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Why is there a 15 minute time limit on accepting an answer in StackOverflow?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 16 down vote accepted

It's actually 15 minutes as far as I know. It started here:

Discourage questions being marked as answered within an hour or so of being posted

The rationale is that if people are accepting answers within minutes or even seconds (no joke), they haven't even had time to properly evaluate or test the answer. The community felt (and I agreed) that some users were just accepting the first answer that was submitted even if it was wrong or sub-par.

15 minutes was decided on as the minimum amount of time it would take to receive a healthy number of submissions and actually read/test/think about the answers provided.

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Thanks for providing a resource for further explanation. –  Michael Kniskern May 20 '10 at 23:20
    
Agreed, much better answer than mine -- I was feeling lazy :-) –  The Unhandled Exception May 20 '10 at 23:28
    
Do you get a reminder or something if you have an open, answered question with unaccepted answer? I might be active for only 20 minutes and then forget I still have to accept that great answer I got 18 minutes ago. –  Rudie Apr 26 '11 at 19:17
    
@Rudie: There is a message that shows up, as mentioned in this recent question. I think the message goes away after several days/weeks and possibly disappears once you hit a certain reputation. –  Aarobot Apr 26 '11 at 19:37
    
I'm very curious. Don't think I've seen it before. Now I'm gonna wait for it... Is that okay? =) –  Rudie Apr 26 '11 at 19:41

To allow people enough time to answer, and allow enough answers to come in for you to choose the correct one.

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When was this put in place? It has been a while since I asked a question on SO –  Michael Kniskern May 20 '10 at 22:30
    
As far as I know it's been there forever... but I don't know that much ;-) –  The Unhandled Exception May 20 '10 at 22:53
    
Ah ha -- I was wrong. Thanks @Tradition! –  The Unhandled Exception May 20 '10 at 23:15

It was implemented in the past two months.

People felt that in order to help get rid of the fastest gun in the west problem, delaying the time until a user could accept an answer would give everyone a fair chance at answering it to the best of their ability.

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