote it first. If it is bad, then you can comment on the answer and downvote it. You can leave it there for a while before accepting an answer. Deleting own answer, which is clearly wrong is good. Negative vote doesn't necessarily mean your answer is wrong - do double check the fact and decide. –  nhahtdh Aug 9 '12 at 13:57
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@nhahtdh: I have the impression that the OP is talking in perspective of the answerer, not the questioner :) So "Have you tried the answer?" doesn't make sense here. –  BalusC Aug 9 '12 at 14:00
    
@Chichiray: I don't think so. It mentions about accepting answer, so I think it's more about the questioner. And there would be more that the questioner can do rather than the answerer (the answerer can only wait for response or leave the answer there). –  nhahtdh Aug 9 '12 at 14:05
    
@nhahtdh: the sentence "Personally I find it really time wasting/annoying/not considered with others time behaviour." can IMHO impossibly put the OP in perspective of the questioner. –  BalusC Aug 9 '12 at 14:07
    
@Chichiray: You are probably right. –  nhahtdh Aug 9 '12 at 14:13
    
I was referring more to answerer perspective as it happend to me I answered some questions with no feedback at all. Anyway I try to try the answer before posting it if possible. Thank you all for your feedback!! –  Santiago Rebella Aug 9 '12 at 14:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Marking answers as "the correct answer" is entirely optional. While many community members really want question askers to mark answers (especially their own, because they need that rep) the community as a whole has more of a problem with those badgering the OP to accept than with people not accepting answers. Yes, it's nice when they accept an answer, but if they don't it's not all that big of a deal.

As to not providing any feedback at all, that depends. It's certainly possible that one or more of the answers provided were helpful, the OP upvoted them, solved their problem, and then went on their way. That is absolutely fine. Again, accepting an answer is good, but not doing so isn't bad. Commenting on posts with things like "thanks" "that helped" or "this was the solution I used" are considered comments that the community doesn't find constructive or helpful. The first two should just be upvotes, and the last one an accept.

What's more of a problem is when the OP does not respond at all to comments requesting clarification on the question, requests for additional information, or don't comment with a good explanation of why unhelpful answers don't solve their problem (whether it just doesn't work, or doesn't solve the right problem).

As to deleting your own answer, I feel that if an answer is heavily downvoted it ought to be deleted. It is the communities way of saying, "This answer is more harmful than helpful." To me that means that it would be beneficial to have that [bad] information not there at all. The fact that it's removing the negative rep from you is actually an incentive towards this behavior. When I downvote an answer that's really bad I'm hoping that the answer is deleted (if I didn't hope that, I wouldn't downvote). When I downvote I"m not trying to say, "you really need to lose 2 rep for being a horrible person" I'm saying, "I think this answer is actively harmful and should be deleted, please either fix it or remove it or face the wrath of my -2 rep."

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Personally I find it really time wasting/annoying/not considered with others time behaviour.

I feel your pain. You can't do any much against this.

But you should keep in mind that answers on Stack Overflow are applicable to everyone, not only to the questioner. So your answer is still useful to anyone else who has exactly the same question as the original questioner and stumbled upon your answer by searching.


Would also like to know if deleting an own answer with negative votes in it is also accepted behaviour or its better to leave the answer there even is polemic/wrong/missleading and with negative points (could be the case that someone finds it usefull anyway)?

I'd only delete it if I understand why it's bad and agree the reasoning. Otherwise, I'd keep it as is, most likely if I am confident that the answer is after all right. The community will most likely cast contra upvotes.

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For the first one; generally this isn't something that's encouraged. If there's no feedback from the question-asker then it makes the content less useful to everyone (especially people who have the same problem).

Generally, don't delete your answer with negative votes. It shows people what NOT to do. I asked a similar question recently.

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I'd delete my answer if it receives negative vote, and I agree with the voter on how the content is wrong. I don't think leaving noise is good, nor I want unnecessary reduction on my reputation. –  nhahtdh Aug 9 '12 at 13:58
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In my eyes a lot of negative votes says that the answer is more harmful than helpful, and should be deleted so others don't do it. If you want to demonstrate what not to do, then have an answer that says, "Do this, but don't do this" rather than an answer that says, "Do this" [when it's wrong] that has a negative score. –  Servy Aug 9 '12 at 14:00
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I guess it depends on the context. I'd agree that an answer that's horribly wrong with a lot of downvotes should be deleted. But I've seen a lot of -1 and -2 answers where the answer is slightly wrong with comments on why it is. Having these around can keep people from making the same mistake. –  Dustin Aug 9 '12 at 14:05
    
@Dustin If an answer is just slightly wrong I'd think it should be edited to make it not slightly wrong, possibly also saying "don't do this as it's slightly wrong" if that detail is important. –  Servy Aug 9 '12 at 14:07
    
Right, but in order to do that you'd have to not delete it. –  Dustin Aug 9 '12 at 14:07
    
@Dustin If the answer is fixed then the downvote would [ideally] be removed. If the answer isn't, or can't, be improved to not be downvote worthy then it should just be delted. –  Servy Aug 9 '12 at 14:11
    
@Servy you're right that the downvote should be removed but we both know that's pretty unlikely. –  Dustin Aug 9 '12 at 14:11
    
@Dustin yes, that's why I said "ideally" the point is that if you post an answer, it gets downvoted, and you realize that it's wrong you should either fix it (in which case you now know it shouldn't have been downvoted) or you should just delete it. When downvoting, you should hope that the person either fixes it (and hope that you notice the fix to remove your downvote) or deletes it. That downvotes aren't removed is often because downvoters have no way of being notified that the post was edited. –  Servy Aug 9 '12 at 14:14

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