I would like to ask what to do if you receive an answer which is:

  • offtopic
  • containing false information

I'd like to ask for some guidance about what I did wrong.

I asked a question, someone answered me off-topic, clearly not having made much effort to read through my question. I tried to explain in a comment what my question is once again, but they just posted a link to a very general on-line tutorial on the subject and also wrote something which contained an elementary mistake and contradicted the tutorial. I didn't want to point anything out, so I just wrote what is correct (to the best of my knowledge) and reiterated my original question/doubt, phrasing it in a yet different manner. Someone else wrote an emotional comment asking "why I'm here since I obviously know everything and no one else has any idea what they're talking about".

Well, obviously I don't know everything (hence I'm asking) but when I ask for an apple, I don't want an orange in return and when someone writes something blatantly false, I have the right to contradict it? Or not?

I'm new to Stack Exchange sites, so I'd be glad especially for the opinion of users with high reputation or long history of using the sites.

  • well, yes, you can cast a vote, you can ask for clarification, etc. If you don't have the rep to do so, just continue as if you had already taken the action. – Kevin B Jun 1 '18 at 22:18
  • 3
    A link to the post in question would be good, without it we have no context for what they said or what you said or how wrong they were etc... – Mark Kirby Jun 1 '18 at 22:20
  • 2
    I agree with @Mark. It's hard to tell without seeing the concrete case. Sometimes people ask for apples, when they should ask for oranges (aka. the XY-problem). – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 2 '18 at 10:42

If I "receive an answer which is:

  • offtopic
  • containing false information"

then I downvote it and usually would comment to suggest why.

If other users agree with me on that particular answer then I suspect that they would do likewise.

Users receiving downvotes on, and comments saying what is false about, their answers are likely to write more considered answers in the future.

If they continue to write offtopic answers or answers with false information then those answers will continue to be judged the same way.

Those wanting to accrue reputation to unlock a site's features generally learn quickly that writing quality answers is the quickest way to that outcome.

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