I gave a bad answer. It was bad because:

  • it had a flame-bait quote
  • it was mostly off-topic
  • it originally didn't even answer the actual question (now it kinda does)

My question is, how bad is this answer? Is it bad enough that it should be deleted, or should it just be downvoted?

A point in favor of deletion is that the answer itself may be flame-bait; it's drawn a few unhappy comments (which seem to have been deleted).

I just want to emphasize that the answer was actually intended to be helpful, and not rude or offensive. I sincerely apologize that it missed its mark.

1 Answer 1


The core of the question, once you get past the stated problems with the teacher was:

This is was my code. Someone said X is wrong, but I think X is right. What's the correct way to do this?

Rather than answering that question, you addressed whether or not it's okay to question your teacher. Even if that was the focus of the question, it's off-topic here: our expertise is not in how deal with teachers, it's in software development.

So I do agree with the votes you've received: your answer is not useful in solving the actual problem (determining which code is correct). It hasn't been flagged, but had it been flagged as "not an answer", I would've commented asking you to address the actual question or risk having the answer deleted. (Consider me asking you to do that now :))

  • Let me clarify what I'm asking -- I know that it's a bad answer and deserves all the downvotes it gets, should I delete it?
    – user39685
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 18:36
  • 2
    @MattFenwick If you have no interest in revising it to directly answer the question, yes.
    – user8
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 19:19
  • @MarkTrapp But, if he revises the answer to be a perfectly legit and nice answer, then those who commented on the original flamebait will seem like idiots. I'd like to say: Delete or Revise the answer AND keep the original answer with some comments/apologies.
    – Fredrik
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 13:45
  • @Fredrik We're not interested in preserving the blow-by-blow record of how the final, correct answer came to be about. Obsolete comments (i.e. ones that addressed the original version of the answer) should be flagged and removed.
    – user8
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 17:25

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