Lets say I answer a question and a few minutes or hours later I notice that somebody else also answered it after me.

That other answer includes all the information given in mine plus additional ways to do it or with better explanation. In short, I was faster, but the other answer is better. Comparing the two, mine does not add any information if you have read the other answer.

Should/May I delete my own, earlier answer (although it might have got a positive score) in favour of the other person's newer, better answer?

What is the community opinion on this topic?

  • I'm writing this in 1st person, but this is not necessarily true. It might be about somebody else...
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 20:56

3 Answers 3


Keep the answer there. Deleting should be done when your content is entirely wrong. If your answer provides valid content, then keep it.

Let the OP decide what is the better answer. The other answer may have more examples, but it may not be what OP wants , or perhaps OP wants a clear answer. "Better explanation" sometimes is too technical and the answer that keeps it simple may be preferable by OP ; in other words, "better explanation" may not be better for OP.

Finally, the community will upvote what they think is better answer, and it may not necessarily be the lengthy one.

Personally, I think people have wrong impression of answers with similar content:“OMG, this guy is copying me !!!” No, because nothing is new under the sun. I can't count how many times I would post ( or about to post ) on a command-line question , and then heemayl or kos have beaten me to it. Why did we deliver the same information ? Because we all RTFM'ed , and delivered that info to OP. Simple as that. Difference is that we deliver that information in different way.

  • 1
    There is a (big) difference between posting the same info, just because it simply is the same, but put differently, and deliberately including another answer, like this one: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/14011/… The latter is gloomy and poor. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 9:11
  • As long as it is done with attribution , it's OK. Attribution is one of the rules of StackOverflow anyway Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 9:42
  • Obviously, I am not talking about attribution, doinbg that regularly myself, but about incorporating answers. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 9:48
  • 1
    @Serg , I totally agree with you. Sometimes correct answer selected by OP doesn't help the others who have similar questions.
    – foxtrot9
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 17:28

If I notice someone's written a way better answer than my own I always delete it.

Sometimes having too much information about a subject can be bad, removing out of date content from AU is just as important as adding it.

  • 1
    I surely hope that you wouldn't do that to any question that i ask. It is really annoying when you remember that you've asked some question and got an answer, you go back and the person has deleted. A different answer may not be what you were looking for, sometimes it's "there is a thing that a person has mentioned in passing" that i'm looking for.
    – v010dya
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 5:55
  • @Jorge , I don't agree with you because Sometimes correct answer selected by OP doesn't help the others who have similar questions.
    – foxtrot9
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 17:29
  • @Jorge, if information is out-dated , then simple edit in bold letters in head section of your answer would be right way. (rather than deleting your answer). (Old information sometimes come handy.)
    – foxtrot9
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 17:31
  • That's not how Stack Exchanges work, we don't put "EDIT" on top of things. The information should either be correct or removed. If it's useful, then don't remove it or we add it to the existing answer to make it better. Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 18:34

As I have mentioned in my comments in other answers, I would suggest you not to delete your answer.

There are several reasons:

  1. Answer accepted by OP may not be optimal for other who have similar questions.

  2. If you think your answer is out-dated , simply put a warning in a head section of your answer. Out-dated answers might come handy.

  3. More answers means that other people who have same problems can try your answer before asking a new question.

Some suggestions:

  1. Make your answers community wiki if question or your answer has got more than 40-50 upvotes. This means that many people have same or similar questions as OP has asked. Making your answer community wiki will allow other users maintain it periodically and properly.

  2. Always write which version of Ubuntu is supported , which version is not.

  3. Always try to warn people before they use sudo OR mess with important config files.

Some of things in my answer has been mentioned by others , I am repeating it just because they are right from my perspective and opinion.

  • @Byte , thanks for edit.
    – foxtrot9
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 18:17

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