I just had an answer to the question What can someone do while forced to doff armor from the heat metal spell removed, with the suggestion that it might be better as a comment.

I initially started writing the response as a comment on an answer that had a significantly incorrect part to it. However a comment was not long or detailed enough to have made it clear what I meant. The response appeared to be a partial answer even though in a "negative" manner (as in the opposite sense, not in the "this is rubbish" sense: it is a good question).

It seems cumbersome to ask another question and answer it myself, and then to refer to that from a comment, but this appears to be the only way of providing a detailed response to an answer with an issue in it other than writing a full answer.

What is the preferred way to respond to an incorrect answer when a comment is not long or detailed enough and your response is not perceived to be a full and/or direct answer to the question?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In this specific case, that exact question was asked here, which was itself marked as a duplicate of this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 11:03
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It's also worth noting, calling that answer incorrect is a bit of a stretch, really. It lists 3 options, only one of which you're objecting to. And even then, it specifically says that option is debatable and up to the GM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ [Related] Should I be requesting people answer the question independently? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


Downvote it. Leave a concise comment. If I can, write a better answer.

Downvote because I find the answer unhelpful: this gives the writer a signal that there's something wrong, and more importantly it helps the site sort answers by quality so future readers can tell the answer's got something fishy going on.

Leave a comment saying "I think X is wrong" without explaining it. Give the answerer some credit and just point them in the right direction as much as I can in a single comment.

Write a better answer because we need good answers. In the long run, it's more important that a good answer be provided than that a bad answer be fixed. It's always nice to help improve answers, but that's just another path to the same result of "providing good answers." (If an answer is flat-out wrong, or irrelephant, what good will a comment do? There's not something to fix, the whole post is fundamentally flawed.)

If I can't figure out how to help improve it AND I can't write a better answer myself, that's okay. Downvote and move on, trusting if the writer can't figure it out on their own from the downvote then somebody else will probably help where I couldn't. That's the power of crowd-sourcing.

And let it go. It's okay for someone to be wrong on the Internet; I'm not the only person who will feel the need to correct them, if indeed they need correcting at all. Again, it's more important that there be a good answer than that the bad answers get told why they're bad.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comment made. Thank you BESW. \$\endgroup\$
    – Protonflux
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 14:05

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