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I saw one user edit another's answer to turn it from blatantly incorrect to correct. This feels wrong to me. What do you think?

The answer is here. The poster referred to | as XOR and ^ as OR. Another user corrected this. The answer had already received 7 downvotes, so now there is a heavily downvoted correct answer.

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The Horroror! –  Shog9 Sep 17 '10 at 14:00
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Considering the author of that post has since revised the post to change "Exclusive-OR" to "XOR", and did not reverse the utility of incorrect symbology, where's the foul here, exactly? It looks like it was an honest mistake, so why is fixing errors a bad thing? The existence of downvotes means that the answer has to stay bad? –  Grace Note Sep 17 '10 at 14:01
    
@Grace - for the record, I posted this before the author edited his post. My point remains, though, if you imagine he hadn't. Personally, if this had been my post, I would have simply deleted it. –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 14:03
    
@Shog - the question was "what are the | and ^ operators", so mixing them up in the answer is really pretty horrible. –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 14:04
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I've posted an answer now, so if people disagree there's no need to post your own -- just edit that one :) –  Michael Mrozek Sep 17 '10 at 14:10
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@Michael - it's taking every ounce of restraint I have not to edit your post :) –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 14:12
    
And the answer is still wrong. ^ and | are not logical operators (unless your operands are bool s) –  NullUserException อ_อ Sep 17 '10 at 14:19
    
@Jon: in all seriousness, I probably wouldn't have made that edit. But your complaint - that a correct answer appears heavily down-voted - would still be a problem even if the author had corrected it himsefl. –  Shog9 Sep 17 '10 at 15:11
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@Shog - true, which is why I think the best course of action is to delete it. –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 15:14
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@Jon: well, I'm usually in favor of users deleting their blatantly incorrect answers as well... but sadly, many do not. –  Shog9 Sep 17 '10 at 15:26
    
@Shog9 Feature request: vote to delete answers as patently wrong –  Michael Mrozek Sep 17 '10 at 17:40
    
@Michael: AFAIK, we had that feature at one time, but it was removed. You can offensive-vote for deletion if it's really necessary. –  Shog9 Sep 17 '10 at 17:58

1 Answer 1

People are split on this; some people think you should modify obviously incorrect answers, some people think edits should only be for formatting and the like and shouldn't actually change the meaning of an answer.

I'm personally in the second group: if an answer is wrong than leave a comment saying so and post your own answer with the correct information; there's no need to modify someone else's wrong answer when you have the ability to post your own. I only edit an answer if it's right and I want to improve it since it's likely people searching for that problem will want to use it. I also worry about people accidentally modifying a right answer to be wrong because the editor was actually the one who was mistaken, but so far I've never seen that happen

(I somewhat discussed this here as well, and agree with George's comment

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