# What to do about highly rated and accepted answers that are wrong?

This question:
New alert keeps showing up: Server returned error NXDOMAIN, mitigating potential DNS violation DVE-2018-0001 - Ask Ubuntu
reports an annoying syslog message.

The selected answer (currently with 56 upvotes) gives a solution for for these annoying syslog entries:

cd /etc && \
mv resolv.conf resolv.conf.orig && \
ln -s /run/systemd/resolve/resolv.conf resolv.conf


The highest rated comment (24 votes) and the second highest rated answer (52 votes) say that this is only a workaround and it is wrong as it skips some processing and only hides the real problem. No other solution is offered though.

Many other answers (far fewer votes) give various other ways of "solving" the problem.

In the first 8 hours today (when the system wasn't even in use) my /var/log/syslog accumulated 124 of those annoying (displayed in red in view) messages.

I'd like to eliminate them, but there doesn't seem to be any consensus on the correct way of doing that.

(So, like many others, I've closed my eyes and made the link, knowing that it is wrong.)

I'd expect that there would be a practical correction for this problem. But all we have is a choice between:

• a way to hide the message by breaking something else (use a penny as a fuse).
• a dismissal that "this can be tolerated" (don't use your hair dryer).

After several years of this, surely the community should be able to come up with something better than that.

Even if we don't care about this specific problem itself, shouldn't we care that the highly voted and accepted answer is wrong, and that the second best answer offers no real solution?

• After several years of this, surely the community should be able to come up with something better than that. -- I have to agree with your assessment and I wish there was a better way to handle this in the SE network. We are past 10+ years of AskUbuntu and the older that we get, the more irrelevant and confusing some of the older content gets. Some of our most frequently accessed content, like this are filled with outdated information. Do you have any ideas on how to improve this? – Nmath Nov 8 '20 at 21:37
• @Nmath, unfortunately no, I don't know what to do about it. And in this case, neither the question nor the answer is old or irrelevant, so it's not simply a matter of ignoring it as noise. I discovered it because I just converted to 20.04 and the question and the accepted answer appeared to solve my problem. Since then, I've looked back and noticed that I apparently applied the same "fix" to my 18.04 two years ago. Answers of the "So I’ll remove the cause. But not the symptoms." kind appear to be good, but they are bad, which to me is the definition of evil. – Ray Butterworth Nov 8 '20 at 23:50
• In the case of incorrect answers that were correct when they were written, many of these answers could probably be corrected with an edit as long as they don't conflict with the original answer. A simple example: if an answer instructs to execute dchroot (now deprecated), I would approve an edit that uses schroot instead. – Nmath Nov 9 '20 at 0:25

Essentially, we do nothing.

The issue isn't the community, it's the infrastructure system we have in place and the reputation/voting/scoring system.

Firstly, we can't unaccept answers. Only the original post owner can who made the question. Because a lot of old questions have posters who have moved on and are no longer active, there's nothing we can do about that.

Secondly, we don't delete answers just because they're wrong now - if they were initially accurate but are no longer, then just post a comment indicating it's wrong and point at another answer (or write your own if none of the answers are correct). Historically speaking, we have tons of people with old posts that at the time the answer was right but it's no longer accurate - depriving people of that reputation (points) they've gained is not desirable so we don't just delete old posts with lots of upvotes.

You can always post a bounty on the question and reward the most desirable answer - that's always a thing if you want.

But essentially, we do nothing in these cases. Do we care? Yes, but we usually comment where possible, and if it's entirely wrong or dangerous we (moderators or high rep editors) usually edit in a notice about it, but leave the rest of the post alone.

• To me it's pretty much surprising that there is no such feature as "Mark answer as deprecated information", which would cause it to display in a different theme, or a bit faded or somesuch. – Levente Jan 1 at 8:19
• Also: beyond the "accepted" green tick icon, why wouldn't StackExchange agree to develop a feature, that for this site would look as "AskUbuntu's choice", and would work pretty much like the green tick, but would be operated by mods, and not OP? Then the answer accepted by OP and the community's choice could diverge. – Levente Jan 1 at 8:25
• @Levente that's something you should be posting as a Feature Request to MSE. Chances are though it won't get done though. – Thomas Ward Jan 1 at 21:55
• Would linking back to this post to better convey the context be okay? – Levente Jan 1 at 21:58
• @Levente yes you should if it provides relevant information. However, I don't expect the request to go much of anywhere, as I'm sure this has been asked before (but just can't find where) – Thomas Ward Jan 1 at 22:01