I have a question that I submitted an answer to, and it ended up getting 3 downvotes (I won't post the link here because I want to avoid a discussion on the specifics of that question and answer). On a site like stackoverflow.com there would be no question: I would delete the answer without hesitation. However, with a site like japanese.stackexchange, the situationis different. There is no absolute yes or no answer, and unless it's an etymology question, people can only go by their experience and individual teaching, which can vary greatly.

In general, I try to avoid deleting anything unless I know that it clouds the site with misinformation and useless or irrelevant content. For an answer that got down-voted, I simply look at it as "my two cents" that many people just happen to disagree with. The OP or the reader will see that the question was down-voted, and appropriately take what I say with a grain of salt.

In general, I feel that deleting information does not help the site mature, but I would also not like for the site to be clouded with misinformation and useless content. If other people were of the same mind as me, it'd be good for them to see that someone else thought the same thing that they did (and were probably wrong, of course). I'd like to know what you all think. Do you think that it's best to leave down-voted questions up, or delete them?

2 Answers 2


If you feel the information is correct, leave it or improve it.

If you think it's wrong or you can't improve it and you don't want the negative reputation to affect you, go ahead and delete it.

There even is a badge for this, Peer Pressure, so it's not like it's discouraged.

Deleting an answer and deleting a question are two different things:

  • When you delete an answer, you're deleting your own "effort", so others are not that affected (this is true when the answer is wrong, of course).
  • When you delete a question, you're deleting also the effort of those that answered your question.
  • Note that too many deleted questions or answers can trigger the automatic posting ban.
    – Troyen
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 17:16
  • @Troyen I'm aware about the ban but I'm not suggesting "DELETE ALL THE ANSWERS". :P
    – Alenanno
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 17:18
  • By the way, I didn't know there was a ban for answers, but I guess it makes sense.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 17:43
  • I know, deleting one or two won't make a difference, but some people don't realize that deleting a lot gets them banned.
    – Troyen
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 17:52

I do not think that it is a healthy attitude to decide whether you delete an answer or not directly based on voting. If your answer is down-voted but you do not find anything wrong with the answer, then I do not think that it is ideal to delete the answer just because it is down-voted, although one may choose to do so for various reasons. That said, if your answer is down-voted, there may be a reason; if you come to a conclusion that the answer is incorrect, you may want to delete it.

I do not agree with your general statement that questions on japanese.stackexchange.com do not have absolutely incorrect answers. It might be more common in programming questions than in linguistic questions, but some answers are factually incorrect even on japanese.stackexchange.com. For example, this answer of mine was dead wrong before the edit.

A user who down-votes an answer may not think that it should be deleted. For example, I down-vote an answer if I believe that it is incorrect or very misleading, but I do not necessarily think that it should be deleted (although usually I do not mind deletion of answers in which I find no truth). In most cases, existence or absence of answers with negative score do not matter anyway.

Except for spams, I think that deletion of an answer should be decided by the poster of the answer. Some posters delete their answers when they turn out to be incorrect. Others put a note stating that it is not a correct answer (sometimes even with an apology), hoping that the incorrect answer may help readers understand the correct answer better (I have seen this a lot on cstheory.stackexchange.com). What to do is up to the poster. I think that if an answer turns out to be incorrect, the poster of the answer should do something about it, if only to show that he/she admits the incorrectness.

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