On May 29, I answered the question Biggest string theory competitors, which had been posted April 10 on Physics Stack Exchange, that was put on hold later on May 29 because it was felt that "answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise".

It appears to me that answers receiving no up- or down-votes, or any acceptance by the questioner, might generally indicate a possible deficiency in their formulation, so I'm wondering whether I should delete my answer, which had a score of zero, and no acceptance by the questioner at the time when his question was put on hold. (My answer, which was the only one visible at the time the hold was established, definitely reflected no opinion: It simply referred the questioner to a book, by the noted physicist Martin Bojowald, whose comparisons between string theory and alternatives to it seem extraordinarily even-handed and fair-minded, although I understand that his own theory of loop quantum gravity might be considered [by sports fans, for instance] to be a "rival" to it.)

My reputation does not yet allow me to see whatever up- or down-votes might've cancelled each other to result in the zero scores of the Q & A. As that reputation is my only concern, should I withdraw my answer?


The exact algorithm that Stack Exchange uses to identify problematic users has never been revealed but I doubt having a zero voted answer matters (your answer has no upvotes nor downvotes). By contrast it is widely accepted that having deleted answers does count against you. So in your place I would leave my answer in place and not delete it.

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    $\begingroup$ Agree with John Rennie's answer. Btw, there are consolation badges for zero-score accepted answers: Tenacious & Unsung Hero. That being said, this seems to be a good occasion to encouraged users to vote on posts: Voting is how quality is separated from crap. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic May 31 '19 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ In what way does having deleted answers count against you? One can be barred from posting questions, but can you be barred from answering? $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero Jun 6 '19 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero: Yes. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Jun 7 '19 at 0:14

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