If I see the following in an answer...

Also, please consider upvoting my answer to a [similar question here] and downvoting the approved answer which is not correct IMO.

What should I do?

  • Comment?
  • Edit out the text?
  • Nothing?
  • Take note and use it as a strategy for gaining precious reputation correcting a failure in the community to identify the correct answer?
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    It's noise, we don't like noise Oct 9, 2013 at 22:14

2 Answers 2


If the other answer is actually related -- that is, if readers of the current answer would benefit from seeing the other too -- then it's perfectly reasonable to cross-link. However, not like that, and the overt campaigning is both noisy and distasteful. And in particular, campaigning against another answer like that is bad form; he should register his objection in comments on that answer.

If I'm fairly comfortable on the site, then I would edit out that text in favor of something like "Related: (link)", being sure to leave a useful edit comment explaining why I did this. Treat it as a teaching moment. If I'm more fringy on the site in question, I would probably wait to see if somebody else addresses it and only do so myself later. (And if I'm lower-rep, my edit suggestion will go into a review queue, a good thing.)


If I see the following in an answer... What should I do?

Since I'm the offending party this is going to be lopsided answer of course, but here are some thoughts.

The question that I'm linked to is extremely related. They are both about race conditions seen in producer/consumer threaded application which I have a lot of experience with -- you can check my SO multithreading and concurrency scores if it makes any difference.

I actually created a web page to specifically address the incorrect answer and I read pages on meta at the time to see what I could do to counter the example in question. I added comments to it. I pinged the OP a couple of times. Didn't make much difference. The wrong answer continues to get up-votes and my correct one is below the fold.

Take note and use it as a strategy for (gaining precious reputation) correcting a failure in the community to identify the correct answer?

I would love to have my name (and related reputation points) removed from my answer if it would mean correcting the page in question. This is certainly not about "gaining precious reputation".

Now we come to another question which is also specifically about the same topic. I answer it fully with good detail and examples. And I ask people to "please consider" voting on the other page with the wrong answer at the bottom. Why is this so wrong? I'm making a polite request after taking the time to inform the reader about the same subject.

I guess I should live with the face the SO gives wrong answers every so often but it's depressing.

Edit out the text?

I would never consider editing out a section of a guy with more reputation than I. I would certainly comment on it first which I guess is what you are doing here.


Couple months later I have toned down my request at the end of my answer to not encourage downvoting -- that was inappropriate. But I still encourage people to upvote my answer which I still strongly believe is much more relevant to the question.

  • 11
    But Viagra really is a useful product. There are lots and lots of people out there with a medical condition that would be much more manageable if they are able to use this particular product to help them improve their quality of life. It's not about me getting advertising money, it's about helping people, that's why I'm sending billions of emails to every single possible address I can get my hands on, honest.
    – Servy
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:01
  • Cute analogy @Servy.
    – Gray
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:03
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    "I would never consider editing out a section of a guy with more reputation than I" - if it needs an edit, it needs an edit, regardless of the rep of the original author. A general observation, not necessarily a comment on the issue at hand. Oct 10, 2013 at 19:04
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    I hope you take the point though; it's not just a joke comment. Adding this to an answer is effectively spam; it's advertising something in a manor not considered appropriate on this site.
    – Servy
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:05
  • I certain edit questions with higher reputation @EsotericScreenName -- but to improve readability or correct bugs. I would not edit out something however. But I understand your point.
    – Gray
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:06
  • It's not considered appropriate to advocate for the correction of something that I know to be incorrect @Sergy? That's unfortunate.
    – Gray
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:07
  • @Gray First off, if you want people to get notifications when you reply to their comments you need to spell their usernames correctly. Given the auto completion it shouldn't be that hard. Next I said that you didn't go about it properly, not that there's no way to go about it. Embedding "go here and vote for me links" in all of your answers is improper, but commenting on a bad answer to explain what's wrong, posting a bounty, bringing it up in chat (while following the rules of the chat rooms you're in), using external sites, i.e. social networking or a blog post, are all appropriate.
    – Servy
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:54
  • To follow my own earlier analogy, it's entirely appropriate for Viagra to buy add space on TV shows, in banner adds on websites, etc. That doesn't mean it's okay to pay people to hack systems to get emails, spread viruses that pop up adds to their services, etc. There's a right way and a wrong way to go about bringing attention to things.
    – Servy
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:56
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    Who said I did it in "all my answers". That's the only one I know of @Servy which I thought was okay because it directly related. I can't add a bounty to myself so how does that help? I've done the rest. Sorry for the typo. I probably will happen again.
    – Gray
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:57
  • Careful about pushing your analogy too far @Servy. It's cute but it's too easy to punch holes in it. Thanks for the feedback.
    – Gray
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:59
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    @Gray It's not something that's appropriate to add to any of your answers on this site, as has been said in this post. If you've taken all of the steps that are allowed and they didn't work, then it would seem people just weren't interested, or didn't like your answer, or disagreed that the other answer was so bad, or don't care about the whole question, etc. That people choose to not be interested doesn't mean it's okay to include such comment in other answers of yours.
    – Servy
    Oct 10, 2013 at 20:00
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    Just to be clear my biggest issue wasn't what you did, but rather that I couldn't find a meta question on this which I why I posed the question. I honestly feel the same way when I see a bad answer at the top. On the other hand I'm not sure this is the remedy. Oct 10, 2013 at 20:08
  • Sure thing @SomeHelpfulCommenter. I understand. And you don't know me or my experience level or what my intensions are. All understood. For me it's depressing because I know that it's an incorrect answer. I know that the top folks in my area would agree and that the people that are upvoting the other answer aren't as experienced. I just need to get over it. Cheers. :-)
    – Gray
    Oct 10, 2013 at 20:11
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    I've "known" a great many things in my life, sometimes I was right, sometimes I was wrong Oct 10, 2013 at 21:15
  • @Gray Having looked at the answer, a spurious wake up is a reason to guard the wait with a loop, it may not be the best answer but it wouldn't say it is incorrect, the loop protects against both conditions (the race hazard, and the spurious wakeup), a proper answer should mention both. In particular because the construct may be used in situations where the race hazard is not a problem, but the spurious wake up is.
    – Dev
    Oct 11, 2013 at 13:47

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