Referring to this question here, which has gathered more than 100 upvotes.

It seems to me that the user accepted an answer that is not really an answer, over other better, more informative ones.

If I remember correctly the user used to accept other answers ( but I don't have the screenshots), then suddenly the accepted answer is changed to the current one, with apparently no justification.

If this situation allows to stand, it will mislead new users who don't know a thing about Quantum Computing. This is detrimental to this site and SE model in general.

What to do with this case?


The original poster may choose what answers to accept or not accept. However, you can show your own appreciation (or lack thereof) by voting. This is precisely the situation that voting is intended to fix!

Downvote if you think it was bad, comment with suggestions to improve, upvote if you think it was good, etc.

But it is up to the OP what answer to select. The user may have "completely unknown reasons" or may truly think that helped them. We don't know. Further, I would encourage you to not call out specific users on meta. There's really no need, and it can lead to argument.

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    $\begingroup$ Of course, a problem with the SE model is that the accepted answer goes first, regardless of how it is voted. For problem-solving questions, this seems fine: The answer solved the OPs problem. For more opinion-based (or let's say opinion-driven) questions, the OP might be more likely to accept the answer which confirms his opinion, rather the one which is hopefully most scientifically well-funded. -- I admit I don't know of a good solution. (If there were a way to disable accepting on opinion-driven questions, that might be an option, but afaik that doesn't exist, not even for comm. wiki) $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Jul 14 '18 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ @NorbertSchuch and thus we run into what the CM's knew all along - SE isn't a good place for opinion based stuff =) $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 14 '18 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed. But then again, what to do with the question above (for which it is possible to provide fact-substantiated answers, but the weighing of the facts, and thus the judgement of answers, is ultimately opinion-based)? $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Jul 14 '18 at 15:39

Upvote correct answer and downvote incorrect answers, that is all you can do. As an example from SO, consider this question. I am sort of expert here and I know that the most upvoted answer is correct while the accepted answer is just stupid and plain wrong, but nothing can be done about it.


I don't quite appreciate having my answer referred to as "empty" in a Meta post, which has now attracted more negative votes. We don't spend so much time answering things just to get a bunch of negative votes. I spent the entire work day on that answer.

The answer was probably accepted because it was one of the only ones (along with some others) that addressed each individual sentence by the OP ending in a question mark. The difference between mine and other people's answers was that other people seemed (at least in my opinion, maybe also the OP's opinion) to have an unrealistic impression of how successful quantum computing will be without any concrete reason for it.

I gave a concrete reason for why quantum computing (and other areas in academia in general) are over-hyped which attempted to be fair to both sides (the academics and the QC skeptics). It is not an "empty answer" just because you did not like it. It is about a page and a half long and addresses all points in the original question.

I also gave examples of ways in which QC is not "just hype" such as the quantum chemistry example, and I did give a reference, which means accusations that I didn't provide any evidence are false. I ended the answer by saying that I don't feel QC funding should be aborted but that many of the points addressed by the OP are true.

The comment on my answer is defamatory and has led to a lot of malicious downvoting. It violates the new CoC, and it falsely says "nowhere in this answer is any evidence given" which is not true since I gave the link to the evidence about Google's efforts in quantum chemistry. The comment should be deleted.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for editing the question; you were quite right to do so. The comment on your original answer is okay - people are allowed to disagree as long as they do so reasonably politely - but this meta post as it stood originally is now much better with your edits. I apologize for not dealing with this in a better fashion. $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 16 '18 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ @heather I don't see how a formulation like "The comment on my answer is defamatory" is any better than what was said in the original meta post. $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Jul 20 '18 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ @NorbertSchuch I was talking about their edit on the question, not their answer. $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 20 '18 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ @heather I know. I just tried to point out that such a statement in an answer is no less problematic than such a statement in a question (and the opinion voiced in the question was much more mild than "defamatory"). Yet, it stood uncriticized. $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Jul 20 '18 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ I have reverted to the original question as this answer addresses that and not the general version (and the edit on the question was made by this answerer and not the OP). Users are certainly permitted to criticize individual questions and answers as I've often done before. No need for censorship here, as long as we focus on the contents of the Q&As being criticized rather than the person. $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Mar 12 at 5:54

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