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Consider the following scenario please:

  1. I see a question and think I have a good answer or comment.
  2. I post my answer or comment and move on happily.
  3. After couple of hours I see comments that my answer is bad because this and that and it's really bad - I didn't think enough before posting.

The question is: should I delete my post, or leave it be so that people won't repeat my own mistake?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

My opinion has always been to leave these kinds of "mistakes". The reason is that even bad answers can lead to good discussions that can actually help hash out an answer.

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Thanks, but I mean something really bad, like bad advice that if followed will lead to things like memory leak or just bad programming practice. Plus there's the downvotes issue.. ;) –  Shadow Wizard Nov 28 '10 at 13:32
    
A good example of this point is : webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/753/… –  HoLyVieR Nov 28 '10 at 16:22
    
Even in that example, leaving it lets other know what a bad idea it is to do. I think the community will police the bad answers out. –  Jason Nov 28 '10 at 16:37
    
Cheers, thanks for the example.. will take that into account when I'll next post bad answer. :) –  Shadow Wizard Nov 29 '10 at 10:49

My intention is to provide a good answer. If I realize later that the answer was wrong I usually delete it, to prevent myself from producing noise.

If the question is a poll-type or abouot best-practices then it may be helpful to have an answer which contrasts the dominating answer (I remember quite a few CW questions).

How strict the community downvotes depends also on the tags used see also http://odata.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/s/86/most-and-least-dangerous-tags-to-answer-among-the-tags-with-1000-questions

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If the answer is salvageable, ie there's some useful content in it or what's there can be made into something more useful, then edit it.

If it's not salvageable, delete it. Deletion of really bad answers is a good habit to get into, and is actually encouraged by the existence of the Peer Pressure badge.

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Yeah, in my case it wasn't "salvageable" as far as I could see, I had 3 downvotes and really got that uber cool badge. :-D –  Shadow Wizard Nov 28 '10 at 13:36

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