Here's the scenario:
- Bob asks a question on Stack Overflow.
- Bob gets a few answers and selects the one that helps him the most.
- Bob's account gets deleted.
- Another (considerably better) answer is posted to Bob's question.
- The new answer soon scores higher than the accepted answer.
There is no way for Bob (or anyone) to change the accepted answer on the question. However, it's still the first thing everybody sees when they visit the question (despite the fact that there is a better answer further down).
Now I can almost hear somebody asking the question, "but how often does this really happen?" I'm glad you asked. I just spent the last hour or so constructing a Data.SE query to answer exactly that:
The results? 3,177 rows.
Naturally, I am wondering if there is anything that can be done about this. The following options immediately come to my mind:
Change the accepted answer. This option is here for completeness. I doubt anyone here (including me) actually would consider it. The accepted answer was selected by the user and changing it does not make sense.
Change the sorting order. This makes much more sense. Note that I am not advocating that we always change the sorting order whenever an answer outscores the accepted answer. I am only advocating that this happen when the OP's account has been deleted.
Remove the checkmark from the accepted answer. This option was suggested by Robert Harvey and I actually think it's a viable option as well. After all, the OP is no longer around, so I don't see much value in indicating which answer helped him the most.
Any thoughts? (Also, I'm not an SQL expert, so if you have suggestions for improving the query, feel free to point them out.)