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Responding to comments about 0% accept rate when I have no satisfactory answers

I've started getting a lot of snarky comments on Stack Overflow because my acceptance rate is only 58%. I've reviewed every one of the questions I haven't accepted, and I found none of the answers correct or helpful.

What's the correct resolution here? Should I just post an answer on all the questions that don't have helpful answers and say "None of these answers are helpful" and accept that?

Also, is it now accepted behavior, if you find a user with an acceptance rate you think is low, to complain about it in their comments of their question?

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marked as duplicate by Josh Caswell, casperOne Mar 21 '12 at 0:29

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1  
I haven't been on meta since the acceptance rates were implemented. It's a little odd "Accepting" things on meta, but I've done so, nonetheless. –  Chris B. Mar 20 '12 at 23:26
    
@Madmartigan: I had problems condensing that problem into a useful test case, and ended up giving up on the problem and tossing out all my code. I'm not sure what to do about that question, since it certainly isn't answered in any particularly useful way. –  Chris B. Mar 20 '12 at 23:30
    
@ChrisB: Just so you know I wasn't trying to single out that question in particular, it's just the first unaccepted post I looked at. Usually, non-responsiveness is a trend rather than an isolated case, no harm meant. –  Wesley Murch Mar 20 '12 at 23:35
    
@ChrisB. Why is it odd accepting on Meta? Even Meta issues have answers. :P –  Alenanno Mar 21 '12 at 0:17

4 Answers 4

I've reviewed every one of the questions I haven't accepted, and I found none of the answers correct or helpful.

Then your acceptance rate is perfectly okay, no matter what it is.

Screw the snarky comments; you're doing it exactly right.

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9  
Alternatively, flag the snarky comments. –  Bill the Lizard Mar 21 '12 at 11:59

There is already guidance for accept rates here:

How does accept rate work?

It has this to say about accept rate etiquette:

  • If the stat doesn’t appear at all, it’s a new user, or someone who rarely asks questions.
  • If you see a low percentage, it’s a user who asks a lot of questions but accepts almost no answers.
  • If you see a middle of the road percentage, it’s an experienced user who understands what accepted answers are for.
  • If you see a high percentage, it’s an engaged user, someone who frequently goes back and interacts with their questions after asking.

In your case, you fall into the "Middle of the Road" category.

The only satisfactory comment about accept rate is the following one; it should only be posted if the user has a 0% accept rate:

Please see How does accept rate work?

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1  
Perhaps How does accepting an answer work? would be more instructive. –  Pops Mar 20 '12 at 23:49
    
Also, the second answer in the Accept Rate post has a cool little clicky graphic, showing how to accept an answer. –  Robert Harvey Mar 20 '12 at 23:56

What's the correct resolution here?

Flag the comment as Obsolete. They'll only take 1 or 2 flags to disappear, thanks to some specific regex built into comment-flagging.

And this 'feature' implies an answer: No, it isn't really acceptable to complain about the Accept Rate.

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Just a note, the particular flag doesn't actually matter. (I usually pick "Not Constructive/Off Topic", for example.) –  Josh Caswell Mar 20 '12 at 23:38

I've often seen people retract their snarky comments about acceptance rates when you explain that not all your questions have good answers.

Furthermore, you can flag the comments you see as "not constructive". If enough people flag "not constructive", the comment will evaporate, leaving the place looking a little bit cleaner.

Finally, sometimes acceptance rate is more indicative of question quality than answer quality. I've often seen questioners with poor language skills and no familiarity with Writing the Perfect Question with questions that are so bad that they cannot be answered -- and somehow yet remain open. Be careful that your questions haven't fallen into this category. (Though, since you're here, asking this question, relatively well-asked at that, I'm inclined to think that your questions just didn't get the attention from people who could answer them.)

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