In some questions, it appears people ask a question to get other people to tell them they are correct, or are heavily biased in favour of answers that say that their idea works. For instance, this question follows this pattern.

The process (to my imagination) goes like this:

Guy: Wow it would be cool if this existed! But I am not sure if it is in accordance with the rules! I will check on Stack!
50 people: This does not work.
Other guy: Yeah, this works.
Guy: I will make the other guy's answer right (because I want this to be true).

This rewards incorrect answers, such as the -2 accepted answer in the example.

What is the correct way to deal with this? Should I ignore it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ @AndrewT. That’s really an answer, not a related link (Help article links aren’t added to the Related sidebar). Even on meta, the space for quoting an authority to answer a question is in the answer section. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 17 '19 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a note, I stand by my position that my answer is the correct one there. The argument that you can't use an ability that only works on illusions on something you think is real is a completely ridiculous ex post facto fabrication in the name of balance that flattens human experience and fails to acknowledge the ways in which people can alter their cosmologic understandings to better enable their daily lives. If I didn't believe so strongly in this answer I would've deleted it long ago. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jan 27 '19 at 6:05

Unfortunately for the hapless souls who offer that "yeah this works" answer when it's wrong, the usual resolution communities use is to downvote that accepted (but wrong) answer more heavily than it would usually see until it's very, very obviously wrong and that readers should keep scrolling, and because it's accepted they can't delete it. Other answers get upvoted.

We can't control the checkmark though and only remove answers that have major quality issues beyond simply being wrong, so querents are free to accept whatever answer they want. We just have our votes.

It's common on these kinds of questions that the querent will also get into prolonged argument in the comments of every single answer to their question that doesn't give them the answer they want, arguing why their original stance is valid and the answer is wrong. If you see that happening please flag it and the diamond moderators will clean up and tell them to cut it out.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, often the downvoted but accepted answer is by the querent themselves; fortunately, in that case it is not pinned to the top and will be ordered purely on its own score. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jan 17 '19 at 1:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm a little sad that this question doesn't have a checkmark and a negative score, purely for the irony of it. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Jan 22 '19 at 20:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @goodguy5 I can appreciate that :D \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jan 22 '19 at 20:48

What they are doing is well within the scope set out by the guidelines / rules.

Check out the tour if you haven't already and nip down to the section on answering:

Accepting doesn't mean it's the best answer

Accepting doesn't mean it's the best answer, it just means that it worked for the person who asked.

You can also see this on the page specifically about accepting answers:

Accepting doesn't mean it's the best answer

It simply means that the author received an answer that worked for them personally.

And you can see it again in the tooltip when you go to mark an answer as accepted*:

(*If you want you could even try it on this answer... careful though, you might happen to accidently click it whilst you do, and no-one wants that to happen...)

Accept because it solved your problem or was most helpful

Click to accept this answer because it solved your problem or was the most helpful in finding your solution (click again to undo)

What is the correct way to deal with this? Should I ignore it?

I wouldn't say you should ignore it, but you shouldn't let it cause you to write off a question / answer pair automatically either.

Consider it when deciding upon how to cast your vote and see if it being helpful to the OP is enough to influence your decision, then vote as you see fit.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Saying that it worked for the person doesn't mean anything. In math, there is a right answer, and if but in dnd, it is a lot easier to go in denial. Saying it worked for them does not mean it is the right answer. \$\endgroup\$ – asdfjkl Jan 20 '19 at 0:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Justin: Sure, but there's no rule saying OP has to accept the right answer or not accept wrong ones (for questions where right answers exist). You should probably point out flaws in the answer, but whether OP accepts that logic is ultimately up to them. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 20 '19 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ good point. I stand corrected. However, many questions are RAW --> is this allowed? questions. \$\endgroup\$ – asdfjkl Jan 20 '19 at 0:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ All of my questions so far have been advice based questions. I have 3. "How can I engage melee monsters with players" is definitely not. and "How can I dictate emotions to players" has someone telling me I can't. All of the correct answers have many votes. "Is character advancement acceleration OK" I have not accepted a correct answer yet. \$\endgroup\$ – asdfjkl Jan 20 '19 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok. Anyway, I feel like the nature of Stack is also to help other people with the same question. A RAW question with an incorrect answer marked is unhelpful. I suppose it doesn't mean it is right, but it can be unhelpful. \$\endgroup\$ – asdfjkl Jan 20 '19 at 0:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I meant that the fact that it was marked correct was unhelpful. Not that the other answers are. \$\endgroup\$ – asdfjkl Jan 20 '19 at 1:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Justin We have to give readers a minimum amount of credit that they are able to read enough answers to find one that will work for them. And once someone gets to the bottom of a “bad” accepted answer, they can see the vote score for the next one, and notice that it's much higher. We can't force people to read the whole page, and we can't force askers to accept a different answer. (It is literally not possible even for a mod to control the green checkmark.) We have to assume that people are smart enough to not just believe the first thing they read; those who aren't, we can't help them anyway! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 21 '19 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ That makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ – asdfjkl Jan 21 '19 at 18:41

Yes, you should ignore it.

On this stack in particular, since it is about a gaming hobby and not about a medical question or computer codes that might end up in a public train, accepting that whomever asks the question likes a particular answer better than other answers is just fine.

The votes will tell the rest of the story. And that's fine too, the stack working as it is supposed to. There are even badges for having X more votes than the accepted answer, such as the populist badge.

Highest scoring answer that outscored an accepted answer with score of more than 10 by more than 2x. This badge can be awarded multiple times.

It's not worth worrying about. Also, if something is flat out wrong you are likely to see a comment, with a lot of up votes on the comment, under either the question or the answer that was selected. That will be of help to future users. What isn't important is whether or not someone is wrong on the internet.


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