Several (mostly old) questions, such as this one, have poor, unreferenced answers marked as accepted. Leaving these poor answers is negative to the quality and image of this site. They are broken windows: having the little "checkmark" next to a front and center poor answer seems like an endorsement of a poor answer.

Do we have a system in place to handle such an occurrence?

Are they different than, say, a question with a few good answers (one accepted) and a poor answer at the bottom marked -5? Is the proper action just to downvote or to flag if it's an old question that hasn't been updated in months? What about a new or active question?

  • 2
    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We don't want broken windows and we do value your contribution!
    – Sklivvz
    Feb 4, 2012 at 19:57
  • A note: Where the current rules already kind of active at the time? It can be that in May 2011, the rules were not as strict as they are now.
    – Alenanno
    Feb 4, 2012 at 22:01
  • @Alenanno They were just as strict :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Feb 4, 2012 at 22:18

2 Answers 2


As far as I know, users with 4,000 reputation can vote to delete answers with a negative score:

Trusted users are allowed to perform trusted actions, including:

  • Voting to delete answers with score of -1 or lower
  • Voting to delete questions immediately after they are closed (even if they are new)
  • Editing all tag wikis on the site

When you encounter an accepted answer with a negative score, I would suggest you bring it up on meta to get other users with high reputation to delete it. If it's not yet at a negative score, but it's close to, posting about it on meta might also be enough to bring it under zero.

  • 2
    Can the downvoters explain themselves?
    – Sam I Am
    Feb 6, 2012 at 13:50
  • Something seems foul about encouraging users to rally to delete an accepted answer.
    – user5794
    Feb 6, 2012 at 16:15
  • 1
    @Jacob: There are 19 users, in total, who currently have the power to delete answers with a negative score. Of those, four are moderators. If we graduated today, only moderators would be able to delete answers with a negative score. Some level of coordination is thus required to delete an old answer. By posting on meta, it also gives the ability to the rest of the community to speak in favor of the accepted answer if there is a case to be made in favor of keeping it.
    – Borror0
    Feb 6, 2012 at 16:37
  • 1
    @Jacob, I don't see it as rallying, more of discussion of the kind of content we want in this community.
    – Sam I Am
    Feb 6, 2012 at 23:48

I don't agree with deleting answers unless they are more appropriate as a comment, offensive or offtopic.

In the event of an accepted answer that the community feels is not the best answer, this should be reflected by votes.

Bad answers should be downvoted, regardless of their acceptance status and good answers up voted.

Substantially editing and changing an answer should not be acceptable.

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