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How to deal with upvoted yet clearly wrong answers

An incorrect answer with high votes can do a lot of damage. I'm specifically concerned here with answers that are clearly incorrect, no grey areas. An example is Jason Cohen's answer to:

How do you detect where two line segments intersect?

which has 38 upvotes despite having several comments from people explaining why it's simply incorrect, mathematically. The process of waiting for the community to downvote it is not happening in this case...it's a plausible and well-written answer, and 38 other users probably did what I did: upvote it, implement it, and 45 minutes later discover that it's not working. The fact that I'm now unable to turn my upvote into a downvote just makes me feel worse (I get a message saying that my vote is locked in). Frankly I don't see how this damaging answer will ever get downvoted enough for users to be warned. Should I only upvote answers after stringent testing of my own?

Jason Cohen has a 24.k rep, but he has failed to correct his answer and I don't know how to contact him.

The only solution I can think of is to alert a large number of users to take a look and downvote it, or for a moderator to find some way to get into contact with authors in question.

  • 1
    you can comment and ask polity to clear his answer .. and wait at least 24(could be 48) hour ..also you can down vote incorrect answer ..but you can not flag... i have done and got rejected with replay declined - flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer Dec 23, 2012 at 14:49
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    @NullPointer Sounds like an answer, not a comment to me. Why not post it? Dec 23, 2012 at 15:08
  • @NullPointer : I'm having trouble finding information on how the 'flag' feature works. Is this feature only available to moderators? Is there any way to bring a question to the attention of a moderator?
    – Tim Cooper
    Dec 23, 2012 at 15:38
  • Yes, but not because an answer is wrong
    – random
    Dec 23, 2012 at 15:39
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    @TimCooper, to see how flagging works, have a look at this FaQ entry. Bear in mind mods will not remove "wrong" answers.
    – tombull89
    Dec 23, 2012 at 16:06
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    @TimCooper You don't have enough rep yet, but once you have 2k rep you can get around your locked in vote by doing a fake edit (that is just some white-space) and then down-voting.
    – Jack
    Dec 23, 2012 at 17:32
  • 1
    @Jack Though that is a fairly inappropriate use of that privilege and not recommended. If you edit, make sure you really edit something.
    – Bart
    Dec 23, 2012 at 17:37
  • It's been edited now. Dec 23, 2012 at 17:39
  • 1
    @Bart I actually based my comment off of an anwser from Jeff Atwood. That said I agree that in general you shouldn't do that, but this case seems to be a good candidate for the exception.
    – Jack
    Dec 23, 2012 at 21:04
  • @Jack -37 on that answer I might add. ;) And sure, I will turn a blind eye to a single abuse of the privilege, but wouldn't like to see it become recommended practice. Which I'm sure was not your intention to begin with.
    – Bart
    Dec 23, 2012 at 21:07
  • @Bart It wasn't.. and while it has a -37 it is also from Jeff (and from way before he left stackexchange).
    – Jack
    Dec 23, 2012 at 21:15
  • @Jack I am aware of who Jeff is. ;)
    – Bart
    Dec 23, 2012 at 21:15


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