20K users can vote to delete answers with a negative score.

In which case should such questions be deleted? Is it enough the answer is utterly wrong? Would not the negative score be enough?

The FAQ says that answers that are, "not even a partial answer to the actual question" may be removed. Does that include a wrong answer?

Deleting the answer would give back to the user the reputation s/he lost with the down-votes. Could that be a reason for deleting an answer that is wrong? Do we deleted wrong answers to give to the user who wrote it a new chance?

3 Answers 3


If your reaction to an answer is “that's wrong”, it should be downvoted. Keeping wrong answers around serves a purpose: it shows what not to do (or, on this site, what not to say), and hopefully why.

If your reaction to an answer is “this isn't even wrong” or “this is true but completely irrelevant”, it should be deleted. A future visitor who's looking for answers to the question wouldn't be helped by this answer.

  • I've actually upvoted a few manifestly wrong answers that have one or two delete votes against them, simply to try and stop them being deleted. As you say, sometimes an "incorrect" answer serves a purpose, so long as it's obvious most people disagree with it. Aug 10, 2012 at 21:37
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    @FumbleFingers You shouldn't upvote a wrong answer, that gives the wrong message (it makes it non-obvious that most people disagree with it). It's better not to have these wrong answers at all than to have them look fine (and the poster can delete his answer at any time anyway). Aug 10, 2012 at 21:58
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    @Giles: I'm well aware of your position, but even if every other ELU user upvotes your comment, I shall maintain my right to vote as I please. Aug 11, 2012 at 14:28
  • Bad answers should be deleted.
  • Wrong answers should be left as signposts (that the given content is wrong).
  • Both will hopefully be given more downvotes than up.

I'd say vote to delete an answer that is both bad (your judgement) and negative score (community judgement).


Both votes to close questions and negative votes are used as a technique of repression. Votes to delete questions are the apotheosis of this technique.

  • This will probably end up being a useful "case study" for an "answer" that serves no real purpose, and may as well be deleted. Did you post it deliberately for that reason? Aug 10, 2012 at 21:33
  • @FumbleFinger yes, you are the only one who understood! Aug 10, 2012 at 22:01
  • In this case, there is nothing wrong to delete this answer.
    – apaderno
    Aug 12, 2012 at 23:59

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