Yesterday, I came across this infamous question: https://puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/10466/the-traveler-and-the-blood-thirsty-troll?rq=1

I agree that it should be the OP's discretion to select a best answer to his question, but for the community as a whole, the chosen answer seems wholly unhelpful.

Is there a way to deselect the answer if it's got enough downvotes(or even a single downvote)? If not, will it be a good idea to add such functionality?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ similar proposals come up on SE all the time and they are always declined; it is at the OP's discretion to accept whatever answer they want, but in practice that's really just a power-upvote; it's clear in that question that the accepted answer is terrible. $\endgroup$ – KutuluMike Jan 8 '16 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ So, nothing can be really done? $\endgroup$ – cst1992 Jan 8 '16 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ Not really. As far as I know there is no way for anyone other than the OP to accept or unaccept an answer through the software and the devs have consistently refused to make one. $\endgroup$ – KutuluMike Jan 8 '16 at 14:22
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    $\begingroup$ meta.stackexchange.com/search?q=downvoted+accepted+answer $\endgroup$ – Kevin Jan 9 '16 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ Damn. I omitted 'accepted' from my title, otherwise I'd have gotten all these. $\endgroup$ – cst1992 Jan 9 '16 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ One way (and perhaps the only way) to get rid of an accepted answer is deleting the question. I would support that in this case, given that the question is really quite a bad specimen. And I'm not sure the other answers are worth preserving either - especially given that the OP edited to invalidate the other answers meaning the question and the answers are in conflict right now. One could undo those edits and try to salvage the question (though it'd still be too broad), but right now, it looks like exactly the sort of thing for which deletion would be appropriate. $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Jan 10 '16 at 21:06

This will never get accepted by the SE network.
There are 2 metrics for an answer:

  • Up/down vote: this comes from what the community things
  • Accept: this comes from the OP.

An accepted answer does not mean that the answer is the best (that's why there is even a badge for outscoring an accepted answer Populist). It just means that the Op was satisfied with the answer.
And I don't think you (we) should take any actions against that particular answer.
You can always leave a comment to the answer saying it is bad and the poster should feel bad about it.
Deleting a question because the answer is bad is even worse than the bad answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Nobody said anything about deleting the question. $\endgroup$ – cst1992 Mar 18 '16 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ @cst1992. but someone did: meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/4500/… $\endgroup$ – Marius Mar 18 '16 at 8:35
  • $\begingroup$ In the general case, I'd go with your last statement, but in this case, the question itself was not formatted correctly. Maybe you came across this post after the question was deleted, so you wouldn't know. In fact, I think the VLQ(or VTC in case of a question) flag is for such questions. $\endgroup$ – cst1992 Mar 18 '16 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ @cst1992 I agree. Bad questions should be flagged. But I was talking in general and from experience on other SE websites. It is not a good idea to delete a question or to take actions against it because the accepted answer is bad. $\endgroup$ – Marius Mar 18 '16 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, but in case there's a misunderstanding, that's not what Milo is talking about in his comment. He's just saying that no one other than the OP has means to change what the accepted answer is(and the devs have refused to introduce one). The question was also deleted, but that was because it should have been deleted anyway, not just because of the wrong accepted answer. If you were wondering, the last time I saw that answer, it had a score of -22 :). $\endgroup$ – cst1992 Mar 18 '16 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ Do you know what I suspect? 99% of OPs don't even come back to questions once they have selected the answer. So it's a bit unlikely that the accepted answer will change once it's selected anyway, unless someone notifies the OP and he decides to change it. $\endgroup$ – cst1992 Mar 18 '16 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ ha ha...well that's a solution. downvoting to oblivion. $\endgroup$ – Marius Mar 18 '16 at 9:21

After the comments above, I browsed the threads linked, and came across the following comment:


I guess I can't argue with that.

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    $\begingroup$ Those types of votes are detected by SE's vote fraud system and reversed. My guess is that Alec is lying. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jan 10 '16 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ By the way, you can link to comments - hover over the time-stamp of the comment and copy the link that shows up. E.g.: here's a link to your comment above: link. It would be interesting to see if the mods backed up Deusovi's guess. $\endgroup$ – Lawrence Mar 12 '16 at 2:40

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