Suppose there is a question where I carefully supplied the canonical answer, and then answered a number of specious (and somewhat hostile) comments regarding its mathematics. This is driving me crazy ("Yes, there are X with the property Y which still lack the property Z! Of course! You're missing the point entirely! If we start with this X, which has the properties Y and Z..."). It doesn't help my answer (again, I'd stake a doctorate on its correctness) that I am getting downvotes which are moving a patently incorrect answer above mine.

So I've downvoted the other guys (and they've all downvoted me), and it's made no difference.

What, if anything, should I do at this point?

Edit: Well, time to fall on my sword. I made a significant (and stupid) assumption in answering such a question as above, which I only much later realized was not implicit. (I have excuses; I will not list them.) I incorrectly concluded that another answer was flawed. Having spent some time on the answer, when I thought a wrong answer was going to top out, I got annoyed. Since I didn't know whether or not I could "flag an expert" here in a reasonable way, I asked on meta. In the meantime, I got a comment which I found insulting. This confusing thread resulted.

All of this was very protracted and I am very glad to be done.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I am surprised that people have downvoted your answer, as it is completely correct. However, all your comments about the much simpler answer given by a different user were not correct, and that answer is in many ways better, as it only uses the properties needed for the question. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2012 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ This is kind of a mix between a general question and a question addressing a specific situation. Which is not good. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2012 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Alright, I'll remove the personal parts. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Aug 8, 2012 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ I think there is no way to completely depersonalize this question. Something has obviously happened, and even if it is phrased as if it's a general matter, it will still stay to be about that specific occurence. $\endgroup$
    – user5501
    Aug 8, 2012 at 11:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Although this question poorly reflects that situation, since the upvoted answer is not wrong. $\endgroup$
    – user5501
    Aug 8, 2012 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for the edit. It is always good to see someone admit mistakes. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2012 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ @user1296727 I have deleted the comment I assume you considered offensive. Peace. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2012 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


Comment constructively on the wrong answer, pointing out what exactly the problem is and downvote it. This will help to inform later voters that might miss the problem otherwise. Don't start a large discussion in comments, point out the problem and leave it there.

There is nothing else you can do if users vote up wrong answers, except for convincing more users to downvote it or convinving the poster that his answer is wrong and he self-deletes it.

Such situations often resolve if you draw more attention to the question, like e.g. this meta post will. You just need enough users that understand the subject to correct some initial bad votes.

I'm assuming for this post that you are right, you should of course always consider the possibility that you are wrong and should be open to correcting your post.

  • $\begingroup$ (for the sake of my blood pressure, if nothing else,) Have you looked at the thread? I think you'll take my point :P $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Aug 8, 2012 at 10:22
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not qualified to judge which answer is correct, I'm only commenting on the meta aspects of this issue, not the mathematics. $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Aug 8, 2012 at 10:23

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