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Moderators accepting answers on user's behalf after a certain time period

There are some answers in stackoverflow, answered by OPs themselves. Some are genuine answers, that exactly solves the question, while some are EDITs or comments, which add more details to the question instead (usually occur in the case of junior / beginner members). In this situation, there is a flag option to let moderators know that the answer is not exactly an ANSWER and is some comment or edit. But;

  1. Is it fine to let moderators know that its exactly an answer, and the OP forgot to accept the answer (or mark it as "accepted") by flagging this answer to them?
  2. Can moderators mark these kind answers as "accepted"?

If there is not such an option currently, I think the feature will be really helpful.

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marked as duplicate by nhinkle, Mat, jmort253, Yannis, Mad Scientist Aug 18 '12 at 8:23

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.

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Moderators cannot accept answers to other people's questions, so don't flag for that.

I don't think they should be able to either. Accepting an answer is the asker's privilege. Only that person knows which (if any) of the answers was the most helpful for him/her.

Use your votes to make the best answers rise to the top, and leave accepting to the OP. This all works.

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But you have cases where OP (usually a one-timer) obviously "accepted" an answer but did not mark it as such. Just for example: stackoverflow.com/a/4881261/653513 –  rokjarc Feb 28 '13 at 11:06

No, you should only flag something when the issue absolutely requires moderator attention. In many cases, even you can handle the issue by leaving a polite, constructive comment.

  • If someone has answered a question in the comments, you can help by asking that person to post their answer as an actual answer.
  • As Mat said, accepts are awarded by the asker, and are completely optional. The asker is not obligated to accept any answers if none solved his or her problem.
  • If the asker answered his or her question in the question body, you can leave a comment asking him or her to post it as an answer.

As far as askers not accepting answers, don't worry about it. It's only 15 reputation, and many great answers can get 5, 10 or even higher votes, which quickly drowns out the measly 15 rep earned from an accept. Just focus on contributing good, quality content, and your reputation will increase.

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