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I had a question, which is below. Then I found an answer from 2009.

As IT people we are naturally suspicious of anything we read that is more than 18 months old. Right? Four years old is like, well, guaranteed to be wrong, no?

So, should one re-ask a question that was answered four years ago?

The question I wanted to ask was:

I just answered my own question in SO and accepted it as the answer. But when I view my question my answer appears after the other answers which received up votes.

My question is do self answered/accepted answers not automatically rise to the top of the answer list regardless of number of upvotes as is the case with answers by other users?

In other words, if I accept a zero-vote answer from someone it goes right to the top even if there is an answer with 300 up-votes. Does the same not happen if the person creating the answer is the person who wrote the question?

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In the context of meta.SO, yes, usually. Things don't change very much over the 4 years of SE's existence. –  Richard J. Ross III Jul 18 '13 at 20:23
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Yes, the answer there is still valid. Note, that at least on Meta, such things do get edited to reflect the current state of the site. –  Oded Jul 18 '13 at 20:24
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@Oded Is there an actual mechanism for identifying 'expired' answers in need of editing (or answers that are likely to expire in the future), or is it just based on knowledgeable folks happening to see wrong answers? –  A.M. Jul 18 '13 at 20:31
    
@A.M. - There is no such mechanism (and I can't imagine how one could be devised - not fully automated, in any case). It does depend on people seeing wrong answers. –  Oded Jul 18 '13 at 20:32
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@RichardJ.RossIII I disagree with that sentiment. As a simple example, a huge number of meta questions have become obsolete as a result of the close reason changes. –  Servy Jul 18 '13 at 20:33
    
OK...just wondering. It seems like the longer SE is around, the more there might be need for such a thing. Maybe an automatic review of answers when they hit x years old, where x can be set when the question first comes around, and after each review. I am used to that being a formal document control process, and it seems like it could work in this context too. –  A.M. Jul 18 '13 at 20:34
    
The idea was supposed to be new (correct) answers will "bubble to the top" or that old answers will be updated.. imo this rarely happens (it's the exception rather than the rule) –  hayd Jul 18 '13 at 20:35
    
@Servy Absolutely...and there is obsolescence (question no longer matters or no longer makes sense), and then there is wrongness (answer just goes from being right to being wrong). –  A.M. Jul 18 '13 at 20:39
    
What popped into my head immediately when I saw the 2009 timestamp was "Is this still true?". Nobody had contributed or updated since 2009. I wanted to simply re-ask the question and risk the duplicate closure, but instead asked the question above. The same happens to me on SO: I read something that hasn't been updated since 2009 and I instantly assume it is no longer valid but don't re-ask because I'm a chicken. –  John Fitzpatrick Jul 18 '13 at 20:40
    
@A.M. Guidelines also change too. I can find old meta questions stating that list questions are just fine, even though as of several years ago they aren't. As the scope of the site has narrowed (or broadened, in some cases) not all of the old what-is-in-scope questions get cleaned up. –  Servy Jul 18 '13 at 20:41
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If the current behavior of a feature (e.g. position of acceptance of self-answer) is consistent with how it was in said 4-year-old answer. I'd say yes, you can assume that the answer is still valid. –  Old Checkmark Jul 18 '13 at 23:00

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As it is, your question would just be an exact dup; asking it again isn't adding value, and it will just be closed. If you've found an answer and are concerned whether it's up to date then ask exactly that. Ask something like:

It is stated in this question that [...]. I'm wondering if that information is still correct or if it has changed since the time it was asked. If it has changed, what is different now?

Now that's no longer a duplicate question; it's asking a new question. It's also indicating that you've done research, and aren't sending people off to go find a dup of your question when you've already found a relevant question.

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Or you could of course start a bounty on the original question, asking for more up-to-date information, if there is any. –  Bart Jul 18 '13 at 20:44
    
@Bart That would imply new answers would need to be posted, saying the same thing as what's there, but just with a newer timestamp. (If you put a bounty on the question that would certainly happen.) –  Servy Jul 18 '13 at 20:49
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Asking for more information about an old question is fine, but if you're going to post a "is this answer still correct" question, I'd expect there to be some evidence that the answer isn't correct included in the new post. –  Josh Caswell Jul 18 '13 at 21:54
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"is still correct or if it has changed" turns this into Yes/No question (smokescreen "what is different" won't help here, answerers can and will ignore it). Are you comfortable with that? I for one am not. –  gnat Jul 19 '13 at 1:37

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