Since an answer is accepted, I should think that this would STOP any sort of downgrading effort. However it does not. In fact, an accepted answer can continue to go very negative.

I suggest that this bug be corrected....to either prevent downvoting an accepted answer OR preventing the answer from going negative, or set a bottom limit to either -1 or 0.

Furthermore, as author of an accepted message that caused this question, I cannot delete or remove it since it is accepted. But people over time keep adding more negative votes for some reason (probably the piling on situation).

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    Perhaps a different angle to consider: "Downvotes on accepted answers shouldn't cost the answerer reputation"? (though a bad/wrong answer should be "punished" in theory, it really is somewhat unfair since they can't be deleted once accepted) – voretaq7 Feb 21 '13 at 23:29
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    In the interim to stop you from getting stomped on by the pile-on downvoters I've ---locked--- deleted your answer for you (apparently mods are immune to the "can't delete if accepted" bit, I didn't think we were) – voretaq7 Feb 21 '13 at 23:32
  • I'd go for that, I still feel that the current handling of ACCEPTED answers needs to be changed. – mdpc Feb 21 '13 at 23:32
  • voretaq7 -- thank you! – mdpc Feb 21 '13 at 23:32
  • Am I to understand that if our answers gets unpopular and gets us negative reputation, we can just delete them? How is that not "cheating" the system? Accepted or not, I think it's a little unfair to remove answers in order to stop loosing reputation. – Alex Feb 22 '13 at 16:11
  • The aim is not to score points, it is to have good or correct answers. If people delete a bad or incorrect answer then the feedback system is working as intended! The only problem here is in not being able to give back the acceptance, and because people are encouraged to keep high acceptance levels wrong answers are quite often accepted. – JamesRyan Feb 25 '13 at 15:45

Oh, oh indeed. I see the problem since the answer I was looking for as an example is your answer. I wondered why it was never deleted and it hadn't crossed my mind that you were stuck with it.

How can I list my open ports on Debian?

Yes, we've beat the dead horse in downvotes and it IS wrong that an answerer is stuck with that. As a general matter of course we don't want to have accepted answers be deletable, but some answer does need to apply to fixing this very particular edge case you are (were) stuck with.


This is intended behavior. If an accepted answer is wildly wrong, the OP didn't know what they were doing perhaps, the downvotes are there to register the community's disapproval of the accepted answer and there will likely be another non-accepted answer that is much higher voted.

I've been in the same situation you are. What I ended up doing was editing the answer to say that another answer is more-correct than mine. It's still listed as Accepted, the OP hasn't been back to the site since they accepted it. But that other answer is the actual correct one.

  • Accepts indicate the OP thought this fixed their problem.
  • Votes are how the community selects which answer is the best answer.

The two systems are independent for a reason.

Unfortunately, a wrong-accepted answer will attract more downvotes than a merely-wrong one. I've dealt with mod-flags that read:

This answer is completely wrong, this other one should be accepted.

Which is not in my power.

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    I see your point, but no further gain beyond going below -1 is really achieved. Especially since I, as the author, cannot remove or delete the entry the community feels is bad. In otherwise, the author is STUCK. I don't believe that is what is intended here. – mdpc Feb 21 '13 at 21:37
  • @mdpc I actually agree with you - I think it's unfair that you can't delete that answer. To me, editing is a copout, though apparently it's the accepted solution. – Dan Feb 21 '13 at 21:44
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    I think that there is a benefit to an answer being more than -1. It shows that more than one person thinks it's wrong. It's for that reason that I don't think that there's such a thing as "piling on downvotes". I vote independently of other votes, I have no problem being the first or 10th downvote on an incorrect answer or bad question. Seeing something that's -5 or -10 removes any doubts that future readers have about the correctness. – MDMarra Feb 21 '13 at 23:27
  • That said, at -16 I think it can take a rest – MDMarra Feb 21 '13 at 23:28
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    MDMarra - I am talking about an ACCEPTED answer...not just an answer. It seems wrong to allow continued downvoting w/o allowing the author to delete the answer. – mdpc Feb 21 '13 at 23:29
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    I agree that you should be able to delete your own answer whether it's accepted or not. However, your question on meta is saying that if it's accepted it shouldn't be allowed to go negative. Those are two very different things and it's not something I agree with. That's what my comments were about. – MDMarra Feb 21 '13 at 23:36
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    Is there a negative rep cap per day? -16 is way over the top for an answer that isn't harmful in anyway. – jscott Feb 22 '13 at 1:42
  • Rep is not the point of stack exchange, no one has lost anything important by getting -16 – JamesRyan Feb 25 '13 at 15:50

So, if your accepted answer is wrong, and you know it, fix your answer. Problem solved. (If another answer is better, refer to it, with a brief summary of your own.)


Just because the OP thinks an answer is good doesn't mean that it actually is, and this shouldn't deprive the rest of the community from indicating this by voting.

Deleting an accepted answer has been suggested on MSO and declined, although many people seem to disagree with Atwood's explanation. Personally I think that accepted answers should be deletable by the author (I've also answered a question incorrectly, got accepted, and wanted to delete my answer.)

  • The logic Jeff is using there is the same logic that prevents moderators from marking an answer as accepted (or unaccepted): "Only the one who asked the question knows if the answer helped". It's probably correct in 90% of the cases... – voretaq7 Feb 21 '13 at 23:27

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