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I understand why I can't upvote my own answer, but if I realise that my answer is wrong, why can't I downvote it?

Also, for one answer, I figured I'd just edit saying something to the effect of "warning - this answer is wrong - left in as a warning to others". This seems like the right (but embarrassing) thing to do - but is it?

Basically, what's the normal way to confess your own wrong answers?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Delete it if it's wrong and off base.

By deleting, you help clean up by not littering with an incorrect answer (unless you're a mod and you get the joys of seeing deleted answers amidst the non-deleted).

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7  
Note that you can't delete it if it's been accepted... – Jon Skeet Oct 7 '09 at 8:20

I don't understand-- if your answer is wrong, why you don't just correct it?

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1  
You can realise it's wrong, without knowing what the right answer is – Ralph Lavelle Oct 7 '09 at 11:01
    
@Ralph - in that case delete it. If you later realise what the correct answer is you can go back to the question, edit your answer and undelete it. – ChrisF Oct 10 '09 at 11:00
    
You can also realise that other peoples answers are right, or better. Why add noise? – Steve314 Feb 23 '10 at 15:19

If it doesn't solve the exact question posted but could potentially be useful to someone else who comes across that question with a similar problem, I sometimes mark the answer as community wiki with a note saying that it's wrong but potentially applicable.

Of course, if it's completely wrong and not at all applicable, then as @random points out, deleting it is the way to go.

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