I'm not clear on when the down-voting feature should be used.

From: https://craftcms.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/vote-down

What are the alternatives to down-voting?

The up-vote privilege comes first because that's what you should focus on: pushing great content to the top. Down-voting should be reserved for extreme cases. It's not meant as a substitute for communication and editing.

Instead of voting down:

  • If the post is spammy or offensive, flag it.
  • If the question is duplicate or off-topic, flag it for moderator attention.
  • Is something is wrong, please leave a comment or edit the post to correct it.

Should all incorrect answers be voted down?

What does the Craft CMS community consider to be an extreme case?

If a correction to an answer was made via a comment, or post edit, should the answer still be voted down?

What is the best way to edit an incorrect answer without duplicating other answers or comments?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I try to be generous with upvotes and reserved with downvotes. The only time I jump right to downvoting is if I see an answer that's clearly wrong to the point of being harmful—which is rare. And even then, it's worth leaving a note so the author can learn from the situation.

Most of the time, you can ask someone to improve a question or answer and they will—especially around here.

If something's straight up wrong, or a question/answer is beyond clarification without any follow-up from its author, it should be voted off the island.

Should all incorrect answers be voted down?

If they're objectively wrong and mis-informing visitors, yes.

What does the Craft CMS community consider to be an extreme case?

If I insist that Craft is built on CodeIgniter, you should kill it with fire.

What is the best way to edit an incorrect answer without duplicating other answers or comments?

If there's an obvious error to fix, ask the author to address it and/or edit and leave a note so the author understands what you did. If this suddenly clashes with other answers I think that's okay—visitors will decide which should be elevated with their upvotes. If your edits would be so extreme that you're basically making a new answer, you might as well create your answer and give it some context.

  • I like your answer better than mine. Plus, it includes phrases like "voted off the island" and "kill it with fire". – Lindsey D Jul 15 '14 at 20:49
  • @LindseyD Ha, thanks. I was trying to do a mental diff of these answers. Your "read the docs" example is important, as is the reminder about retracting votes. Good thing our answers weren't directly conflicting with each other! – Matt Stein Jul 15 '14 at 20:51

First, let me note that votes can be retracted. So if you've down-voted an answer because it's wrong, but then the post is edited to be correct, you can "un-vote" your disapproval. That being said...

Down-voting is often not necessary. As your quoted source says, it's preferred to leave a comment or edit a post if you think it can be improved. Personally, I'd say that a down-vote is only warranted when a question or answer is bad beyond repair.

To quickly answer each of your sub-questions:

  • Should all incorrect answers be voted down?

    No, only if it's so bad that it's basically a non-answer. Otherwise it should be edited.

  • What does the Craft CMS community consider to be an extreme case?

    Things like people saying "Read the docs" with no link or no useful suggestions.

  • If a correction to an answer was made via a comment, or post edit, should the answer still be voted down?

    If the answer can be edited and improved, then do that instead of down-voting.

  • What is the best way to edit an incorrect answer without duplicating other answers or comments?

    Go ahead and edit the answer... Pulling updated information from comments is totally acceptable.

  • Yours was the first answer, so you still won the draw. You're welcome to absorb my fiery phrasing and minor differences if you'd rather have a single Moderator Approved™ response here. I don't think these responses are all that different. – Matt Stein Jul 15 '14 at 20:58
  • 1
    I say leave them both... Two moderator approved answers are better than one! Even though they have a largely similar perspective, I think even the subtle differences are valuable. – Lindsey D Jul 15 '14 at 21:02
  • Sounds good to me! – Matt Stein Jul 15 '14 at 21:06

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