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In reference to this question about a possible film adaptation of a book; what should happen when a new response turns out to be more accurate than the original accepted answer? I can think of a few possibilities:

  • The question should have been closed because it was either too localized or not answerable
  • The new answer is correct a so it should be marked as the accepted answer
  • The original answer should stand because it was correct at the time

I think it is important to consider both the original poster's perspective as well as the community's point of view. The original poster might be more interested in the correct answer, but the community might focus on the validity of the question itself.

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    Are you asking what the asker should do, or what should happen in general? In general, this is why there's voting as well - the later answer should get higher votes and so appear right next to the accepted answer. – Tony Meyer Apr 19 '11 at 23:13
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    In the case that the asker is no longer around, at least the better answer may eventually be rewarded the Populist badge. – Mark McDonald Apr 23 '11 at 11:31
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  • The new answer is correct a so it should be marked as the accepted answer

^^^ Yes — Option 2: Clearly, the post should be updated — The information updated and properly vetted and the proper answer marked 'accepted', if possible. Accepting an answer is helpful in finding that content but voting also plays a key role in vetting the content and making sure the best information rises to the top.

One of the strengths of Stack Exchange is that the answers are received with a high degree of credibility and confidence. That means taking an active role and updating its content and keeping it fresh and accurate.

  • The question should have been closed because it was either too localized or not answerable

The question most definitely should not be closed as "too localized" (option 1), mostly for reasons outlined here: I disagree these questions are "too localized". Stack Exchange was specifically designed to adapt well to changing situations. That's why it has Wiki features.

  • The original answer should stand because it was correct at the time

And option 3 (let it stand) is the exact opposite solution that Stack Exchange solves: the increasingly incorrect information typically found in blog posts and stale web sites.

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The second option. The question asker can change which answer is correct at any time. So if a new, more accurate answer is posted, they can set that as the new correct answer.

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