When should I vote to delete an answer?

You may vote to delete answers in the following cases:

  • The answer is extremely low quality: There is little to no scope for improvement
  • The answer doesn't attempt to answer the question; it may be a comment or a separate question altogether.

Is this intended to infer an all inclusive terminology, i.e. both criteria should be met when casting a delete vote?

I've always been of the opinion that delete votes were not intended to stop probably wrong answers with little value, but to eliminate posts that were troublesome, rather than merely bad.

1 Answer 1


The text in the help center is meant as a general guidance. Different communities have taken different stances about when exactly to delete posts. E.g. on Puzzling Stack Exchange, answers without explanation might be deleted (even if they are correct). On other sites, plain wrong answers may be kept (but heavily downvoted) for 'instructional purposes' (example).

For the general case, the FAQ already states that

Answers that are wrong or that dispense poor advice should be downvoted, not deleted.

both criteria should be met when casting a delete vote?

No. One of them is enough; the help center says "the following cases", not "the following case".

  • I understand that. However I am not sure that the criteria you list here prevents clarification, even if how a specific community handles it may vary slightly from the expected norms.
    – Chad
    Mar 6, 2018 at 15:40

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