I've got a answer which was accepted, but which happened to turn out to be incorrect. The original poster never bothered to revisit the question, so it's just sort of lingering around, inaccurately checked.

Normally I leave my bone-headed remarks up to remind myself to be more thorough, but I don't want the "right" answer flag attached to a wrong answer, and I'm (again) too stubborn to change my wrong answer to the right answer and pretend like I knew it all along.

Any possibility to delete your own accepted answers?

  • +1, an interesting problem. – Tim Post Jun 30 '10 at 16:03
  • Please edit it as per some of the answers below, just let people know it's an edit from the original. – Lance Roberts Jun 30 '10 at 16:26
  • 1
  • Correct your answer; it's far more important that the answer be correct - it matters less when you discovered the correct answer. – Lawrence Dol Jun 30 '10 at 18:03
  • I was able to delete it for you, but if you'd rather edit it to put in the correct answer, just re-flag the question and we'll undelete it. – Kara Marfia Jun 30 '10 at 19:57

Its better (for everyone) if you just edit the answer. Besides, your original mistake will still be visible in the edit history, for the morbidly curious.

I admire your ethics and discipline, but I think you're putting too much thought into a very simple problem by dismissing the obvious means to solve it :)

If you post information that you later learn is incorrect, you should correct it. That's not at all specific to SO.

You could also strike out a lot of your original answer, but that makes things a little hard to read.

Finally, leave a comment to the OP under their question, in the event that they return .. so they know that you have revised the answer that they accepted.

| improve this answer | |
  • Ended up striking it through, and pointing to the obviously correct post below it. – user137234 Jun 30 '10 at 20:05

Try informing the question asker that your answer is incorrect and another one should be accepted (or, at least, that the checkmark should be removed). Just state this in a comment on the question and it will notify that user.

Moderators cannot change acceptance status. However, I don't know whether or not they can delete an answer that is accepted, and moreover what happens to the acceptance vote as a result. Normally deletion doesn't affect the votes attached to a post (only the reputation changes caused by them), allowing undeletion to retain the original status. I'm not sure exactly what would happen in the case of accepted answers.

Acceptance blocking the act of deletion is similar to how highly voted answers on questions will block the question asker from deleting the question. It's generally to prevent good content from being selfishly deleted. It's also useful so that if the user might have to check back on a previously answered question, they can reliably know that the answer will still be there. This is why in the general case, it's better that accepted answers cannot be deleted.

| improve this answer | |
  • I would, only he's long gone. Hasn't posted anything in months. – user137234 Jun 30 '10 at 15:44
  • 1
    A moderator would have to confirm whether they can perform a deletion before I can suggest flagging. Past that, though, you can also just insert a warning at the top of your answer. Remember that an acceptance vote only really says "This is accepted by the question author", not "This is correct". Vote distribution can help identify the real correct answer, and a warning will help facilitate that as well. – Grace Note Jun 30 '10 at 15:48
  1. Add a comment to indicate the OP that your answer is wrong.
  2. Add an upvote to the correct answer.
  3. Edit your answer to include the correct information, use this syntax

    [Original text, incorrect]

    EDIT: This answer is incorrect. I'm updating my answer to incorporate the accurate information provided by [username](link to correct answer). Please upvote his excellent answer instead of this one.

    [Correct information, put in quote format, from correct answer]

  4. Mark your answer as Community Wiki so you will no longer gain upvotes.

Once you have followed those steps, you've done everything you can to ensure that

  • the "checkmarked" answer really is correct. (helps the community)
  • the correct answerer will get their rep (helps that user)
  • your answer will not get rep (helps your conscience)
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Why not gain upvotes? The OP is taking time to maintain their answers. I understand you said this to thwart guilt, but really .. the OP should be rewarded for taking time to make sure what they posted is correct. – Tim Post Jun 30 '10 at 17:04
  • @Tim Usually plagiarism isn't a behaviour we want to reward. Especially when he already recieved reputation on his initial answer and gaining the checkmark. But these are all just suggestions, each user can adjust to taste. – devinb Jun 30 '10 at 17:37
  • Some of the best answers on SO are an articulate, well formed synopsis of several other answers, so long as proper attribution is given. – Tim Post Jun 30 '10 at 17:56

You must log in to answer this question.

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