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I made a mistake today.

I answered a question incorrectly. (A C# question, no less. My head is truly hanging in shame.) Unfortunately, by the time this was pointed out, the answer had already been accepted.

Another answer has been posted which is correct. It has more votes than mine, and mine has some downvotes (still a balance of upvotes, but...) Unfortunately because the answer has been accepted, I can't delete my answer. I've edited it so that it's correct - it won't mislead anyone any more - but I'd far rather delete it to let the original correct one float to the top.

In this case I suspect it won't be a real problem - the question author is reasonably regular, so hopefully he'll transfer acceptance to another answer reasonably soon. However, I can easily foresee situations where this wouldn't happen.

Could I suggest that the author of the accepted answer should be able to delete it, if the answer has received some threshold of downvotes (e.g. 3)? Deleting the answer straight away would have been preferable to editing it to be correct, effectively duplicating the effort already put in by Luis Filipe in this case.

I understand the "we don't want to lose value" argument for not letting a question author delete their own question after it's had good answers, but if an answer has received downvotes (so at least some of the community think it's harmful) and the answer's author thinks it should be removed, I think that should override the questioner's choice.

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Universal Truth: Jon Skeet answered! Jon Skeet has to be correct! :) –  DragonBorn Aug 17 '09 at 14:12
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The question was wrong, not your answer. –  random Aug 17 '09 at 14:17
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Everything I thought I knew has been shattered. How am I to go on, Jon? How?! You leave me with hopes and dreams shattered on the floor. –  Eric Aug 17 '09 at 14:27
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Jon only posts incorrect answers so people will stop claiming that he is a robot. –  jjnguy Aug 17 '09 at 14:32
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+1 I've done this on SF as well and the OP is not someone who I would think would come back and change the acceptance... –  squillman Aug 17 '09 at 14:51
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don't worry Jon! You can make up for the oversight by answering all questions at the Q&A sessions of devdays - for other speakers' presentations! –  Steven A. Lowe Aug 17 '09 at 15:09
    
@Eric: youtube.com/watch?v=KVKDQgT_b-Y –  bobobobo Aug 7 '10 at 19:00
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I agree with the feature request. I'm no Jon Skeet, but I have a blatantly wrong accepted answer which I would like to be removed, but have no power to do so. Why not allow it? –  kbrimington Aug 7 '10 at 19:53
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Any chance of looking at this again? Similar issue happened today in Arqade. meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/6948/… –  Halfwarr Mar 1 '13 at 16:42
    
Just tell OP to un-accept the answer with reason. Then, delete your answer. –  Sachin Shekhar Apr 14 '13 at 8:42
    
We need a badge. In stackoverflow.com/questions/19353368/… the accepted answer was wrong. Now it is correct after the user edited it to include answers made much earlier by others and implementing the comments made to it. I think the earlier answers should be accepted instead and the user could be awarded some kind of badge for removing it à la Diciplined –  mplungjan Oct 14 '13 at 7:57
    
Another example, discussed at meta.stackexchange.com/q/217809/136253 –  Ex Umbris Jan 28 at 22:56

6 Answers 6

This sounds like a perfect example of why a user should be able to "give away" their accepted answer if they feel another answer was better.

I suggested just that very thing on UserVoice and even brought it to Meta:

Allow Accepted Answer recipient to give it away

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I'm not sure that I like the idea of actually transferring the tick. The tick is a statement of the question's author that this is the answer they like best. Refusing to accept that statement is one thing - making a different statement is another. Hmm. –  Jon Skeet Aug 17 '09 at 14:15
    
I thought the very same thing, to allow people to reject the accepted answer. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1768/… –  Brad Gilbert Aug 17 '09 at 14:24
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I agree with Jon; allow the answerer to refuse the acceptance, but not to give it to someone else. –  Hilarious Comedy Pesto Aug 17 '09 at 14:25

Moderators can delete any answer, even if it's accepted. (I believe that back when this question was posted moderators could not delete accepted answers.) So flag your post and explain why you want it deleted.

I recommend editing your answer to explain your mistake nonetheless, otherwise visitors who see your answer before the flag is handled might get the wrong idea and users who can see deleted answers (or even yourself later) might wonder why a good-looking answer was deleted.

You should also leave a comment to make sure that the asker is notified that what he believed to be correct is wrong after all.

This is a sufficiently rare occurrence that I think involving a moderator is reasonable.

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I agree a user should be able to delete an accepted answer. I don't think this requires any system of "giving away" accepted answers. We only require something simple: delete an accepted answer and that question no longer has an accepted answer. The OP can choose another one.

Actually I take that back: can't you just edit your answer to be correct?

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@cletus: I've edited my answer in this case so it's correct, but that feels morally low. In this case Luis noticed the problem with my answer, posted his own entirely correct one, and deserves the accepted answer and the benefit of being topmost. On the other hand, with another 5 votes to my answer, he'll get the populist badge :) –  Jon Skeet Aug 17 '09 at 15:19
    
If you "take that back", it would better you delete your answer. Just like we should be able to delete any answer, even accepted ones. –  Erwin Brandstetter Jan 29 '13 at 14:25

Maybe we could add a voting mechanism for moving the check-mark. Users with enough rep could vote to remove a check from certain answers, or move the check to another answer.

Maybe it could be a mod tool.

I suspect that this feature wouldn't be used very often, and thus will likely not be implemented. Jeff has spoken about this here.

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Mod tool would be good, removing the abuse possibility. Being able to flag an answer as "this is my answer, and it shouldn't be accepted" would be fine. –  Jon Skeet Aug 17 '09 at 14:26
    
Flagging for a mod sounds like a good idea. –  jjnguy Aug 17 '09 at 14:28
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This is my answer. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My answer is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My answer, without me, is useless. Without my answer, I am useless. I must answer my answers true. I must answer more correctly than any other. I must answer before he answer. I will... –  perbert Aug 21 '09 at 16:14
    
I like the comment. I don't understand it, but I like it. –  jjnguy Aug 21 '09 at 17:39

Same situation I am facing.

A new comer asked some crappy kind of question, very difficult to understand. Even though I tried to solve it.

She accepted, But after 1 day I got one downvote. Once again I got downvote. But the OP said, my answer helpd her.

I requested her to un-accept my answer. But she is not doing.

I would like to have a feature where you can delete even an accepted answer.

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I believe editing the accepted answer (that you own, and thus can edit by definition) to point to the answer you believe to be more correct is sufficient in this case.

If you feel very strongly you could strikeout <s> your entire post, or elide it completely leaving just a link to the better answer.

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"... or elide it completely leaving just a link to the better answer" -> Isn't that the same as un-accepting your answer and deleting it? just uglier? ... The fact that we can modify an accepted answer, warrants that it can be removed, in my opinion. –  Daniel Vassallo Aug 8 '10 at 22:49
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@Jeff Atwood: Also, a link to just an answer is not an answer –  casperOne Nov 9 '11 at 15:49

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