Let us say, I answer a Question.

One user comes along to Point out that my answer is wrong.
I want to Delete that wrong answer. All okay till now.

Still, I want to respond to that user who left a useful comment (1) to thank & acknowledge as a courtesy (2) to add more Details about that situation.

(1) If I do respond (comment) and then Delete my Answer , then that user can not see my response (it becomes invisible) and it will not work out.

(2) If I leave the Answer as it is, that is is not going to work out because that is a wrong answer.

(3) I took one alternative approach to change the Answer to "Will Delete" but that too attracted the attention of other users who still say that I am not answering the Question.

What other Possibilities are there in this Situation ?

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ I might simply add a new "headline" to the (wrong) answer: Caveat reader. The answer below is wrong as per the comment from user xxxx. Will delete after completing a dialogue with them. Or some such. If a passer-by sees at a glance what happened, and what will happen in the near future, I doubt they are gonna bother. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ That was my Option (3) , which did not work ! @JyrkiLahtonen , In fact , I removed all the content and left only that line ! $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 5:46
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Why delete the old content? Keeping it serves the purpose of showing that there was a genuine (even if misguided) attempt to answer. That makes a difference in my opinion. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ The other possibility, and the only reasonable one in this system, is to use chat. Ask them to join you in one of the generalist public rooms, then delete the answer when they have done so. Or accept that maybe they're not going to respond anyway, and delete the answer, presumably their intended goal. $\endgroup$
    – Nij
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ (1) I had to Delete the old content which was totally wrong ! (2) The commenter did in fact come back to respond ! [[ math.stackexchange.com/questions/4504180/… for the curious ]] (3) I am looking for some solution other than Chat which requires both Parties to be available at the same time , but in that case the comment itself can be read instantly !! $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ "If I do respond (comment) and then Delete my Answer , then that user can not see my response (it becomes invisible) and it will not work out." If the user has enough points to see deleted material, the user will be able to see your answer and your comment. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yes , but "most users" can not see "hidden content" , @GerryMyerson , this will not be a general workaround. Especially when a newbie comments, I want to respond & make it known that I did read ! I would not want that newbie to think that I was brushing off that newbie comment ! $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 15:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have experienced this but I thought that it was too boring to worry about leaving a wrong answer floating about, so I wrote the comment then deleted it. It's very easy to get mathematics wrong so this problem might be specific to the mathematics site. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ I think you are wrong to reject @JyrkiLahtonen's suggestion. What I do in such cases is insert text at the top of my answer, such as "Edited to add (in bold): it turns out that I was completely wrong! See cleverperson's comment." And I leave the answer unedited, and post a comment such as "@cleverperson: thank you for pointing out my mistake", so that cleverperson gets notified. This lets everybody know that your answer is wrong, but gives them the opportunity to learn from your mistake. If you don't do this, you are devaluing cleverperson's contribution! $\endgroup$
    – TonyK
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ I am not really rejecting that Suggestion. In this case, I did use it myself, but even though I said that I am going to "Delete" that Answer in "Big Bold Letters", I was told that "This does not provide an answer to the question." & thus it did not work. Hence I asked this Meta Question. @TonyK $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 3:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Prem That extra sentence was not the problem. The problem was that your edit also removed your (incorrect) answer. After that removal, the post fell into the StackExchange definition of NAA. It was no longer an attempt to answer the question. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ Oh , that could be it , @JyrkiLahtonen ! Well , this Post has generated many options ( with various trade-offs ) & will be useful , in general ! $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 4:28

3 Answers 3


As mentioned in the comments, a chatroom might be an option. To illustrate this with an example, let us say that I would like to respond to some comments to this question.

Actually, I do this sometimes even when I do not want to delete anything - but I expect that the conversation would be too long for comments. Still, this could be useful in situations where you worry that the user would not get a notification after the comment is deleted together with the answer.


You can write a comment to the question starting with "@[User who left the useful comment] and then delete your answer.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ AFAIK the user only receives the notification if they have commented to the question, previously; otherwise they don't. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 23:46

One of the things that you may do is that, if they are not new user (very rare case), you may go to one of the posts of that user and there, in comments, express what you want to.

From a user here, I learnt this way of commenting:

[disappearing comment] Hey, thanks a lot for pointing out this mistake. I was assuming ... and not considering ... so your inputs helped clear ... . Upvote this comment so I know that you have read it.

[disappearing comment] Hey, thanks a lot for pointing out this mistake. I was assuming ... and not considering ... so your inputs helped clear ... . Upvote this comment so I know that you have read it.

If they upvote, then delete your comment.

If they reply and so a small back and forth interaction takes place then in your last comment also mention that since these are unofficial comments (that is, not relevant to the OP) so they too need to delete their (unofficial) comments too. You see upvote on the last comment. You delete all your comments.

  • $\begingroup$ I did consider this in Earlier Days & this could be useful in some cases , but there were Problems here : (1) This generates unnecessary traffic on unrelated questions , (2) OP & others in this unrelated question might get distracted by this unwanted chatter , (3) Even when I said "WILL DELETE" , somebody commented that I am not answering that Question , then in this case , somebody else may well comment that I am not answering this Question & might well flag my comment as spam ! (4) I am shifting the Problem from my Post to some other Post ! (5) It is a nice Idea, but not satisfactory ! $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Prem I think one would generally not choose the newest post rather anything but that, so since you are not tagging anyone in particular other than OP, they shouldn't get disturbed. (Note: I never mentioned to go to anybody's post and then tag "youruser" but going to "youruser"'s post.) Also, these discussions aren't (supposed to be) long. If they are long, then as mentioned in comments above, create a chat room-best alternative. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 8:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How about if another person upvotes the comment? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 3:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TymaGaidash then you'll delete the comment(s) happily thinking that they have read it. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ But don't do this frivolously: it may trigger moderator attention and compete for their time. $\endgroup$
    – ryang
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 22:27

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