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https://travel.stackexchange.com/a/84229/4868 showed up in the LQP queue and, although the answer is incorrect (as noted in the comment), incorrect isn't one of the options when you attempt to flag the question.

The closest would be "very low quality" and "in need of moderator intervention" but I am not sure that those options fit.

I'm thinking that incorrect answers ought not be deleted - that that's what the down vote is for.

8

If a wrong answer is a decent-quality representation of a common mistake or misunderstanding, then it can be useful to have it there, low-scoring, below answers that are correct, with a clear comment or two explaining why it's wrong. People seeing it learn that this thing they might have heard or suspected actually isn't true. Deleting it would likely be futile, someone else would likely post the same myth or mistake and it'd need to be corrected and/or deleted all over again.

So I think it makes sense that being wrong alone shouldn't be enough to delete an answer.


But if an answer is very poor quality, or a comment not an answer, and it's wrong, then it should definitely be deleted, for the usual quality reasons. That answer you linked to would be very poor quality even if it wasn't wrong, so can be deleted as poor quality.

If it wasn't wrong, the mods might convert it to a comment instead of deleting outright, but comments that are wrong are bad because they can't be downvoted, so it's best to:

  • Flag it as "Not an answer" or "Very low quality"
  • Downvote and/or comment for being wrong
8

I guess it's important to differentiate between low quality answers and wrong answers. Low quality answers should be edited to improve the quality.

On the other hand, mods normally don't delete wrong answers for various reasons. First of all, it's quite often very difficult to judge if an answer is really wrong. Furthermore, that's just not how the system works. There is even a standard answer to decline a flag especially for this reason.

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  • 3
    Yes, this is the one of the most common flags we have to decline. People flagging an answer as 'wrong'. You flag it as not an answer if it's not an answer, and if it's a wrong answer, you downvote it. Simples. – Mark Mayo Dec 13 '16 at 22:21
3

The only flags you would have to flag for deletion of wrong answers (mod notice aside) are very low quality (VLQ) and not an answer (NAA).

NAA should be used in cases where an ‘answer’ is actually not an answer. For example:

So how did it work out, did you need to show your visa?

I have the same problem, please help.

An attempt at an answer should not be flagged as NAA. Providing a wrong answer is clearly an attempt at an answer. Thus, NAA would not be a good flag choice.


The VLQ flag should be used if a post is not readable or understandable (by the average English speaker). It’s basically ‘I can’t really tell whether it’s an answer or not, so let’s just flag it.’ It is only available on new posts scoring zero or less. Examples:

hugihas

Ich kann zwar kein Englisch, aber die Antwort ist zweiundvierzig.

Wiff fork kite edit theory yes seven nice

Again, while it may seem that a wrong answer is low quality, the description of the flag actually says:

This answer has severe formatting or content problems. This answer is unlikely to be salvageable through editing, and might need to be removed.

I’m pretty sure that a large quantity of users got confused by this wording at one point or another in the history of SE. I’m one of them. Taking the flag declining reason Roflcopter provided, however, it should be clear that ‘content problems’ should mean ‘this might look like English but it doesn’t parse as an English text.’ Therefore, this flag is also not appropriate for wrong answers.


All things considered, there is no adequate flag and thus wrong answers shouldn’t be removed. They should, however, be downvoted to show that they are wrong.

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    Being wrong is a severe content problem. And it is not salvageable through editing - at least as long as editing is used the way the site intends them to be used. There is even a rejection reason for suggested edits which is applicable to such edits. – kasperd Dec 18 '16 at 12:33

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