There has been various discussions on what to do when an older, good-for-its-time, answer, becomes obsolete due to new canon (Thanks, Disney!)

All the usual proposed solutions seem to fall into three buckets:

  • Effective but against SE policy/spirit (edit obsolete note into the answer)
  • Effective but controvercial (close old Q as a dupe of new one)
  • Perfectly in spirit/rules but ineffective (post new answer, pray it gets vote parity by the time Taco Bell wins entertainment wars, buys Disney, and reboots canon again).

However, I don't recall seeing any discussion of using yet another mechanism available on SE: moderator notices (most usually found on Skeptics.SE)

I would like to propose that we create a formal notice, something to the effect of "This answer was correct in the past, but has been superceded/contradicted/made obsolete by new canon from the franchise", that site moderators can glue officially on such answers.

  • 2
    I like the idea, but would moderators have to sort through all these answers manually or would users be able to flag them? It is one thing if these notes are being put on as question and answers are posted, but IMO completely another to go back and sift through the masses. We could not expect our limited number of moderators to know the full canon of any given fictional universe. This seems like it needs help from "power of the masses"...
    – Skooba
    Dec 20, 2016 at 18:42
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    @Skooba - user flags, most certainly. Heck, user notices would be even more scalable but I don't think that's doable. Dec 20, 2016 at 18:52
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    @KutuluMike Current consensus is that it would be considered vandalism Dec 20, 2016 at 19:05
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    @KutuluMike - Because posting "this is wrong!" onto someone else's answer is crass and clearly conflicts with the author's intent
    – Valorum
    Dec 20, 2016 at 19:24
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    I have approximately a thousand answers that I would like to append this tag to.
    – Valorum
    Dec 20, 2016 at 19:28
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    My idea to deal with this problem was not well received; meta.stackexchange.com/questions/252690/…
    – Valorum
    Dec 20, 2016 at 19:30
  • I'm all for "ask new, either close old as dupe or edit to reflect canon-state at time of asking". Closing as dupe would be super easy for someone with a golden dupe hammer for the tag...
    – SQB
    Dec 20, 2016 at 19:51
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    @SQB - This sounds like a recipe for a meta flame-war that results in pages and pages of bad feeling, most of it aimed at whichever user is stupid enough to start using this new ability.
    – Valorum
    Dec 20, 2016 at 21:13
  • 1
    This is why I've specifically worded some of my questions to say something like "As of the time of this writing", which makes new canon technically irrelevant. Just because the people that say what's official canon change their minds, doesn't mean that the OP intended to get updates on newer canon, or wanted info from anything that was not available at that time.
    – user31178
    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:32
  • @Creationedge - Or can even agree what represents canon.
    – Valorum
    Dec 21, 2016 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


My major issue with this idea is that you're expecting the moderation team to make personal value judgments about which answers in a given tag are obsolete and which aren't.

Given that our current moderation team (of five) boast just two gold tag badges between them, expecting them to somehow have a total grasp of what constitutes the current highest levels of canon in universes as diverse as Harry Potter, Star Trek, Lord of the Ring, Doctor Who or Game of Thrones (in tags where no gold badges are presently held) is a really big ask, especially when what constitutes 'canon' in some universes (for example, Star Trek and Doctor Who) is deeply murky

Frankly, the risk here is that even if we make this a moderator-only responsibility, high-rep users will simply bully, cajole & pester moderators into putting this tag onto Star Wars questions (which I suspect is what you're driving at) that they consider to be canonically suspect, without it really having much benefit to the overall quality of answers on the site.

We've already discussed whether it's acceptable to edit "This answer is Wrong!" into older questions. To my mind what you're proposing is simply a more advanced version of that.

Is it acceptable to edit in "This answer is wrong" header into a wrong but upvoted answer?

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