5

Situation

Regarding this answer: https://law.stackexchange.com/a/16056/10024

It says:

Google is not obligated in any way to accept anything into Play, no matter the money or the business involved.

[...]

Sure, you can take Google to court for disallowing a product from Play or removing an accepted product from Play. You will need to prove beyond a doubt that the product is does not violate any points in the TOS.

This is wrong two ways.

  1. The second section contradicts the first. Is it true that Google is not obligated? Or can you win a court case against Google by proving that the disallowed product does not violate any points in the TOS?

  2. The stated standard of proof is incorrect. There is no area of law that requires proof "beyond a doubt". In a civil action like this, the standard would be "preponderance of the evidence", also called "more likely than not".

Attempted remedy

I suggested in a comment changing "beyond a doubt" to "preponderance of the evidence" or "more likely than not".

Outcome

My suggestion was denied. The reason I was given was that this is not a court room, law class, or conversation between lawyers.

Question presented

Are these kinds of errors acceptable in answers here?

9

No errors are "acceptable."

In the example you cite, your critique was obviously correct, and your suggested correction should have been made. There's no such thing as being "too correct" on Stack Exchange!

Of course, Stack Exchange is littered with errors of all sorts. One of the features on which we depend to generate higher quality content is the "crowd-sourcing" of knowledge. Comments are nice ways to improve posts, but we must remember that, ultimately, comments are ephemeral.

Therefore, we aspire to have corrections incorporated directly into posts when possible.

Back to the example you cite: You did the nice thing by pointing out the error in a comment. When the original post author declined to implement the correction the expedient thing would be to simply edit the post yourself, noting the purpose/justification of the correction in the Edit Summary. In fact, corrective edits are such a core part of the Stack Exchange model for producing good and helpful content that they are rewarded with rep (up to a point) and badges.

Sometimes an answer is so defective that it should simply be downvoted, and a comment provided to note what or how it is incorrect.

And sometimes it is better to post a separate, more correct answer, than to try to salvage an existing answer. Then wait for the crowd-sourced expertise to improve and highlight the better answer (through voting, comments, and edits).

-1

Any error is "acceptable".

This is a peer reviewed site and answers that the community believes are wrong should attract downvotes and move to the bottom of the pile while answers that the community believes are right should go the other way.

You can ask the OP to correct a poor answer in comments and you can edit it yourself (although personally I feel these should be limited to improving clarity) but ultimately the OP can decide to change it or not or delete it or not.

Remember there are 196 national jurisdictions on Earth and who knows how many sub-national and supra-national: the answer might be right somewhere. Similarly, law is never definitively set in stone and future judgements or legislation may render swathes of answers correct that were incorrect or vice-versa.

Of course, it should go without saying that if legal questions all had definitive answers there would be no need for courts since everyone would agree on the right outcome. Seen that happen a lot, have you?

  • I don't understand: why would you ever downvote an answer if it was "acceptable". Are you simply questioning the use of the word "acceptable? Is there any kind of answer that you would consider unacceptable? – user6726 Jan 21 '17 at 21:08
  • @user6726 wrong answers are "acceptable" in that they have a place on the stack and do not need to be corrected or deleted. If you believe an answer is wrong then downvote it - that doesn't mean that it's not acceptable. – Dale M Jan 22 '17 at 0:39
  • If the issue is deletion or editing (by non-authors) then I agree, but I don't think that was what the OP was asking. Maybe it is, though. – user6726 Jan 22 '17 at 1:11

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