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With the following question How to edit SSRS 2008R2 Reports in Visual Studio 2012? I previously accepted an answer from @AndrewBay as his answer was appropriate, and correct for that that point in time. Now, a few months later Microsoft has addressed the problem I had and his answer is no longer correct where another answer since posted by @Tim Lewis is correct.

Is it fair for me to update my accepted answer to the now correct one to help users in the future? I ask as I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that the reputation @AndrewBay received previously for his at the time correct answer will then be taken from him.

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That is absolutely acceptable behavior. Sure the reputation will be deducted - but in the big scheme of things this action actively implements the "good stuff floating to the top".

We always want the best answers towards the top of the post - an accepted answer (which should be the best answer), appears first followed by the highest voted answer. This is mechanism ensures that readers will not have to scroll through pages and pages of possibly irrelevant chit chat before a useful answer appears.

I'l give my own example from the Facebook tags:

Facebook has a sharer.php URL that you could send your users to in order to create a post on Facebook. Over time this method was all but phased out with many people (including myself) actively discouraging the use of this deprecated method. A recent change to Facebook's docs shows this older method being used and therefore supported by their APIs.

In such a case, it's a good thing that the most recent (and hopefully accurate) answer would sit at the top of the answer list.

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It is perfectly valid to change the accepted answer. And I understand this wasn't true in your specific situation, but to help future readers of this meta post, you can generally avoid having to change the accepted answer by not accepting answers too quickly - even though certain people will often attempt to bully you into accepting their answer as soon as you can - and before too much competition shows up.

I didn't view the post, but additional points to consider in cases like this:

  • did you up-vote the answer as well as accept? Because you can always up-vote in exchange for taking away the accept (in fact some people only do one or the other for a specific answer). This means they only lose 5 rep in the exchange, and you both still "feel good" about the reward even if it isn't identical.

  • is the answer still valid for anyone who hasn't (for example machine lock-down, red tape wrt updates, etc)? If so, I'd say the answer is still "correct", just not the best answer. If you communicate with the user (and you should; more below), I'd be careful about the wording, as you may end up in a semantic argument where the person insists their answer is correct. And it is, of course, for anyone who is unable to apply the proper fix.

Most importantly, make sure you communicate to the user why you've unaccepted their answer. An unaccept without an explanation is like a drive-by down-vote - it can string and leave people confused (and this is usually not about the rep, per se - anyone posting good answers consistently isn't going to care about 5, 10 or 15 points here or there, especially if they had up-votes from other folks to make up for the unaccept).

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    +1 for communicating with the user. A comment is all you need.
    – Lix
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 0:03

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