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All the options presented to me through the UI do not seem to address the situation correctly. Here is a screenshot of the options available to me.

View of the top level options

And here are the Share Feedback options.

Share feedback options

The only one that seems applicable is to just edit the question to be the correct one. But are those really the only solutions?

My first instinct is to tell the answerer that their answer is wrong. But none of the feedback options seem to encourage it. In fact, they seem to shy away from the "obvious" reaction. Perhaps that is intentional, based on this website's reputation.

But I guess, as a side question, is it implying that the solution here is to just fix bad answers? I am not opposed to doing that, but I really want to make sure that that is the intended strategy before applying (what I believe to be) a very blunt hammer to a situation that is delicate (a new user giving their first answer ever on this website). It feels like a very blunt "how-do-you-do" for someone trying to learn, not to mention we are fixing the problem for them, rather than teaching them to do it themselves.

And I would absolutely like to avoid flagging. The answer isn't garbage, but it makes a bad assumption at its core. Here is the answer on the review queue.

https://stackoverflow.com/review/first-answers/35025193

And in case the answer gets removed from the queue, here is the direct link to the answer.

https://stackoverflow.com/a/77149425/10118965

Finally, I should add that the edit that I would have made anyways would effectively be a direct copy of a fellow answer on the question.

EDIT - Upon a deeper inspection, the answer is just fundamentally wrong, not just a bad assumption.

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    Downvote, then select 'Other Action'?
    – CDR
    Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 16:11
  • @CDR Technically, I can, but that feels even more unhelpful. Wasn't the entire purpose of the "First XYZ" queues to help new users get an idea of the culture? A downvote and a "sayonara" sounds like the worst of both worlds. Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 16:13
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    @davidalayachew there's one answerer and hundreds of thousands of people who might come across that answer, spend time trying it out, find it doesn't work and then become upset because they wasted their time. Aren't you helping all of those people by downvoting and thereby discouraging them from fruitlessly trying something you know won't work? Think of how you're helping all of them. Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 16:22
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    @RobertLongson I am not disagreeing with downvoting, I am disagreeing with that being the only response. Your answer provided a far more comprehensive, and thus, effective solution. I am far more partial to your strategy than CDR's. Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 16:25

1 Answer 1

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If you can determine that an answer is wrong then that's a bonus, we don't require that people understand whether an answer is correct in order to review it.

You can do any of the things you'd normally do on encountering an incorrect answer

  • add your own correct answer, unless there are already other correct answers and yours wouldn't add any more information
  • upvote any other correct answers
  • downvote the incorrect answer
  • add a comment saying what you think is wrong with the incorrect answer

None of these are mandatory but voting will help others avoid going trying an answer that's unlikely to help them, adding a correct answer if there isn't one already would help even more.

If the post has other grammatical problems then do edit it into shape if you can. Hopefully the original answerer will come and correct their mistake but you can make life easier for them.

What you shouldn't do is correct their answer (other than in its grammar or clarity). After all it isn't your answer and if the mistake is in your understanding of the issue rather than their answer then you've just changed their answer into something that will attract undeserved downvotes.

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  • So, there already is a good correct answer, but all of the other bullets are very helpful. Ty vm. I will do all of the other bullets. Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 16:20
  • That last paragraph as well is extremely helpful. I will make sure not to change the fundamental point of the answer when reviewing. Ty vm again Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 16:20

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