I should have known better, but I answered a question too quickly and without fully thinking -- a silly mistake -- and I provided the wrong answer. I realized my mistake moments later and deleted my answer so that I could post the correct answer. I had already been downvoted twice by the time I deleted my answer (it was probably not 3 minutes after I answered)

What is the "proper" action to take if you realize you provided the wrong answer? Should I have instead edited my answer to provide the correct answer rather than deleting it?

For the record, the question was:

PHP "&" operator


Yes, you should edit your answer and correct it.

Other people will come, see it's correct, and upvote it to compensate for the downvotes

  • I have just done that, thanks for the reply. I see that Jon B recommends deleting though... – The Unhandled Exception Feb 5 '10 at 20:11
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    @Josh, if you delete it, there's a good chance you won't get that rep back, because additionally to other users upvoting it, the ones that dowvoted it can come back and change their minds (you will in the future get the -2 points back when there's a recalc, but you'd miss the opportunity for the DV to become an UV) – juan Feb 5 '10 at 20:20
  • Thanks, that's good advice. So deleting an answer that's downvoted will regain the rep after a recalculation? – The Unhandled Exception Feb 5 '10 at 20:37
  • Also let it be known that rep isn't my primary concern -- etiquette and correctness is. Two downvotes is less than half of an upvote, so I'm not too concerned about it. – The Unhandled Exception Feb 5 '10 at 20:39
  • @josh, eventually it will. – juan Feb 5 '10 at 20:56

What you did was perfectly proper. Editing an answer is more appropriate when making a minor correction or adding detail. If your answer was flat out wrong (and downvoted), deleting it makes better sense.

  • Thanks. I thought this was correct also, editing makes more sense for minor mistakes. I agree with you but I think @Downvoter is right in saying the only way to un-downvote or upvote is if I edit my answer, so I took his advice... Anyone else want to weigh in on the proper action in this scenario? – The Unhandled Exception Feb 5 '10 at 20:13

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