In this question, I gave an answer without knowing a functionality of roll20 (I didn't know it could do cards). There is now a better answer that uses roll20.

While rep is great (and delicious), we all really want the best answers available to the community.

Should accepted answers be updated with the best information (at the allowance of the poster of the best content, of course) or should we "trust" that the user will come back and change the accepted answer to the better answer?

P.S. - This question seems to be asking the same thing, but was closed as a duplicate, but I don't understand how the duplicate question answers my question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ related, not duplicate: rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/q/6039/23970 \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 5:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is the sort of situation that the Populist Badge was built for \$\endgroup\$
    – Robotnik
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 6:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ I reckon you might be talking about my answer (p'shaw) and @Robotnik is correct, my shiny new gold Populist badge takes the sting out of the situation for me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Grant
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 16:48

3 Answers 3


You should always try to ensure that your answer is factually correct. If your answer says that X cannot do Y, and it later turns out that X can in fact do Y, you should update your answer to reflect this new information. This applies to all answers, but especially so to accepted ones.

That said, as long as your answer presents a valid solution, even if you believe it to be an inferior one, it's still a valid answer. Some users might legitimately prefer your solution to others, or feel that it provides a useful addition to the other answers. Instead of unnecessary self-censorship, it's better to let the OP and the community judge the relative merits of the answers via voting and accepting.

If you really feel that your answer is giving undue prominence to a poor solution (whether due to being the accepted answer or otherwise), you can always edit it to:

  • mention that a better solution (in your opinion) exists, and that you're only providing your solution for the sake of completeness and historical record;
  • provide a prominent link to the answer that describes the better solution; and
  • clearly describe any disadvantages (and advantages!) of your solution.

Indeed, this is exactly what I'd recommend doing in your specific case here: fix the incorrect impossibility claim, provide a link to Tim Grant's answer explaining how to do it, and keep the alternative solutions in your answer for completeness, as they seem to have been useful for the OP.

(You could also simply ask the OP to unaccept your answer, but it looks like you and nitsua60 have already done that.)

What you generally shouldn't do, as mxyzplk notes, is simply copy another answer into yours. Even if you correctly attributed the copied solution to its original author, and even if you marked the copied answer as community wiki to disavow any rep gains from it, doing that would still result in two essentially identical answers to the same question, which we don't really want.

That said, in some cases quoting a brief excerpt from another answer (with correct attribution, of course) may be useful. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a good example of such a situation here on RPG.SE, but e.g. on Stack Overflow it could sometimes be reasonable to quote a short piece of code from another answer, to illustrate a better or more general solution to the problem, before describing an inferior or more specialized alternative solution.

As noted above, you also generally shouldn't delete a well received answer unless it's factually incorrect and fundamentally unfixable, or unless fixing it would essentially turn it into a copy of another answer with no originality left.

If you did believe that your accepted answer was clearly and objectively wrong, and impossible to fix without turning it into nothing but a copy of (or a link to) another answer, you could technically flag it for moderator attention and explain the situation in a custom flag. Although even moderators cannot unaccept an accepted answer (except on their own questions, of course), they can delete an answer even if it's accepted.

  • \$\begingroup\$ When done in good faith and "as intended", an accepted answer is one that can really solve the question's problem. Even if a better answer exists, the value of knowing what OP used for his real-situation is great. Self-criticism is good, but the (stack's) founding precept of building a knowledge base should always direct all forces into constructivism. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 15:23

Upvote the other answer. Comment on it explaining the issue if desired. Bounty the question. All the usual ways to draw attention to something on the site.

Do NOT crib the answer into your answer. Let the OP decide which is better. There are many cases where there's an answer upvoted more by the community than the answer the OP accepted, that's part of the system (feature, not bug).

Do not delete your answer. Same reasoning as above.

  • \$\begingroup\$ One thing I've done a couple of times if another answer is clearly much better than mine and makes mine obsolete, is to delete my answer altogether \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 9:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wibbs Can't delete an accepted answer though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 14:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can't and also shouldn't. You may feel the new answer is better than yours, but the OP might not. The OP makes the call for accepting answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – lisardggY
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough - point retracted \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm... Does this also mean that, if you should come across a question with what you perceive as better answers than anything you can come up with, you should still submit the inferior answer(s)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Corrodias
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 16:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ That’s another question. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 21:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ While I agree with this as far as subjectively better/worse answers are correct, I do feel that one should try keep one's answers (accepted or not) factually correct. If your answer says that something is not possible, and it later turns out that it is possible, you should correct that even if it means (partially) repeating another answer that says the same thing. Of course, duplication should still be minimized, and credit given where it's due. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 22:30

Comment on the answer recommending that the asker switch the accepted answer, and suggesting why. Not all askers pay close enough attention to do this, but it's worth a try.

If your answer is entirely incorrect, and deleting yours would leave a correct answer as the top answer, consider doing so. Visitors who find this question on Google tend to assume the top answer as the correct answer.

Leaving an incorrect answer up should be avoided. The goal of the site is to provide accurate information, and making numbers go up is secondary to that goal.

If there is no other option, editing your answer to make it correct, noting the correction and crediting the original answerer, is the least worst solution.

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    \$\begingroup\$ NB that accepted answers can't be deleted without mod intervention (and mods are usually hesitant to make the kind of correctness judgements involved in such an action). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 3:42

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