9

I'm in an embarrassing situation:

I wrote an answer to a question. I got many upvotes and reputation for that answer. But that answer is flawed in a subtle way. Obviously those who upvoted did not see the flaw either. I will delete that answer and replace it by a new one where the flaw is rectified.

I definitely don't want my reputation to be increased for an answer that is flawed. Therefore the question:

When I delete/annul my own posting/answer, how can I ensure that any reputation increase due to upvotes is also annulled?

11

From the Stack Exchange FAQ How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?:

Reputation changes from bounties, votes (both up and down), and acceptances on deleted posts (including answers to a deleted question) are nullified. (Exception: Reputation earned for posts with a score of three or higher, and where the post has been visible on the site for at least 60 days, is retained).

My suggestion would be

  • If your updated answer will be similar in nature than the original, flawed answer, then just update the answer entirely. There's very little benefit in adding a "Edit:" or "Update:" field, since the incorrect part is still... incorrect.

  • If the updated answer will be substantially different from the original, then you can delete the existing answer and write a completely new one. The deletion will only affect you (your reputation) and possibly anyone that downvoted the post.

7

When you delete the answer the rep points also go away (I think).

But if you have a problem with that, delete your answer and post a new one without the votes if you are really loosing sleep. I have loads of stupid and deleted answers here.

Instead I would recommend: mention why the old version is wrong/falls short and add your fixed one on the upper part of the answer. So people can avoid doing the same mistake.

Don't think too much about points, it's the answer that is important.

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