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

I recently came across this question: Confused about how to implement extension methods in LINQ to Objects

As you can tell, it was an anonymous user, so no hope of follow up. Basically they gave a self-answer along the lines of "hey thanks for your answer, that worked perfectly for me after I did a small modification". It reads extremely like a non-answer that'd be about 100 times better as a short comment.

Also, this really begs the question if diamond moderators should have the ability to mark Jon Skeet's answer as the accepted solution(the only answer other than the self-answer). It's very obvious that this is the solution, but if the non-answer is deleted rather than put into a comment, it won't be clear for some person that came from google. While if the answer was accepted, it would be..

What do you think we should do in this kind of situation?

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marked as duplicate by Mysticial, Michael Mrozek, Michael Petrotta, Yannis, Andrew Barber Nov 1 '12 at 2:36

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.

    
@Mysticial related, but not a duplicate. I'm talking about not just a certain aged question, but abandoned questions, preferably with non-answers (or comments) that say "hey this is the answer, but I'm dumb and didn't accept it" –  Earlz Nov 1 '12 at 2:21
4  
Why moderators? That's not their responsibility, they have enough on their plate. –  animuson Nov 1 '12 at 2:22
    
How is that any different? It's still "Mod accept answer on behalf of OP". –  Mysticial Nov 1 '12 at 2:22
    
@animuson I think it'd be a possible abuse if it was by anyone but diamond mods... Maybe we could make a really big regular expression that would work? lol –  Earlz Nov 1 '12 at 2:23
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What's wrong with upvoting? –  animuson Nov 1 '12 at 2:23
    
@Mysticial yes, but all of the cited downsides in those answers don't apply in this case. We all know what the answer is, the user just didn't properly mark it –  Earlz Nov 1 '12 at 2:24
    
@animuson upvotes don't necessarily mean "this fixed it for me" or even "I tested this and it should work". –  Earlz Nov 1 '12 at 2:25
3  
Thanks, but no thanks. –  NullUserException อ_อ Nov 1 '12 at 2:26
    
@Earlz So... who cares about the accepted answer? Upvoting will push the best answer to the top. The accepted answer really isn't needed enough to warrant allowing anyone but the OP to accept an answer. –  animuson Nov 1 '12 at 2:26
    
@animuson To be fair, the accept matters to the answerer (+15 + badges + green icon on profile). But that's besides the point in this case. –  Mysticial Nov 1 '12 at 2:28
    
Let's just get rid of accepted answers and be done with it. Who cares which answer the asker found most helpful, the community should decide which answer floats at the top. –  Yannis Nov 1 '12 at 2:39
    
@YannisRizos Jon Skeet would be sad/mad if we did that. :P Where else is he gonna get his over-the-cap rep? Bounties? :) –  Mysticial Nov 1 '12 at 2:44
    
@YannisRizos: True. There's also the added benefit of returning subjective questions to fair game. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Nov 1 '12 at 13:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

While you're right that OP posting a non-answer isn't helpful, and that marking Jon Skeet's answer as accepted would increase its visibility, a better solution is to just vote to delete the non-answer (which is a power that diamond moderators do have -- and apparently one they used in this case).

Also note that the idea behind the site is that the naturally best answers will rise to the top as a matter of survival of the fittest. The best answers get the most votes and therefore have increased visibility.


Finally, I find it slightly offensive that you're implying that Jon Skeet couldn't create a way to get OP to accept his answer if he really wanted to :-)

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Jon Skeet doesn't need to find a way; he simply asks, and a way presents itself. :p –  Andrew Barber Nov 1 '12 at 2:38
    
@AndrewBarber -- changed from "find a way" to "create a way" to better match the reality of this situation. –  mgilson Nov 1 '12 at 2:40

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