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Nothing real quick but after say 2 months, I think the asker should "owe" 1 rep point for every upvoted answer in a given question.

Using me as an example here:

I asked this question 9+ months ago and haven't accepted an answer yet. If you give a 2 month grace period, I would "owe" 14 SO points for not accepting an answer for 7 months with 2 upvoted answers.

Should I be docked some rep for letting this question go for as long as I have?

To tweak this a little...
Would there be a situation where you would start decrementing rep for this?

  1. Users with N questions with <M% acceptance.
  2. Answers upvoted N times with no downvotes (this would show participation from the asker).
  3. ???

EDIT: I removed some of the harsh language. The answers using punish are valid.

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Do you have a reason for not accepting in the first place? –  random Sep 25 '09 at 14:48
    
I wasn't able to test either out and then the project it was for got cut. 9+ months later working different projects never found time to test either out. –  Austin Salonen Sep 25 '09 at 14:51
    
(-1) for the reasons in my answer. –  devinb Sep 25 '09 at 15:03
8  
(-1) for the reasons in devinb's answer. –  Robert Cartaino Sep 25 '09 at 15:05
1  
Everybody quick! Time for a Reversal badge! –  random Sep 25 '09 at 15:16
    
@random: lol. I didn't realize there was a badge for that... –  Austin Salonen Sep 25 '09 at 15:25

4 Answers 4

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Users already have an acceptance rate which shows when they do not accept an answer to a question. They should NEVER be punished because the system failed them.

If a user asks a question and does not receive any correct answers, why are we going to force them to accept an incorrect answer?

We want to encourage users to accept answers, however, there is no punishment for not doing that because the purpose of having votes is that even if an answer is not 'accepted', it can still be show to be the most commonly accepted answer. Even without an 'accepted' checkmark, the community is still enriched by the question being asked, and the answers on it.

No harm is caused by not accepting an answer, so why should we punish for it?

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No. You don't know if the question has no accepted answers because the user just hasn't accepted one, or if none the answers (despite being upvoted) actually solved the problem.

Making someone lose rep is just going to encourage arbitrary acceptance of answers. I'd rather there be no accepted answer at all than an accepted incorrect answer.

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Not at all. Not all questions will end up having a correct answer, and marking an accepted answer just for the sake of having it accepted is not what we want here at all in any way, shape, or form.

Accepting Answers should only be when an answer actually successfully answers the question. If there are none that do so, then there should be no accepted answer.

Also, the Accented Answer is decided solely by the original asker. If the original author never accepts it, well then so be it. Eventually the top answer should filter to the top via the votes anyway, so it will still be there for future users to see even though there isn't a green check mark with it.

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No. We should not "punish" anyone who is simply asking questions with un marked answers. We have no idea exactly what they were looking for and if they honestly got the answer they needed.

I think the accept rate has already done part of this because some people feel like they are bad if they don't have 100% under their name. This idea would only further issues such as premature answer checking.

This wins the "not well recieved feature request of the day" award. I don't think we need any more complexity to the rep system either. People already complain about, argue, praise, and value rep too much already.

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