I have found a question about technology choice with regards to web developent, which is two and a half years old. I have tried to give it a bump, but since it has already been answered, I guess nobody will think about adding a new updated answer. I am relatively new here so I might not be in the possition to come with drastical suggestions, but could it be a good idea to turn all questions and answers that are more than two years old into community wikis? Maybe also that the answers need to be reconfirmed? I know this is really drastical, but the reason for this is that technology advances fast, which means that we will get a lot of correct, but obsolete answeres around.

  • 1
    I do agree we need tools to bring attention to old questions. I don't agree with your suggestions, but the problem exists. We need to incentive people to answer again by means of the rep (the main tool). Bounty is not a good approach here: costs too much, has time limit problems, and you need to keep attention to the deadline. (Ok, this comment should be an answer now). The site has intrinsic problem with inflation. It is just the way it is designed. Don't think bounty would save the problem. We need tools to give rep, and inflation control. One suggestion: privileges should also increase.
    – DrBeco
    Apr 7 '11 at 10:57

I would tend to create a new question. In that new question mention the old one (link to it) stating that it is outdated.

If in doubt you should just ask here on meta how to proceed with that specific question like you already did.

  • +1 good point, and just as you suggest this should be decided on a case-to-case basis Apr 7 '11 at 11:39
  • Today I asked my 1st question. It's harder every day to ask something "new enough", to begin with. I read the FAQ, did my Google homework, researched old questions, linked some in the new one, even added a relevant new aspect not discussed before. I also remembered a hint (somewhere on SO) how important Google is for driving traffic to the questions here. I also told my reasons for the new Q. Well, soon I got comments that I should not ask new, but improve "the" old one. Noone said which "the" old (I did ask), and it got downvoted & closed before I could blink. Not very enouraging, I'd say.
    – Sz.
    May 9 '13 at 19:47

Since you have enough rep, you can leave a comment at the answer mentioning your doubts. Or add a bounty (50 rep should be bearable if the answer is important for you) and leave a comment at the question stating you'd like to know if the accepted answer is still valid or a new one should be there.

  • Let's say that I put my hard earned reputation into a bounty and got a better answer. It would maybe be way down the list and the obsolete answer would most likely stay as the accepted answer for another two years. I think that we some kind of mechanism to facilitate this sooner or later.
    – David
    Apr 7 '11 at 10:50
  • @David: the answer would get your personal accepted check in the form of "+50", and if others agree the answer will follow directly behind the accepted answer due to upvotes. You could still leave a comment to the OP asking him to re-check the accepted answer. I think other meta questions were clear on that only the OP may influence which answer is accepted, though. If the accepted answer is really obsolete or even wrong, downvote and/or leave a comment there asking the user to revise their answer Apr 7 '11 at 11:08
  • if you think about Stackoverflow in three years time, do you really think that what you describe would be sustainable? Given that people would need to loose 50 rep each time they discover an obsolete answer and want to help. I think that unless a mechanism is in place for this then Stackoverflow will become a nice place to read about historical technologies (I love to put some drama into the discussion ;) ).
    – David
    Apr 7 '11 at 11:17
  • @David: yeah, you're right there, maybe votes should decay in time or something. Feel free to post your solution as [feature-request] ;-) Apr 7 '11 at 11:26


I think instead of flagging as pointed out in below comments, you should leave a comment on such old obsolete answers/questions, so that other people can notice and act accordingly.


We do have flagging system in place to flag for moderator's attention if you see some answer or question is obsolete and not valid anymore.

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    flagging should be used for troublesome posts, but not as a "is this answer still valid?" mechanism. For that you should use comments or bounties Apr 7 '11 at 10:25
  • @Tobias - I guess you are right. Afterall why overburden mods with such stuff. Edited my answer to put comments instead of flagging. Apr 7 '11 at 11:32

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