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I wrote an answer to How would two people with burner phones communicate? , which received 22 upvotes but has not been accepted yet. Another user (not the OP) commented my answer, noticing that it doesn't cover a particular case.

Should I edit my answer in order to improve it and complete it, even if it's received a lot of upvotes as it is, or is it considered bad practice?

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    It's fine to improve answers - even if they've got upvotes or have been accepted. It's not generally OK to change the point of the answer - if it was originally "yes, this is secure because...", but you updated it to "no, this is not secure because...", you'd have to expect downvotes, unless some new information had come to light (a new attack, for example) – Matthew Mar 21 '16 at 20:55
  • @Matthew this is not the case... Basically, I explained in my answer how can two people use burner phones, but I didn't consider a possible attack. An user highlighted the possibility of this attack and a possible defence, and I would like to update my answer including also this defence. – A. Darwin Mar 21 '16 at 21:33
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    That should be fine - acknowledge the comment which caused you to change the answer, and, ideally, make it clear what you've changed as a result (e.g. add a section at the bottom of your answer addressing this) – Matthew Mar 21 '16 at 21:37
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    Not only is it okay, it is a very good idea. Absolutely please do this! It just makes your answer better, and thus the site better. – AviD Mar 22 '16 at 6:58
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Oh... oh god yes. This isn't even a question. You should always edit to improve/update/complete/redo/any amount of other reasons. Sure it could change the score of the answer but that is EXACTLY what upvotes and downvotes are for. If that didn't exist, people would be looking at old/outdated/wrong information all the time instead of the newly updated concurrent information that was edited into the post by the person who put in the answer.


Depending on the answer it is also useful to leave the original in tact, add a title and put the new/improved answer above with its own title and date. This way people can see the old way and the new way. And possibly explain what changed to produce the new answer. We have seen a few great answers that have had multiple edits over the years this way and find them far more complete than a rewrite. On rare occasion the old answer might still fit someone's needs, so it's good to have both.*


Heck if a comment is good, and relevant we should edit it into the answer too

*: thanks @KnightHawk, 04/05/2016

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    Depending on the answer it is also useful to leave the original in tact, add a title and put the new/improved answer above with its own title and date. This way people can see the old way and the new way. And possibly explain what changed to produce the new answer. I've seen a few great answers that have had multiple edits over the years this way and i for one find them far more complete than a rewrite. On rare occasion the old answer might still fit someone's needs, so it's good to have both. – KnightHawk Apr 1 '16 at 14:15
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    I believe we call those 'Wiki-like answers' and are really great as long as the people doing the editing get fact checked in comments. Heck if a comment is good, and relevant we should edit it into an answer – Robert Mennell May 5 '16 at 22:13

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