Let's say that I see a question with a slight nuance that everybody else seems to miss. I post a correct answer, while a half-dozen other people post answers that fail to take that nuance into account. What do I do?

Writing a comment on every other post just seems like it will invite a half-dozen nearly similar conversations where I try to convince each person individually that they're wrong.

Downvoting might invoke the wrath of the serial-downvoter gods, and is probably pointless without writing a comment on each one (which is already a bad idea).

Perhaps there's something else I haven't thought of yet?

The post in question is How to check if DateTime.Now is between two given DateTimes for time part only?. Can you spot the nuance that nobody else noticed?

  • Can you show a link?
    – Pekka
    Oct 21, 2012 at 15:07
  • Personally I would not take any actions on the other answers. Post your own answer(which you assume correctly answers the question) and let the user decide for himself if it 's the right one(and your assumption was correct).
    – user
    Oct 21, 2012 at 15:08
  • Comment on one of the answers with full details then on every other answer just write "see this" comment, linking to your first one. Nothing wrong in that. Unless outright wrong, don't downvote. Oct 21, 2012 at 15:08
  • 12
    Comment on the question, ask about the nuance and perhaps ask the OP (if you turn out to be right) to make the nuance stand out a bit more?
    – Jeroen
    Oct 21, 2012 at 15:09
  • @Pekka: I've added the link to the end of my question.
    – Gabe
    Oct 21, 2012 at 15:23
  • 17
    I must say I find it rather strange that neither your answer there nor your post here, and not even your comment on the question explicitly mentions what everybody else is missing. Why turn this into a guessing game? Why not simply say, "what all answers so far are missing, is X; here is how to address that"? Instead all I see (and all the OP sees) is a bunch of answers that say "try this code snippet", and someone commenting "ignore others, mine is the best", for reasons unexplained. Well, I dunno. Anyone can leave a comment like that (and often does).
    – ЯegDwight
    Oct 21, 2012 at 17:01
  • I feel your pain Oct 21, 2012 at 17:09
  • This occurred me very sometimes as well. I usually just copypaste the argument in a comment on every answer (along with a downvote only if the answer is obviously wrong). What annoys me the most is that I have to wait 15 seconds between every comment, with a timer which resets itself when you post it a bit too early. Aaarghh ;)
    – user138231
    Oct 21, 2012 at 17:54
  • 4
    @Chichiray: so you are annoyed by a feature that stops you from posting the same comment repeatedly in quick succession? Sounds to me as if the feature works as intended. Oct 21, 2012 at 20:07
  • 1
    @Joachim: definitely it does.
    – user138231
    Oct 21, 2012 at 20:25
  • 7
    Downvoting is perfectly acceptable here; there's a price associated with it. Serial downvoting is usually an offense when you cast many against a user, but casting downvotes against all other answers when you believe them to be wrong is perfectly ok.
    – casperOne
    Oct 22, 2012 at 0:32
  • 1
    If many answers are wrong in the same way, I copy&paste my comment to all of them. Downvoting several answers to a question isn't an issue by itself. I do that regularly. Oct 22, 2012 at 7:01

3 Answers 3


I think that what you can bet on is wording and references.

You can ramble however long you want, but if another post, with some good formatting and intelligent organization of the ideas, backs everything up with references, 90% of the times that post is going to be upvoted a thrillion times and subsequently, in general, it's going be accepted.

After all, if you're really right and the others are wrong, there might be enough stuff for you to bring to support your argument.

You also have other choices, such as commenting and/or downvoting but I wouldn't go and downvote any other answer than mine just because I think mine is right. It's unlikely that the other answers are all completely wrong, and I'd downvote only an answer with serious flaws in it, so keep the downvoting for seriously wrong answers. For the other ones, I'd politely but efficiently point out the mistakes like "I disagree with you on this point because...".

There isn't much else you can do, I think.

  • 4
    This is a good answer. And never forget xkcd.com/386
    – Pekka
    Oct 21, 2012 at 15:20
  • @Pekka Ahah I knew that one, I think everybody can relate to it. :D
    – Alenanno
    Oct 21, 2012 at 15:23
  • @Pekka: Except that that doesn't apply. SO exists to build a knowledge-base. That can't happen if the information is incorrect. Oct 21, 2012 at 18:44
  • @nicol my point is, in the rare occasions when everybody misunderstands you even after a long discussion, don't sweat it too much. There's no point getting too worked up because something is incorrect. Some people don't want to see, and some can't admit they were wrong.
    – Pekka
    Oct 21, 2012 at 18:46

If that many people are misinterpreting the question, it's a good bet that the problem is in how you are explaining your problem. Only one answer was given after the OP's clarifying edit, which supports my thesis.

  • 1
    You seem to be talking as if I was the person asking the question, when in fact I just wrote an answer. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the question in the first place -- it's simple, concise, unambiguous, and provides a useful example of test data.
    – Gabe
    Oct 22, 2012 at 0:49
  • 4
    @Gabe Indeed; but my answer still stands. If the OP is having that many answers that are incorrect, the incorrect answers are just a symptom; the problem is the post isn't clear enough. Oct 22, 2012 at 1:14

Well, actually, you did exactly the right thing.

  1. You provided the correct answer.

  2. You added a comment to the question that called out "all other answers as wrong" that (fortunately) got +2 comment score. In addition it's a lone comment, which gives it even more attention. Note it takes a lot of guts to step out there and call everyone else wrong, and it's great that worked out in your favor.

  3. Finally you got the checkmark from the questioner, confirming that you were actually answering his specific question.

And there you have an internet forum. Lots of answers, one is the "best", some are wrong, and uh, that's pretty much all.


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