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How to deal with upvoted yet clearly wrong answers

Lately I have noticed a user answering questions using the fast gun in west approach but not verify their answer, the users rep is ~10,000 and the answers usually look legit so passes by might give an upvote or two while the question is hot, by the time it has been noticed the answers is actually not correct the question is not longer hot and others answers generally find there way above/beside it so pointing out it's incorrect generally doesn't do much.

In this situation I will always downvote the incorrect answer and leave a comment saying why but with +2 upvotes and -1 down that user have gets +18 rep and is not interesting in fixing/delete their answers. Most users will fix/delete there answers after it has been pointed out but what can be those that don't, is flagging appropriate here? it generally isn't a problem as the answers won't be accepted but It can have more upvotes than correct answers that are late to the question, I think it undermines that associated trust that comes with high reputation.

  • You say that that user is not interested to fix their answer because they have +2 and -1. How do you know this? You're extremely concerned about your +2 and -1. – Aaron Bertrand Dec 13 '12 at 14:47
  • I don't mention anything about my answers votes or reputation gain here? Over a 1000 rep and you can see the total numbers of up and down vote counts on any post. @Oded has clarified there is not much can be done here. – iiSeymour Dec 13 '12 at 14:53
  • Down below you say: but the users has resorted to downvoting my answers so usally mine gets +2 and -1 and there gets +2 and -1. And you are showing your concern about the down-vote here, but assuming (there's that word again) that the user you've down-voted doesn't care about the down-vote. Why the double standard? Also I think I'm also saying there's nothing much that can be done here. But I also wanted to point out some of the inconsistencies in what you are saying... – Aaron Bertrand Dec 13 '12 at 15:00

As Oded indicates, downvoting an incorrect answer and / or leaving a comment explaining why it is flawed is the way to approach this. Flags shouldn't be used on incorrect answers, because it's not the job of moderators to decide the technical validity of answers.

In this case, it does appear that a particular user was targeting you with downvotes on your answers after one or more of the comments you had left, so that user has been warned. There was other odd behavior here, so they've been warned about that, too.

If I may make one last suggestion, please do not retaliate in kind by tracking down this person's other answers and targeting them with downvotes. You should focus on the merit of the answers themselves, not the person behind them.

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    +1 for "focus on the answers not the person." Sadly many of us have been on the wrong end of that stick. – Aaron Bertrand Dec 13 '12 at 16:02
  • Thanks for the clarification, "There was other odd behavior here" hmm I did suspect something fishy. Downvoting is the correct thing to do here but often I answer the same questions as 4,5 of the same guys some who I upvote a lot for good answer and this particular who often posts incorrect answer I downvote, how does SO differentiate an attack this must be quite difficult? Should I be worry about downvoting bad answer? Maybe this serves better as a new question? – iiSeymour Dec 13 '12 at 16:48
  • @sudo_O - In general, moderators (and the serial voting scripts) can distinguish between users who frequently run into each other over a long period of time and those who target someone with a burst of targeted downvotes in quick succession. There are false positives from the voting script, but we only tend to act on this if it's pretty clear that someone is being attacked with revenge votes. Again, if you focus on the answers themselves and ignore the users, you should be just fine. – Brad Larson Dec 13 '12 at 17:07

In this situation I will always downvote the incorrect answer and leave a comment saying why

That's the right thing to do. Nothing much more that can be done.

Many high rep users will see this and either delete or update their answer. And if they don't, at least there is a comment explaining why the answer is wrong.

what can be those that don't, is flagging appropriate here?

There is no appropriate flag here - it is unfortunate, but the hope is that over time, the correct answers (and if you have a correct one, post it if one doesn't already exist) will gain more reputation than the incorrect one and will float to the top.

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    Yes this is exactly the case, but the users has resorted to downvoting my answers so usally mine gets +2 and -1 and there gets +2 and -1. Seems an abuse of the system really. – iiSeymour Dec 13 '12 at 13:48
  • @sudo_O there's nothing you can do about revenge down-voting, either. Never mind that you can't very easily prove when it happens, I suspect that often times you suspect this is the case but it's actually not. People down-vote for a wide variety of reasons, not all of them correct, but they've earned the right to do so. You have to choose whether you're going to let occasional down-votes on good answers get to you or not, because there's no way to prevent them. – Aaron Bertrand Dec 13 '12 at 13:51
  • @sudo_O - If that's the behaviour (and you can't be sure, as votes are anonymous), then yes, it is an abuse and you should flag the user for this abuse. But only if you can prove your case. – Oded Dec 13 '12 at 13:52
  • @Oded I wouldn't go that far, since it's very difficult to be certain who down-voted. I'm not sure this is what we want to promote as a good use of moderators' time, unless you have solid evidence of a single user and a pattern - one down-vote is not sufficient IMHO. – Aaron Bertrand Dec 13 '12 at 13:52
  • @AaronBertrand - True. And I agree - one needs proof before flagging. – Oded Dec 13 '12 at 13:53
  • @AaronBertrand I got comment notification from the other user on the question at the same time I recieved the downvote so I think it's pretty clear it was a revenge downvote from notifying him his answer was wrong. – iiSeymour Dec 13 '12 at 13:55
  • @sudo_O I would hardly call that proof. You may be right, but it may just be coincidence. There are a LOT of users on StackOverflow - are you saying it's impossible that more than one user was looking at your answer at the same time? Anyway I wouldn't lose any sleep over this. Idiots are going to post bad answers and down-vote good ones, and like I said, not much you can do about it. Post good answers and the idiot down-votes are going to become insignificant noise. If you're going to let it bother you, maybe this isn't the right community for you... – Aaron Bertrand Dec 13 '12 at 13:56
  • @AaronBertrand When you give a full and detailed answer that has comments from users including the OP verifying it's correctness on a question that isn't subjective and hasn't generate many views and you receive a downvote time-stamped at the same time as a comment left by the user whom you downvoted yourself due to there answer being incorrect and leaving a comment as to why.. I think it's reasonable to assume it's a revenge downvote. I take pride in my answers and time to verify them but I will always point out wrong answers at the risk of a revenge downvote. – iiSeymour Dec 13 '12 at 14:15
  • @sudo_O as compelling as the evidence may be, it's still not proof. The key word that stands out in your rant: assume. So what do you propose be done? Report every single down-vote on the site to moderators? I think you're missing my point entirely. – Aaron Bertrand Dec 13 '12 at 14:36
  • I never used the word proof, anyway revenge downvoting wasn't what I wanted to discuss (I agree nothing can be done it's been discuss many times before) drawn OT here. The point is that significant rep can be gained from wrong answers which underminds the trust of high rep users, I guess it's pretty impossible to flag incorrect positive scoring answers for attention and the numbers of users and posts it applies to is small. – iiSeymour Dec 13 '12 at 14:49
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    In addition to leaving a comment saying why it's wrong, I also find it helpful to include a link in your comment to the correct answer. This way its easier for users to find the correct answer and upvote it to the top. – Rachel Dec 13 '12 at 14:56
  • @sudo_O I think we may disagree on the meaning of "significant rep" - sure, bad answers can get up-votes here and there, but if a user is posting consistently bad answers, they're not going to get very far. Can you point out any users who have "significant" rep but post nothing but crap? I know of one specific user but they post crap questions, rather than engaging in any of the activity you're talking about. Again, I think you're focusing on the wrong thing here... – Aaron Bertrand Dec 13 '12 at 16:00

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