There should be a provision to delete answers to your questions if you think that it could decrease the chances of getting your question answered. For example, While going through questions, I tend to ignore the ones which have 1 or more answers. The higher the number, the more I tend to not go for them (answering them). So would it not be a good idea to provide the original poster with the facility to delete answers to their questions?

  • 8
    @assylias - flags should not be used on answers that are simply wrong. That's what down-votes are for. – ChrisF Jul 2 '12 at 11:14
  • 5
    You can't tell us not to downvote, downvotes give a quick way to gauge what the community thinks on meta. – Manishearth Jul 2 '12 at 11:16
  • 26
    "There should be a provision to delete answer to your questions if you don't like them" Wow, that's incredibly presumptuous. Can I delete your question because I don't like your attitude? – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 2 '12 at 11:19
  • 4
    No, not a good idea. And I removed your humble request, because it was not humble and these requests often have the opposite results. Besides, anybody have the right to vote as he or she likes. – Toon Krijthe Jul 2 '12 at 11:27
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn and All : why every body is putting full stop at " if you don't like them" and not considering the other reason. Calm down ... It is just a suggestion. Looks like suggestions are not welcomed here much. And -9, what a brutal response. I am not sure whether I should delete this or should I patiently wait for my rep to exhaust? – Umer Hayat Jul 2 '12 at 11:34
  • 2
    Suggestion are welcome. Any suggestion. It's just that bad, ill-thought out ones will get down-votes while good, well thought out ones will get up-votes. – ChrisF Jul 2 '12 at 11:38
  • 3
    @UmerHayat - Remember that downvotes work differently on Meta. They are used to show disagreement with your suggestion, rather than a poor question. – James Allardice Jul 2 '12 at 11:40
  • @JamesAllardice: Thanks a lot for telling, i was getting seriously offended. – Umer Hayat Jul 2 '12 at 11:42
  • I am OK with the way down votes work in meta but I need my rep back ... I just realized that I can't down vote, no more :(. Don't you people think that -21 is way to much to show disagreement? – Umer Hayat Jul 2 '12 at 12:53
  • Ok, I agree that the " if you don't like them" thing was a bit, umm unprofessional or non-serious ?. So, I updated the question. Read it again, it sounds (relatively) more reasonable. – Umer Hayat Jul 2 '12 at 13:05
  • @UmerHayat "I can't down vote no more": were you planning to downvote your question? ;-) (I know it hurts, happened to me a few times - don't take it personally!) – assylias Jul 2 '12 at 16:24
  • or may be I failed to put forward idea due lack of proficiency in English language. O come on guys it is my 3rd language. – Umer Hayat Jul 2 '12 at 17:20
  • 16
    @UmerHayat It's not because of your English. It's because of your desire to delete other people's work. – simchona Jul 2 '12 at 17:59
  • 7
    @UmerHayat Stack Exchange is not Facebook. It is by design that users cannot (singlehandedly, anyway) delete other users' posts, whether those posts are questions themselves, or answers to your question. – Daniel Jul 2 '12 at 20:18

The correct response to answers that don't actually answer your question is to down-vote them. If the answer gets down-votes the poster will (hopefully) either improve it to correct the mistakes or delete it. Both of which solve your problem.

Allowing the OP to delete answers "they don't like" would lead to abuse.


SO's questions and answers aren't meant to help only the person who posted the question, but all future visitors that have the same problem. That's also why we close questions as too localized.

A question poster deleting an answer because he doesn't like it stomps all over that...


Answers should not be deleted because you don't like them; this is true for everybody.
There is already a process used to delete an answer, and that involves at least three users who can vote to delete an answer with a negative score.
Leaving the decision of deleting answers to the user who asked the question is the last thing I would see implemented, also because there are users who, instead of accepting the fact they didn't expose the problem in the correct way, they would say the answer is wrong. It is probable that another user would be more objective about the given answers.

About the chances of getting the question answered, that is purely subjective, and you cannot be sure the question will never be answered, even if there is already an answer. There are two cases:

  • The answer is utterly wrong, or it's not the best answer
  • The answer is a very good one

In the first case, it is probable a user will answer the question to show that the previous answer is utterly wrong, or suggesting something that it is preferable not doing; in the second case, there should be a user who offers an alternative solution.
In the first case, a new (possibly better) solution is given; in the second case, you already had a very good solution, but you get an alternative solution.

I would say that the chances of getting an answer depends from the question, not from the existing answers, which would eventually be an incentive for giving an alternative solution.
If the question is interesting, or shows efforts in finding a solution, it is probable that more users will try answering it. If the question is asking something too localized, for which the OP is the only one interested in the answer, then it is probable few users will try answering it.

  • 4
    I think perhaps the OP is talking about getting an answer they didn't want to hear, e.g. they've asked how to kill a bear with a spoon and the answer was to use a fork. – Aaron Bertrand Jul 2 '12 at 12:24
  • I got myself answers that didn't answer what I asked, such as when I asked how to do something, and the answer was just "you should not do it," followed by an explanation of why that should not be done. I am convinced that the OP is not the one who should decide to delete those answers, but they should eventually be down-voted, and deleted. This process involves more than one user. – kiamlaluno Jul 2 '12 at 12:29
  • 1
    I agree 100%, and am not suggesting a user should be able to delete an answer regardless of the reason. I'm just saying that in the OP's eyes, an answer doesn't always fit into the two categories you listed. – Aaron Bertrand Jul 2 '12 at 12:33
  • I didn't include the "the answer says something I don't want to hear" because that is not a problem with the answer, but eventually with the question. If you say the answer is not even a partial answer for the question, that would be different. – kiamlaluno Jul 2 '12 at 12:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .