3

Suppose a question that is an identification request gets answered, and the OP then confirms that it is not the title they were looking for. (case in point: https://literature.stackexchange.com/a/16686/5526)

Should such answers be deleted since they are confirmed to be inaccurate, or leave them be so that others know what not to suggest for sure?

7

Identification requests are often based on information that is incomplete and sometimes even misremembered, so each answerer makes a best effort starting from an uncertain base. For this reason, I don't think it's fair to delete inaccurate answers based on feedback from the question asker; that would be like moving the goal posts after the answer was provided and then punishing the answerer retroactively for missing the goal.

For this reason, I would leave the answers as they are; there is no need to delete them.

2
  • Wouldn't there be chances of getting downvoted just because it is clear this is not the answer?
    – CinCout
    Dec 17 '20 at 10:36
  • 2
    In theory, yes. In practice, I believe people understand that ID-requests invite best-effort answers and don't punish you for getting it wrong.
    – Tsundoku Mod
    Dec 17 '20 at 10:38
5

Leave it.

Even if it's not what the OP of the question was looking for, the answer can still be useful to people who are looking for something similar. Remember, questions are indexed in search engines and people do search for works that they're looking for, and find the questions here; so if someone is searching for something similar, even if it's not what the OP of the original question was looking for, it could be what this person searching was looking for.

So while you shouldn't provide answers you know from the getgo are incorrect, if you've answered with something that seems to match just leave it, even if the OP says it's not what they're looking for, because it could be what someone else is looking for.

4

Leave the incorrect answer. That way someone who comes upon the question later can see that the OP has already said it’s incorrect. Otherwise that person might make the incorrect suggestion again.

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