I just happened to find this question with a seemingly (I really want to use "absolutely") wrong answer.

Is there any procedure to change the accepted answer or even delete it?

I don't understand how it works.

This previous question here seems to be addressing the same issue. The answers to the question sound reasonable. But what if the OP is not responding to multiple downvotes and doesn't budge a bit after comments that are intended to correct it?

Is there any statue of limitations or procedure to correct it for this kind of answer?

  • 1
    Which is the answer you're referring to? The highest-voted? Accepted? A recent low-quality addition?
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 12:29
  • 5
    I think it would extremely misleading to everyone who comes later to edit an existing answer to say the opposite of what the OP intended. In fact I would consider it morally wrong. The direction of this meta question is misguided. You can comment there that you believe the answerer is wrong (and give data) or even answer yourself and promote your answer, or start a discussion about the content, but advocating flipping or deleting a reasonable (if wrong) answer is not the way to go about it. Have you ever considered that you might be wrong?
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 13:38
  • @Rathony then give your alternate correct answer. Editing a wrong answer or deleting it is not the proper response (that is what hundreds of years of rationalism has shown to be better than what is basically shouting down. Note: ELU is not an absolute authority, people are fallible (and the SE technology embraces that). Just because the OP selects an answer doesn't mean it is a correct answer, just that the OP liked it or found it helpful. It's good that you are going through old questions and finding things to fix, but changing an answer isn't the appropriate fix.
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 13:49
  • 2
    Do not post a new question (because it would be as you say a duplicate) Post a new answer to the old question.
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 13:53
  • 1
    You said 'I am tempted to post the question myself', so I took that at face value and advised otherwise even if you really didn't mean it. The right way is to post your own answer, not to censor others.
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 13:57
  • @Rathony Sounds good (that you got the culture here (Tim's answer corroborates)). But you say that you counsel others to not censor, yet you seem to have been pushing for that, strongly even. Are you being mercurial, changing you mind or just pushing a strawman to get a more explicit denial?
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 14:44
  • @Rathony: Re: I would not answer the question as I have no business with it. It seems to me the fact that you're raising this meta question is prima facie evidence that you do "have business" with it. Personally I don't think there's anything "wrong" with going by foot, and the (easily-established) fact that going on foot is significantly more common isn't particularly important anyway. But if it bothers you, I think you should post an answer to that effect while this question is still "hot" enough that your link will encourage others to express agreement with your position. Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 20:05
  • 2
    @Rathony: I don't follow that. Why would you have "posted the same answer" if you think it's rubbish? I agree with your negative assessment and have downvoted it - because the cited Google hits look like total fantasy, not because "by foot" is in any sense "invalid". But I find myself in the awkward position of also feeling obliged to upvote the answer On foot is the usual way to say it. I'd normally be tempted to downvote an answer like that, because it's trivial, lacks supporting evidence, etc. You could surely come up with a better answer than that. Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 20:29
  • ... @Mitch is quite right that editing the content of a rubbishy answer isn't the way to do things here. But with luck enough of us will downvote it that we'll get the option to delete it (though I'm not sure if that's ever an option for an "accepted" answer, and there's no chance of the OP returning after over 4 years to retract the acceptance). Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


There is now a bounty of 350 points on "By foot" vs. "on foot", the endless stream of low quality answers from anonymous and unregistered users was depressing. The question has attracted 42k views since it was posted, it seems there is an effective need for a concise but comprehensive answer.

Let's hope the question attracts some high-quality answers and up-votes which will indicate the community's general consensus.


I see that the accepted answer is regaining upvotes. There are a total of 13 upvotes against eight downvotes. May I point out, (which Rathony also picked up on) the user, snumpy, says, and I quote [emphasis mine]:

When it comes to using "on foot" or "by foot," either would be correct; however, a quick google search demonstrated that "by foot" is more commonly used (150M hits vs. 85.4M hits)

Evidently, the above affirmation is false, none of the answers posted since November 26 have confirmed this bold statement. Therefore, the above answer is inaccurate and extremely misleading. Despite Tim Lemington's affirmation

… over time, the better answers will get upvotes, the bad ones will not.

it appears that the community continues to upvote poor answers.

  • I didn't know you posted an answer to this question. I share your concern by accepting your answer.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 15:31
  • Snumpy has edited and corrected his answer!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 16:32
  • Oh, really? I j downvoted it finally when I upvoted Sven Yarg's answer. :) You made it!!! Congrats!!!
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 16:34
  • Is it impossible to unwind your downvote? I tried it but failed.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 16:39
  • It is possible to reverse a downvote only after an edit. Just click on the down arrow and it should reappear grey instead of red.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 16:41
  • I think I have to wait until it is edited again. I tried to click on the down arrow, but nothing but a message that says it is locked. I should have read the answer first. Anyway, I will try it after it is edited. Thanks.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 16:47

No, there is no way to delete somebody else's answer because you think it is wrong. If there is a provable inaccuracy, leave a comment with a short explanation or a link. If you think it not only wrong but misleading, downvote. If you merely disagree, post a competing answer, or leave it in peace if the question is old enough not to worry about. This is the basic principle of SE; over time, the better answers will get upvotes, the bad ones will not. If you disagree with the votes on one question, that's interesting but not a reason to nullify the voting system.

And it's just as well you didn't use absolutely; the word does have a clear meaning, which does not apply to any of the answers on that question as far as I can see.

  • Thank you for your answer. I understand your points.
    – user140086
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 14:04

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