I stumbled upon this question today, which has this answer. It's upvoted (currently sitting at +18/-2) and accepted, but is very short and has a standard banner message across it that I've seen elsewhere on other answers (usually badly received answers) saying:
We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.
There's also a (highly upvoted) comment by KorvinStarmast that summarises my concerns about this answer quite nicely:
While I don't disagree with this answer, it could use a little more support/reasoning in terms of what spells do, and what constitutes a stat block.
I don't want to come across as picking on a specific user (since I'm sure many answers to older questions may well have similar problems), but in this case, the answerer in question was once a mod and a lot of the older questions about 5e (including back when it was called "D&D Next") have been answered by this user with minimal or no support from rules citations, etc (although not many of those answers are as short as the one I linked to). I'm not going to track down a bunch of examples, I believe they will be easy enough to find.
On one hand, I understand that when many of these older answers were written, upvoted and accepted, the standards we have in place now likely didn't exist back then, or at least were not enforced as they are these days, so it is unfair to accuse them of not following standards that didn't exist at the time. On the other hand, their content still represents this site, and new users will still see such older answers and believe that this is good enough, when nowadays our standards have moved on.
My concern is that these answers come across as opinions, even though I'm sure many of them are completely correct. However, if new users come along, see one of these old questions, post their own opinionated answer without citations, etc, then have it downvoted and told to include citations and not to answer with opinions, it might come across as unfair if they see that a highly upvoted and often accepted answer has apparently been praised for the same reasons they are being "told off" or "punished" with downvotes.
Is this something we need to be concerned with? If so, what should we do about it?
- Downvote the answers we don't think are well supported (I'm not sure I care for this, because downvote-bombing a bunch of answers seems like picking on older users for giving answers that don't conform to standards that I'm guessing didn't exist at the time; there's also nothing we can do about such answers being accepted by users who no longer frequent this site)
- Edit these old answers to include citations that support the answerer's point, assuming that there are rules that support their answers (this seems more in keeping with the "wiki" feel that the Stack Exchange site is supposed to have over a forum, and that way the "accepted" answers are still presenting the "best" solution as well as setting a good example of what makes a "good" answer on this site; obviously we should try not to change the actual content of the answer, just add support for the points they were making)
- Something else...?