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chyna's avatar

When you see a question here that you know for a fact is answered incorrectly, do you correct the poster?

Asked by chyna (47633points) March 17th, 2012

For example, someone asks about something on their face, posts a pic and a jelly says Oh no, you have a tumor! Now, you know, in fact that is just a big honking zit. Do you correct the person who misidentifies or gives wrong advice? A jelly may give advice on medications to take and you know this medication isn’t to be taken by all. Do you hop in and say, “but you should make sure you see a doctor to make sure this doesn’t conflict with any other medications you are taking”?
I’m not talking about bad relationship advice or misidentifying a movie or a song, but something that could potentially hurt someone.
I’ve noticed this on a few occasions, but never say anything. How, or do you, handle this?

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21 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

If you are sure the advice given is incorrect, say so. You can do it in such a way that you aren’t demeaning to other posters (and I am quite sure you would be respectful) but the person asking the question wants advice and information. If you feel the advice or information they have received is wrong (and especially if it is something to do with medicine etc.) you definitely should say.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I would say so. Some people treat this place as gospel.

lloydbird's avatar

I think that you should.
Every time.

talljasperman's avatar

Seeing that I don’t want any personal attacks trouble I usually try not correct the poster and I don’t like being corrected or told that I am unhelpful “publicly” or wrong and I am loathe to correct others.

marinelife's avatar

I would PM the OP with back-up evidence of my position.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I would just address the OP with what you think it is and not address the incorrect advice unless you feel it’s so off base that it must be dealt with.

For medical Qs, I think it’s always a good idea to tell the asker to seek out professional (in person) advice.

HungryGuy's avatar

Not usually. If I think I know the correct answer, I usually post what I think is the correct answer and leave it at that.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Depends on the importance of the topic.

I let bad relationship advice go by all day, but when someone gives poor legal advice, I may write a quick post addressing another poster with my understanding and ask them to help me figure out which one of us is wrong.

MilkyWay's avatar

I do what @HungryGuy does.

Kardamom's avatar

I have suggested that an answer poster might be wrong and then have shown them an alternative answer that I believe to be correct with sources. I have also been corrected by other jellies (a couple of authors names that I got wrong) and it’s fine.

Yes, relationship advice is not black or white, so there are not correct answers, but if you can clearly see that a zit is not a tumor or that Tim Robbins is an actor not the author Tom Robbins, or that certain medications should not be taken with grapefruit juice, then say so.

gailcalled's avatar

I have problems sometimes with medical advice that seems really wrong and possibly harmful. Then I do tend to mention my concerns.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, agreed, if the information was clearly not true and/or possibly harmful or misinforming I would speak up.
I’ve corrected some animal misconceptions such as the myth that touching baby birds causes their abandonment, completely not true, yet people still believe this old myth.

augustlan's avatar

I think (hope?) I do what @Kardamom does.

Brian1946's avatar

I always come down like the Chicxulub asteroid on the slightest error, regardless of how harmless it is. ;-)

Earthgirl's avatar

Bellatrix, marinelife, SpatzieLover Agreed, agreed, agreed. All good approaches. I myself am very careful about dispensing medical advice or even psychological advice.

Aboiut the disagreeing with someone part, I try to state my opinion without opening correcting someone even if I am sure they are wrong- and especially if I am not sure

Cruiser's avatar

“Wrong” answers are often because of a flaw in the question itself and any answer right or wrong can stimulate the thought process of a thread and further the discussion.

ucme's avatar

If it bothers me enough to care, i’ll certainly put someone straight if they’re displaying gross ignorance/prejudice towards a topic close to my heart.
I mean, we can’t be having bullshitters get away with, well…......bullshit, now can we?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar


Wait…. you mean…. I don’t have a tumor? OMG, I’m so relieved!

nikipedia's avatar

I guess I’m a know-it-all and kind of a jerk; if someone has posted something that is factually incorrect I will say as much directly with evidence to support my correction.

Blackberry's avatar

But then we’ll be seen as offensive…....:P

chyna's avatar

@Blackberry Depending on how you state it, hopefully it won’t come across as offensive.
“You jerk, that’s a zit, not a tumor” would seem offensive.
“That appears to be a zit, not a tumor” would seem inoffensive. Of course, some folks will be offended no matter how you state something.

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