4

Sometimes it happens that, on answering a question, I see that someone else has given a plainly wrong answer (in my opinion, of course) to the same question.

I have always refrained from down-voting that answer because it seemed to me to be rather bad practice to down-vote competing answers. Where there are competing answers I assumed it to be better to leave the voting to my peers, who in principle, would be more neutral.

But I am quite happy to up-vote competing answers I deem to be good.

So my question: Is it good practice to refrain from down-voting a competing answer to the same question?

7

I think if the other answer is harmfully wrong, you should down vote. If you just think your answer is better, or disagree on a less-than-fundamental level, leave it alone.

It would be easy for Stack Exchange to prevent downvoting on competing answers. But they don't. So I think the best thing is to use your judgment. It's only one vote, and if your in-principle-neutral peers disagree, we'll outvote you.

6

Sure, you should vote on anything you feel inclined to -- up or down.

Personally I try to be generous with my upvotes but reserve downvotes for things I feel strongly about.

4

Personally, if I think the competing answer is wrong because of, what, a mere misspell, or a wrong reference somewhere (these are so easy to get, especially on the programming StackExchange sites where I frequent), I'll edit it myself (if I had editing privileges). Nobody's perfect after all.

For the really wrong answers in concept (as in they're teaching something downright wrong), I don't hold back on the down votes. That's part of why the function's there anyway. I don't leave it at that though; generally I leave behind a comment on why I think it's wrong and what they can improve on.

But that's just me. If I answered incorrectly, I'd rather my answer get voted down so that the other (more correct) answers get precedence and limelight anyway, and just chuck that answer up to my you-learn-something-new-everyday groove or something.

2

It's definitely good practice to up vote competing answers, there's actually a badge for that. As far as down voting competing answers, very few people downvote questions or answers unless they are in dire need of attention. In those cases, a downvote is still appropriate.

2

If the other answer is clearly wrong, downvote and reference why towards your answer. Don't downvote just to try to get your own answer to the top of course :)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .