Is there any way to correct the wrong answers in the history.se. Wrong answers are accepted as the correct answer in some questions. When googling the results from history.SE also appear on the first page of result and someone who is not aware of the facts it totally misguided here. The correct answers are there with a least number of votes and the wrong answer is accepted. What a way to twisting the facts!! I am asking this question as I found the accepted answer of the following question, and people have upvoted it, I can't really believe this. From whom did Gandhi learn his protest technique of non-violence?

It is mentioned in the answer that, "Largely from his family religion of Jainism". Gandhi's was born and raised as a Hindu...see wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi

This is the issue of trustworthiness of history.SE. If this kind of answers without any researches are going to be accepted again, then there is no point in having such a site. The whole community need to pay attention to this issue and please take further steps to rectify this as soon as possible.

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    Thanks for raising such a valid and important point! Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 9:20

3 Answers 3


Excellent question. Judicious use of dwnvotes, and alternative answers are the only options that come to mind. I've added a comment to the question; I don't think it is quite as erroneous as you assert. The source you suggest points out that Ghandi was raised in an eclectic religious atmosphere and mentions Jainist influences at least twice.

I wish that the answer you endorsed as correct were supported by sources/citations/references. I think ultimately the best way to correct an answer is to provide a better, more compelling answer.

** Update in response to @YannisRizos's comment. Mr. Risoz's is correct; flags are the wrong approach to the problem.

  • @markcwallace: Edited correct answer with the ultimate reference. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 6:14
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    Do not flag an answer as incorrect. We can't possibly expect the moderators to be able (or willing) to judge the correctness of potentially every answer on the site.
    – yannis
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 14:42
  • Re your edit: No, even the hypothetical Jefferson answer should not be flagged. It's not part of the moderators' responsibilities to judge its factual accuracy, regardless of your references. Downvote it to oblivion, but don't flag. A few more details here: meta.politics.stackexchange.com/questions/1362/…
    – yannis
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 18:00

This is a serious problem, and it happens because history is very different from the main SE which spawned it all, dealing with programming.

Problem 1 is that while there are some divergences in programming, in most cases usually something either actually works or doesn't: you may prefer one approach over another, and one approach might be strictly better than another one, but there aren't so many shades of gray. In history, while some things are accepted as facts, some others are not.

Problem 2 is that in this site I'm almost sure that the percentage of professional users is WAY inferior to that of more technical sites, so the risk of an amateur accepting as good another amateur's answer is very high. There's no way to deal with that because the system is copied verbatim from the original site, where this problem almost doesn't exist.

The only solution is to re-design from scratch a new system which takes this into account (this one sucks anyway), but this isn't going to happen: they love their toy with a fanatic fervor and any hint of criticism is taken as a blasphemy.

(warning: I'm absolutely NOT implying that re-designing it would be easy)

TL;DR this SE has done a good job despite the given tools, which are broken and unfit for the job. Improving further may not be possible, because of these tools, and improving the tools themselves likely won't happen.
(thanks to Mark for pointing this out)

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    @MarkC.Wallace this SE has done a good job despite the given tools, which are broken and unfit for the job. This is what I meant, I'm not sure if it was clear.
    – o0'.
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 13:40
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    Yes, there is a problem with accepted answers on History, and on all sites that deal with subjective (even if slightly) questions. I think it's more about the lack of tools to verify answers (on SO all you need to do is compile the answer's code), than the lower percentage of experts (although, that's also noteworthy).
    – yannis
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 18:11

Wrong according to who? It is certainly true that some answers are "wrong" in some way, but who is to be the judge of that? God? You think because you read a Wikipedia page, you know the "truth"? Even if you were God and you knew the Truth, why do you think you need to delete or "correct" the wrong answers? If people know what the "Truth" is, then what is the harm of seeing the "wrong" answers alongside of it for comparison?

Are you afraid that someone might pay more attention to the "wrong" answer and less attention to your "right" answer? Your solution to that is to delete or hide "wrong" answers, so only your "right" answer can be read?

In the ancient tradition of science of Ireland and British Isles, of which I am a part and inheritor, the practice is to allow everyone to speak their theories and their reasoning, and let each member of the public decide for themselves what they would like to believe or not.

  • So by the same principle, who are you to correct this question? If you think this is a wrong/inappropriate question, why should you interfere? Just read your own answer and ask yourselves. Commented May 20, 2015 at 17:41
  • "What is truth?" Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, "He is not guilty of any crime." (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist)
    – Voitcus
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 20:42

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