On one of my questions, here, Coriolis effect and Cyclones, there were originally 2 answers and I decided to select what I thought to be the best answer.

After I had done this, the answer I did not accept was edited dramatically to become far more comprehensive than it was previously. So much so that I believe it now surpasses the original answer I had selected as best.

This posed a dilemma for me, because on one hand I didn't want to remove the +15 reputation points from the user who at the time of my decision had clearly posted the best and I appreciated it a lot. But at the same time, the new answer is now better in my opinion.

What is the SE etiquette in this matter? Should I constantly update the best answer to match new edits, or once I've made a decision, should I stick with it?

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    $\begingroup$ As the author of the originally accepted answer, I have no trouble with it being switched to one that goes into far more detail :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 6:33
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    $\begingroup$ Some, mostly new users, tend to accept answers to quickly. I think it is wise to let the question rest before accepting answers, unless it is evident no answer could be better. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


This has an answer at meta.SE -- see Is it poor form to switch accepted answers?

Consensus is that it is perfectly acceptable to change an accepted answer.

Keep in mind, the goal of SE is quality answers, and moving that 15 rep around shouldn't be a consideration.

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    $\begingroup$ Also, I would add that if there are dramatically more votes for a non-accepted answer, for what ever reason, it's probably good form to switch to the accepted answer. That way, the most popular (and usually therefore the most useful) answer will be at the top. There are lots of questions on SO that have old accepted answers that have become outdated or superseded, but still sit at the top, giving out poor or misleading information, and it's really annoying. $\endgroup$
    – naught101
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 4:14

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