I noticed this Answer coming up in the review queue and wanted to ask for some concrete guidance on Delete Votes Vs Downvotes.

As per a lot of the comments on the answer it's clear that a number of people feel that the answer does not accurately reflect the reality of the difference between Excise Duty and Customs Duties.

However, deleting the answer seems like an over reaction, down voting and possibly commenting (commenting seems more common than downvoting), seems like a better way to progress, it allows both the answer and the comment rebuttals to stay around. Refuted answers can provide users with no current knowledge more information that a straight up "correct" answer.

  • 1
    Yep, that sounds about right. Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 3:40
  • It is a judgment call and Machavity has set out some reasonable criteria, but I'll just mention here that if the poster is reasonable, they will often enough delete their answer after a comment that points what is wrong, assuming it's not a marginal quibble. (I've seen it happen, so it's not just theory. I think there's even a badge for it called "peer pressure" IIRC). So in the end the effect may be the same, but it is indeed better to approach the problem softly most of the time. Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 4:38

1 Answer 1


This is a common issue with LQP. Meta.SO has a great discussion on it. The graphic Shog9 made and Undo appended is perfect here

When to LQP

My criteria for deletion on Politics is as follows

  1. Does it attempt to answer the question? If it breaks this simple rule delete it. Full stop.
  2. Is the answer a good faith answer? On Politics.SE, you can answer the question in the worst way possible. If the answer is a rant, a joke or political snark, or it's just filled with conspiracy theories (especially unsourced theories), delete it
  3. It's noise. Noise means that it's not contributing to the question in any meaningful way. Answers should aim to provide quality, not throw-away lines. We would never allow this, for example

    Q: Why are dogs so controversial within [some country]? [This article] details how they voted against allowing them.

    A: It's controversial because dogs are always dangerous. [Neighboring country] knows that well.

    It's an attempt at answer. It's good faith (no ranting, etc). But it's a terrible answer. There's no citations or explanation. As such, it's noisy. That's why we relegate things like this to comments at best (and why comments are ephemeral). But one-liners are easy to spot in this regard. It's quite possible to write volumes and say nothing in the end. Or maybe they went off about why dogs are dangerous in general and cited 4 websites to back it up. This is why we allow high rep users to delete questions and very high rep users to delete answers. They're not one-shot votes and there are restrictions (questions must be closed, answers must have a negative score) but, if you have that much rep, you've been around for a long time and you should know what good content looks like.

Deletion is a bad tool when...

  • You merely disagree with the content. Downvote and comment
  • The answer is wrong but still attempts to answer the question. Downvote and comment.
  • The linked answer would seem to be a green apple in a red cart, but...
    – Jontia
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 17:45
  • Disagreement alone, especially about politics, shouldn't result in down votes. Although it usually does on this site.
    – Sjoerd
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 22:41
  • 1
    @Sjoerd I get downvotes for closing other people's questions. I almost prefer downvotes for political disagreement
    – Machavity
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 0:55

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