We recently received this answer (now deleted), which expounded a vast and convoluted theory connecting the letter V to Aleister Crowley and claiming that certain quotes attributed to Jesus were actually inserted into the Bible by the Roman government to change the meaning of the whole work.

In my opinion, this answer is completely and utterly wrong: I can't speak to the historical parts, but the linguistic evidence is, shall we say, somewhat far-fetched.

But is an answer being factually wrong enough reason for it to be deleted? My instinct was to downvote it instead, rather than deleting it, especially since the other answer to that question is of good quality.


2 Answers 2


I think that answer not only was wrong, but it did not attempt to answer the question. Thus, for a site aiming to build a robust Q&A that can be useful to others, having useless answers is not helpful to anyone.

Wrong questions are many times great learning devices, particularly because of the comments. But pieces of texts that have no real connection to the answer do not belong to the site.

Thus, the ultimate criterion to me would be "does this answer helps the learning?" If not, then delete. Ultimately, this is a Q&A site.


My main concern is this: New people coming to the site, via Google or otherwise, will see that kind of content. Some newcomers have difficulties telling how things work here, and might pay no attention to the low score or the notice below. Content like that gives a bad impression of our site, and I prefer to have it deleted.

Quality standards are needed to keep the site useful and interesting. While we try to be lenient towards beginners and all that, outright nonsensical content should be deleted. In some cases the poster should be notified and given the chance to edit, but any registered user can edit their deleted posts anyway.

However, deleting stuff as a moderator is a little heavy-handed. As Nathaniel points out, there is a mechanism for the community to delete bad content. Please use it: in addition to voting down, flag for low quality and vote to close according to your privilege level. It takes five three normal user votes to delete a post and that is hard to reach on our site. I will be happy to supplement a couple of votes with a moderator's binding votes, knowing that there is community support for deletion. To me this is a matter of avoiding abuse of power.

If you want to see something deleted, act towards deletion.

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