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I got hassled by the accept rate police the other day, and, in improving my accept rate, discovered I can accept my own answers.

This prompted me to add my own answers to a few questions which didn't have a good answer already, which is a good thing, I reckon, as the next person to want an answer will find one.

However, I still had 1 question with a number of wrong answers, and to which I had never found an answer. I decided to add my own answer explaining I had given up, and taken a completely different route to solve the underlying problem.

Is this acceptable? Is it a good idea?

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17  
1) Don't let people pester you into accepting bad answers. 2) You don't need to have 100% accept rate. (nobody will complain if it's above even 70%) 3) Yes it's OK to answer "it can't be done", but it should be accompanied by some evidence or explanation. –  Mysticial Oct 3 '12 at 16:27
3  
Accepting a bad answer, or an answer that you aren't actually using, is more harmful than not accepting any answer at all. Only accept an answer if it is the answer that you used to solve your problem. If it was useful, or you just liked it, but it didn't actually solve your problem then just an upvote would be appropriate. –  Servy Oct 3 '12 at 16:39
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I deleted a similar comment today, always flag them. You're the one who decides about your questions... Be honest about them and accept them when it's appropriate, not just because someone annoys you. –  Alenanno Oct 3 '12 at 16:51
    
Do flags on auto-nuked comments with "accept-rate" ever get seen? What if they are flagged for other reasons that require attention? Is that overlooked simply because they say "accept rate"? –  Jim Oct 3 '12 at 16:55
    
Problem is the "improve your accept-rate" comments are a learned thing. I made a similar comment once upon a time because I saw others that did it. It wasn't until I started reading MSO that I realized it was a bad thing. The only way to fix the problem is to be very fast on the auto-nuke so too many new users don't learn bad habits –  psubsee2003 Oct 3 '12 at 17:07
    
Out of curiosity, as a follow up to Jim's comment above, if the auto-nuke "accept rate" flags do get seen by someone, is it possible to politely point the commenter to an appropriate MSO question about it so they learn not to pester people about it? –  psubsee2003 Oct 3 '12 at 17:09
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I completely agree with the general sentiment here and you should never feel pressured into accepting answers just for the sake of it. But tangentially and to play The Devil's Advocate, if you're sitting on a corpus of say 25+ questions and your accept rate is on the lower side of things < 35-38%, then perhaps you need to think about why these questions aren't getting good answers. For example, are the questions flawed in some way such that it's difficult to understand what is being asked? –  Kev Oct 3 '12 at 17:13
    
Or, maybe they're not showing up in anyone's tag radars because the subject matter is off-topic. Hopefully something to think about. –  Kev Oct 3 '12 at 17:17

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I guess I'll make my comment an answer:

  1. Don't let people pester you into accepting bad answers. Accepting a bad answer does more harm than good because:

    • It conveys false information to future readers that the (bad) answer is correct.
    • It discourages answerers from visiting the question.

  2. You don't need to have 100% accept rate. (nobody will complain if it's above even 70%) Anybody complaining about a 70% or higher accept rate should be cleansed with some meta lynching. :P

  3. Yes it's OK to answer "it can't be done". However, it must be accompanied by some evidence or an explanation. A one-line answer that says "cannot be done" is not considered an acceptable answer.


That said, if you legitimately have a low accept rate, you can flag those comments that pester you.

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3  
The best "can't be done" answers are those that explain why something can't be done, and offer an alternative solution. –  S.L. Barth Oct 3 '12 at 17:15
    
See, I've accepted this as an answer :-) I think my questions are probably too hard, rather than off topic or badly phrased. StackOverflow is my last resort when asking questions (I have been a member of Cix (forums.cixonline.com) for decades, and that is always my first port of call, because I know the community well). –  Nikki Locke Oct 4 '12 at 17:52

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