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I've been in the SO community a little over a month now - and having a great time! As I grow into a contributing citizen of stackoverflow, i'd like to ensure that i'm being responsible with my answers.

I've answered a few questions, some without upvotes, some voted on and some accepted. I feel that after a certain period of time, 0 vote answers are probably providing more clutter than value. Apparently, nobody has found them useful, so they probably aren't (or are poorly written). Tonight I went through and deleted my answers with 0 upvotes where some answer was accepted. That was an easy decision.

I left my 0 vote answers where nothing was accepted yet, well, because I think they could provide the information that the OP requested. But at some point, I think my answers might just be cluttering the issue.

So my question to you is: How do you know when it's time to delete your 0 vote answers? Or even 1 vote answers for that matter?

share|improve this question
+1 so you don't delete this question. – T.Rob Feb 11 '11 at 4:07
The fact that your answers did not get down voted indicates that the community feels they could be useful. I've had answers stay at 0 votes for over a year and suddenly get 3 - 5 up votes over the course of a month. You honestly never can tell. – Tim Post Feb 11 '11 at 7:55
up vote 14 down vote accepted

When the answers are wrong. That's it.

I'll even leave my downvoted answers, if I still feel they are correct and that others are misinterpreting them.

Questions and answers have a very long tail here, so you never know when something you've written will help someone in the future. Even if they're just a Google driveby user who doesn't upvote your answer, by solving their problem you've made an improvement in their life at no continuing cost to yourself.

Deleting such an answer prevents future visitors from gaining any benefit from the work you've already put in by answering.

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Agreed. Screw the votes. The only measure should be whether the answer is of good quality, and whether it brings new good input to the question. – Pëkka Feb 11 '11 at 15:30
A wrong answer could also help future users; the negative score could tell them "don't do this." I agree: it could be the answer is correct or partially correct, and it could be helpful to future users. – kiamlaluno Jan 17 '14 at 20:04

How do you know when it's time to delete your 0 vote answers? Or even 1 vote answers for that matter?

I delete mine if there is another higher-voted answer that contains the exact same content. If there is another answer that is very close, I may edit some of my content into theirs and then delete my answer.

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Do you feel that your low-vote answers are helpful? Do they answer the question in a way that the other answers to the same question don't? If so, leave them alone.

Votes aren't everything, and not everyone votes. Doesn't mean your answers haven't helped, or won't help someone in the future.

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Basically, unless you have negative votes, the content you've added isn't harming anything, and is likely to be helping at least a few people out there – Earlz Feb 11 '11 at 6:48

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