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There are situations in which a user gave an answer that receives zero votes even for a correct answer, probably because there are others which are explained better.

I was wondering, if I gave a correct answer but it has received no votes and there are different better or more precise answers to the same question, should I:

  1. Remove my answer because there are better ones, thereby helping readers to find the best answer more quickly?
  2. Leave my answer to provide another point of view, even if it isn't the best one?
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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I'm thinking no. What would Jeff/Joel do? I doubt they would recommend "cleaning up" anything but wrong and unhelpful answers.

First, if your correct answer really offers "another point of view," then it is helpful, so keep it. And even if it doesn't, there's still something hypnotic about scrolling down a list of identical but differently-phrased responses, as if a chorus of voices, and not just one person, is advising you. Plus, that kind of content probably strengthens the page's signal value in the search engines (as opposed to having a higher ratio of incorrect answers).

But if you feel the need to delete it, at least upvote the answer that it's repeating!

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If the questioner didn't find it helpful and the couple of dozen other SO users who looked at it found no merit in your answer enough to think it was helpful then it probably isn't helpful. It is up to you to make the call however, it certainly isn't unlikely that your answer was just overlooked.

Beware that you don't have complete control over your answer. A questioner can delete it if yours was the only answer. And users can flag your answer with "not an answer" to get it deleted. But you are rate-limited in deleting your own answers, even if nobody found them useful. Up to 5 per day. Only downvoted answers are not subject to that limitation.

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