If you run this query it flags questions such as Where do our memories get stored and how are they retrieved again? where neither answer is good (-2 and -5 in vote scores) yet in this example, the -5 answer is accepted.

This example is a very old question which the self-answer was the accepted answer at -5 and the -2 answer was provided before the self-answer.

The problem I see with leaving them as is, is that bad answers lower the quality of this site. On the other hand, deleting bad answers due to lack of referencing or whatever will increase the stats for unanswered questions.

Do we actively clean up these bad answers in the hope of better answers or do we leave them?

  • For one thing, if they are unreferenced you can flag them for moderator attention and we can add the appropriate post notice.
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 15:12
  • That is a fair point @StevenJeuris but what about when in the case of the linked question, the OP and answerer was ”Last seen Apr 25 '18 at 20:10” (site wide) according to their profile? Mod flag it for what kind of attention? Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 15:32
  • Mmm, we might need to handle it on a case per case basis. In the post you just flagged, I personally would put the question on hold as that is also part of the problem, up votes or not. But, I prefer to avoid removing content. As long as an answer is relevant, I believe it is up to the community to indicate the quality of an answer. We can do so by adding a post notice (as I did just now), and by up/down voting. Those should be ample indicators for readers to take such answers with a grain of salt.
    – Steven Jeuris Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 16:04
  • 1
    We should certainly review them on a case-by-case basis, through flagging posts for moderator attention. Stack Exchange features several queries for questions with no accepted answers, questions with no upvoted answers, and questions with no answers, each increasing the likelihood of another user answering, so I agree with @ChrisRogers that we do ourselves a disservice by leaving bad answers in place - comments and post notices notwithstanding - as they discourage additional (better) answers.
    – Arnon Weinberg Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


I think we try and clean up the bad answers as we would with current questions with poor answers. It may well increase our unanswered questions stats, but the answers provided here will be good answers which can be relied upon.

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