11
$\begingroup$

There are a few questions poking around the site where the answer has changed with time (regulations changes, new technology, things like that.)

I'm wondering what ought to be done when that is noticed? Especially in scenarios where people are leaving comments about how the answer has changed and the answer is not being updated...

(This questions is mostly hypothetical, fyi, there are maybe a couple of examples of this on the site, maybe. But I think it makes logical sense that this issue will crop up more as the site moves along, so I'm curious what the plan is before, you know, things get bad.)

$\endgroup$
4
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Related meta: How to deal with obsolete answers? and How to handle outdated answers? $\endgroup$
    – Farhan Mod
    Jul 16 '15 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ I figured there may be some discussion on Meta, I'll make sure to read that as well. $\endgroup$
    – Jay Carr
    Jul 16 '15 at 16:52
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Farhan In a supreme irony, the second question has an answer which is outdated (the "Too Localized" close reason has been gone for a while) $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jul 16 '15 at 16:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @voretaq7 Sounds like you should flag that answer as "Too Localized." Oh, wait... $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Jul 24 '15 at 14:30
11
$\begingroup$

If it's something simple that can be easily fixed (e.g. Position And Hold -> Line Up And Wait) my inclination is to fix the original answer (particularly if it's an accepted answer). This is part of why we have the ability to edit questions and answers on the site.

For something more complicated where an entire new regulation has appeared (or an existing one been stricken) that invalidates the answer(s) on the existing question and would require a total rewrite to "fix" I'm leaning toward "Ask a new question, put the new (correct) answer there, and duplicate-close the old question with a note added to it saying "The regulations changed on date, please see new question for updated information." – It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than a full rewrite of someone's answer, and way better than providing wrong information, or forcing people to pick through the answers to figure out which one is the most current/correct answer.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ What about answers that include multiple pieces of information, and only one of them is outdated, but it's not necessarily a simple fix (so it doesn't really fit your first option there...)? $\endgroup$
    – Jay Carr
    Jul 16 '15 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @JayCarr As long as the "fixes" can be made without radically altering the answer they're usually fair game. There's some good discussion on this in the metaverse: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/238333/… & meta.academia.stackexchange.com/questions/1573/… $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jul 16 '15 at 17:26
1
$\begingroup$

Update them.

Of course, you can/should leave the original answer as much as possible. However, we want to have the best answers available on the internet, and that means up-to-date info.

If nothing else, adding a section to the answer with the heading 'UPDATE' would be appropriate.

And then delete the unneeded comments. Nobody has time for that ;)

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

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