Many times I've run into questions on SO that have a wrong answer accepted.

(Example: What's the difference between “LIKE” and “=” in SQL? (Note: The accepted answer has been edited to include the caveat mentioned in another answer.))

After trying to convince others, you realize that the person who asked the question got an answer they deemed correct and stopped looking after that. Even if there is a correct answer, it gets buried somewhere deep in the list, because nobody bothers to look at questions with an accepted answer.

Should I, as a high-rep user, use his powers to fix this? How would I go about this? Edit the original question? Edit the answer that got accepted to make it right?

Or just let it be? Internet is a jungle anyway.


3 Answers 3


I think you should use your powers for editing and correct the small error in the accepted answer and make it correct.

  • 1
    And what should be my moyivation for doing that? Especially with the crowd disagreeing. Furthermore it may not be a smal error, but completely mistaken. The problem is more fundamental than that: knowledge is not a matter of democracy and vote. If it were, the Earth would still be flat.
    – babou
    Jul 4, 2015 at 11:48
  • @babou Although I agree with your main premise, the metaphor is inaccurate. The Earth wouldn't be flat. It was never flat, nor believed to be flat. It is actually a popular myth that people used to be so dumb to think that Earth was flat. The story can be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_flat_Earth
    – Pasha
    Oct 12, 2018 at 18:49
  • 1
    @Pasha Good remark, though it applies only to scholars post 3rd century BC. It is unlikely that all SE users qualify as scholars. Have you heard of the majority point of view regarding a dangerous chemical, found for example in acid rain, and capable of killing by suffocation. It is called dihydrogen monoxyde en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide
    – babou
    Oct 12, 2018 at 19:25

If the answer is basically ok and wrong only by a small oversight then correct it.

If it is plain wrong, downvote it and upvote the correct answer, or provide a correct answer yourself. You can also add a comment to point out what's wrong with the answer.

I don't think it is ok to substantially change the meaning of a post attributed to somebody else.


I think you should maybe use your powers for more useful things, like constructing post titles that make sense.

The accepted answer isn't all that wrong, IMO, and crucially he says at the bottom

in this case, you still want to use the equals

The comments seem sufficiently adequate at pointing out the limitations of the answer, but I would not go so far as to call it "wrong".

  • 1
    @Jeff -- are you saying we shouldn't edit to make it correct? That seems inconsistent with the wiki aspect of the site.
    – tvanfosson
    Oct 2, 2009 at 10:45
  • 4
    it is insufficiently 'wrong' for my tastes, but others may disagree. Edit away! Oct 2, 2009 at 10:57
  • Who turned Atwood's "snarky" switch on?
    – user27414
    Oct 2, 2009 at 13:04
  • 4
    Generally, I wouldn't edit an answer at all for anything but minor errors. I would make an exception in the case of an accepted answer that is clearly incorrect. I think we have an obligation to future users to make sure that the accepted answer is, at least, not incorrect.
    – tvanfosson
    Oct 2, 2009 at 13:25
  • Personally I am sick of getting my good answers ignored because of an accepted bad answer, which is then modified by the author who takes the corrections from my own answer. This is on a scientific site, and thus SE is teaching young scientists to be unethical.
    – babou
    Jun 20, 2015 at 21:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .