Someone made a supposedly wrong answer on a post.

I read that it is better not to argue in comments.

Can I pm that person in order to discuss and be in agreement on the answer, or at least explain him my argument ? I didn't find the option anywhere...

What should I do ?

  • 2
    it's better not to argue in comments but there's absolutely nothing wrong with simply stating in comments why you believe the answer is wrong.
    – Carey Gregory Mod
    Jun 2, 2016 at 23:07
  • Anyone who finds the above comment is correct, can you tell me is there any difference between it and Franck's answer below?
    – Ooker
    Jun 3, 2016 at 16:24
  • 1
    @Ooker The difference is the word argue. Simply stating that an answer is wrong isn't arguing and is perfectly fine, but going back and forth in disagreement for more than one or two posts is an argument and not appropriate in comments per stackexchange policies.
    – Carey Gregory Mod
    Jun 3, 2016 at 18:33
  • I agree that the word choice is bad here, but I think that's because the OP uses it first. If you agree that we have a consensus, then what he really wants to say is not so far from your above comment.
    – Ooker
    Jun 4, 2016 at 7:48

3 Answers 3


If you believe an answer is incorrect, your best options are:

  1. Downvote the post. That's what the voting system is for.
  2. Possibly flag - If the answer is so wrong that it could potentially cause harm, flag it for a moderators attention.
  3. Post a correct answer - This, along with the voting system is the best way to combat incorrect/bad answers. A highly upvoted correct post puts the better information out there.
  • 1
    This is the correct answer. Voting is the very heart of stackexchange, not private messaging. In fact, trying to correct a wrong answer behind the scenes may be viewed as the polite way to do it on some forums, but not here. It is in fact rude to all the users to allow an incorrect answer to remain un-downvoted. If an answer is wrong or poor in some way, a downvote should result. A comment explaining why you think it's wrong is very much appreciated because otherwise the poster may not have any idea why someone downvoted their answer.
    – Carey Gregory Mod
    Jun 2, 2016 at 23:03
  • @CareyGregory "A comment explaining why you think it's wrong is very much appreciated" - isn't this what Franck trying to say?
    – Ooker
    Jun 3, 2016 at 14:43
  • @Ooker That's not how I interpreted it. I find it pretty common to see comments pointing out incorrect aspects of answers that result in a correction to the answer rather than an argument. I've left and received many such comments.
    – Carey Gregory Mod
    Jun 3, 2016 at 15:49
  • @CareyGregory this is why I don't understand why Franck's idea is not welcomed here. How do you interpret his?
    – Ooker
    Jun 3, 2016 at 16:29
  • @JohnP, you just have said about the best options, what about not best but accepted options?
    – Ooker
    Jun 4, 2016 at 7:41
  • @Ooker - Well, you can argue in comments, which could be deleted. You could invite to chat and discuss/argue there which doesn't get shown on the main site. Both of those are ephemeral and outside the voting system.
    – JohnP
    Jun 5, 2016 at 16:55

Stack Exchange doesn't have the PM option as of now and pinging them to enter chat doesn't work all the time if they've never visited chat.

What you could do is comment your concerns on the post and ask them to join you in chat in the comment. Arguing isnt condoned anywhere, but if they join you you could have a conversation in chat about it. Then afterward comment the chat conversation to the post if it's appropriate to.

Good luck on this, if you still think the post is incorrect you can downvote accordingly. Flagging would work, but only if the post fit the criteria.

  • 1
    Nah, downvote with a comment explaining why. Explain in chat only if they decide to argue with your downvote . You can always undo your downvote later if they correct their answer.
    – Carey Gregory Mod
    Jun 2, 2016 at 23:06

You should argue in the comments:

  • There is no consensus that (respectfully and constructively) arguing in the comments isn't allowed. Why is arguing in comments not allowed?
  • PM isn't a good option as other readers will not see your objections.

Echoing what Count Iblis said in the comments, we should consider that there is a large gray area between correct and wrong answers, so up or downvoting is going to be too crude a way to deal with problems with some answers.

  • 3
    An argument in comments will get those comments moved to chat on every single SE site I'm familiar with. There is definitely a consensus.
    – Carey Gregory Mod
    Jun 2, 2016 at 23:10
  • 3
    I agree. We should consider that there is a large gray area between correct and wrong answers, so up or downvoting is going to be too crude a way to deal with problems with some answer. Jun 4, 2016 at 4:52
  • 1
    to keep the spirit of "comment should be allowed, in order to improve the answer", then Franck, I suggest you to add what @CountIblis said into your answer
    – Ooker
    Jun 4, 2016 at 7:45
  • 1
    @Ooker Sure, I have just done it, I had upvoted his comment. Jun 4, 2016 at 7:50

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