I answered Trying to find an episode of “Batman Beyond”, and my answer was accepted. However, the slightly (14 seconds) earlier answer was somewhat better and later was edited to be much better.

I left a comment suggesting the asker transfer the acceptance, but the user was last seen 36 minutes after the answers were posted (so the user is unlikely to return).

I have considered using a bounty to transfer reputation to the provider of the better answer (which has been popularly recognized as better--a score of 7 vs. 4), but this would not undo the sorting order.

Deleting my answer would give the good answer proper prominence and would not remove any significant information, but such would remove an acceptance (though the question would still be "answered", having a 1+ scored answer). Deleting would also cost less than offering a bounty (minimum 100 reputation since I have an answer--though I could do both).

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    Votes show the communities preference well enough. I wouldn't worry too much about the acceptance, the asker may never come back meaning that no one knows if the other answer is 'acceptable'.
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Feb 19, 2014 at 7:11
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    It's a noble thing to do, but you could use the rep better than the other user. Just keep the answer, and let the votes fall where they may.
    – SQB
    Feb 19, 2014 at 8:12
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    @ATS, You don't know how much I need the rep! I need my fix, man!!
    – phantom42
    Feb 19, 2014 at 13:43
  • @phantom42 There, there, I voted you up some. Feel better?
    – SQB
    Feb 19, 2014 at 13:53
  • @ATS, for now
    – phantom42
    Feb 19, 2014 at 14:06
  • You mean, it's possible to delete an accepted answer here? I was under the impression than some other stack exchanges don't allow that, but maybe I was wrong about that too?
    – user14111
    Feb 19, 2014 at 23:36
  • @user14111 I have the link to delete my accepted answers. Don't really want to test it, though.
    – Izkata
    Feb 20, 2014 at 1:34
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    @Izkata, I tested it just now. After I clicked "delete" and "OK", I was told "you cannot delete this accepted answer".
    – user14111
    Feb 20, 2014 at 1:53
  • Nothing keeps readers from reading the other answers that don't have checkmarks next to them.
    – Jason C
    Feb 21, 2014 at 4:32

3 Answers 3


The accepted answer needn't be the best answer, it just needs to be correct (in theory, and we hope!) and be the one that the asker felt was most useful to them. Your answer satisfies the former and we must assume (in the absence of any indication to the contrary) that it also satisfies the latter: the asker accepted it and so the asker felt it was the most useful answer.

Note that I specify that it's all in the asker's opinion here. Why knows why they preferred your answer over the other? I don't; I could make a guess at a possible reason, but ultimately it's their own opinion.

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    Agreed. It's not "the best in the opinion of the site", it's "the best answer in the opinion of the questioner". They might have looked at the more full answer and decided it was TL:DR
    – Valorum
    Feb 22, 2014 at 16:26

Never mind, the system won't let you delete an accepted answer. The fact that you still see the "delete" button in this situation seems to be a bug. I tried it out just now: after clicking "delete" and "OK", I was told "you cannot delete this accepted answer." I guess you can do it if you first persuade the owner of the question to unaccept your answer.

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    Moderators can delete it. If you're really set on getting your accepted answer deleted, you can always flag it and put your reasoning in the "other" field. Whether a moderator will agree is something else entirely.
    – Wrathchild
    Feb 20, 2014 at 15:41

You shouldn't delete your answer. Acceptance doesn't mean 'best answer'. It simply means the answer 'worked' for the OP.

This is why we have a voting system in the first place. Over time, the better answer(s) 'bubble up' to the top through accumulation of votes.

Deletion is generally reserved as a last resort for answers that either:

  • Do not answer the question at all
  • Give blatantly wrong or misleading information
    • Typos can't be understandable and fixed relatively easy. (See what I did there?)
  • Low quality answers, including:
    • Pure speculation, one-liners, or are commenting/critiquing other answers.
    • Links to videos or articles with no summarisation (leading to link rot)

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