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Should I remove a wrong answer (Peer Pressure)?
When or should you delete your incorrect answer?

Whats the etiquette on removing wrong answer after a downvote. Say for example I answered a question, and then realized it was out of context or wrong.

Scenario 1. No body has down voted or responded to it. I'll go in and remove it - which seems to be fine, I'm correcting myself and keeping the SO clean.

Scenario 2. I didn't realized my answer was wrong/out of context until some one down voted it or put in a comment to point it out (and, of course, I realize my mistake). Is it ok if I remove my answer now - to keep the SO clean and to correct myself. Or is it not ok, as it might seem I'm covering my bad deeds?

Thanks for your time!

p.s. This is different from Proper way to correct a mistaken answer, as I would be removing it and probably not providing another answer as I might not have a correct answer.

p.s.2: Peer-Pressure badge to me seems like a 'negative badge', like probably a 'always_just_in_time' badge that might actually mean you are a Late_Comer. Should I look forward to getting peer-pressure badge?

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marked as duplicate by Arjan, Barry, YOU, Pops, Shog9 May 13 '11 at 14:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
@Martin - probably, but there OP is removing it because s/he does not want to confront the user. Here - I know I'm wrong, but don't have the correct answer. I'll confront and fight if I think I'm right :) –  Yet Another User May 13 '11 at 14:01
    
@Arjan - You are right. I probably missed it in my search. Thanks for pointing out. –  Yet Another User May 13 '11 at 14:02
    
You might be right about the question a linked, but the one linked by Arjan looks like the correct duplicate. –  Martin Scharrer May 13 '11 at 14:03
    
It's a duplicate indeed @Arjan, though the concerning point is slightly different: this should be about etiquette, the other is about content. –  Cawas May 13 '11 at 14:19

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's perfectly fine. The only scenario it could be slightly bad is if you're actually engaging a discussion in comments.

Just keep in mind downvotes work differently in meta and main sites. On meta they traditionally mean "disagree", while on main they actually mean "bad".

And, like everyone else said, maybe you should wait until it reaches -3 to get the peer pressure badge! Answering your edit, almost all badges are meant to be a good thing. They exist to give an incentive for good behavior, just like in scouts badges. But some people will always see some badges as they wish.

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+1 - thanks for pointing out the difference in downvote, I didn't realized it. –  Yet Another User May 13 '11 at 14:05
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@Yetano One thing the answers have all not mentioned yet, but remember - deleted posts do not contribute reputation change, but this only applies after a reputation recalculation. We still keep track of the fact you got downvoted (which only comes into play if you have a significant history of poor posting), but this is a way you can regain the reputation from that downvote, basically noting that you've "atoned" for your mistake. –  Grace Note May 13 '11 at 14:11
    
@Grace - yes I realize that. I would not delete to regain but to clear the space when I clearly know my answer is wrong. Thanks for pointing though. –  Yet Another User May 13 '11 at 14:14
    
Great point @Grace. –  Cawas May 13 '11 at 14:14
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@Yetano I'd call that motive for deletion all the more reason you deserve to have the reputation back. ♪ –  Grace Note May 13 '11 at 14:23
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Not all badges are to incentivize good behavior. "Disciplined" certainly isn't. And "Tumbleweed" is mostly a consolation prize. –  Gabe May 13 '11 at 14:30
    
@Cawas You are right, may be I was looking at the badge with some prejudice :) –  Yet Another User May 13 '11 at 14:31
    
@Gabe true. fixed. ;) @Yetano attention to what Gabe said! :P –  Cawas May 13 '11 at 14:32
    
@Gabe, @Cawas - Not sure if I agree. If I answered a question incorrectly (missing a subtle point) and 3 or more people also missed it and up voted it, still I go back in and remove my answer on realizing the missed point - I'm definitely 'disciplined' and in a positive way and demonstrating good behavior. May be expected behavior was to edit the answer and explain why it was wrong and point to the subtle point originally missed. –  Yet Another User May 13 '11 at 14:43
    
@Gabe "Disciplined" may be very disciplined if, for example, your answer was actually outdated or otherwise misleading, and that you thus delete it to better highlight the more correct data of other answers. It may also be done in the case where two or more users post the exact same answer at the same time - one deleting their answer to allow the other one to keep their reputation while not keeping what is basically a redundancy of information. That it comes with a price of losing the reputation from upvotes, that is what makes it an action of discipline. –  Grace Note May 13 '11 at 14:45
    
@Yetano I meant he was right that "not all badges are to incentivize good behavior" mostly because of Tumbleweed. I never gave any thought on the other one. ;) –  Cawas May 13 '11 at 14:50

You can remove it. There is even a badge for removing bad answers: Peer pressure.

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+1 just because you've answered 1 second before Brandon! :P –  Cawas May 13 '11 at 15:05

It's fine to remove bad answers. There is even the Peer Pressure badge for removing an answer that has a score of -3 or lower.

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