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Would it be possible to have a “community accepted” feature?

People with reputation points >= 5000 should be allowed to vote for accepted answers for questions.

Right now, a lot of new people come in, do a hit and run question and never mark an answer as accepted. Using this mechanism would solve this problem.

It could work as the following, close to the "Close Question" mechanism in place:

  • You must have 5000 reputation points or above to vote.
  • You cannot vote for your own answer to be accepted.
  • To mark an answer as accepted on a question with no accepted answer (for a day) requires 5 votes from the community.
  • To discourage people from voting to advantage someone, a vote cost 10 rep.
  • The OP of the question can mark an answer as accepted with no votes and override any votes without cost.

Optional

This mechanism could also be extended to allow the move of an accepted answer (if the accepted answer is wrong):

  • To move an accepted answer, it requires 15 votes.
  • Add 5 votes each time an accepted answer has been moved. (Ie.: second move requires 20 votes)
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15 more votes as in 15 more than the current answer has? –  Tyler Carter Jul 23 '09 at 19:41
    
@Chacha102: No, it's a separate mechanism, like voting for closing a question. It is not related to up votes. –  Andrew Moore Jul 23 '09 at 19:41
    
This looks like a duplicate of this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3669/… –  Kyle Cronin Jul 23 '09 at 19:42
    
@Kyle Cronin: Somewhat, but this is more of a suggestion for an implementable mechanism versus a discussion on the actual feature. –  Andrew Moore Jul 23 '09 at 19:43
    
@Andrew: Yeah, it's not a straightforward close-as-dupe, but the discussion is pretty much about the same sort of feature –  Kyle Cronin Jul 23 '09 at 19:46

4 Answers 4

That's what the up-votes are for. Up-votes show, unequivocally, what the community likes.

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Yes, but consider people new to the site. They will look at the first answer shown (the accepted answer), especially since it is marked in green, usually without reading the rest. –  Andrew Moore Jul 23 '09 at 19:21
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You can't fix "stupid." :) Votes are usually understood to relay public acceptance. On some of the SO sites, I don't think they're sorting the accepted-answer first anymore either. –  Jonathan Sampson Jul 23 '09 at 19:23
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New users will read more if they really care about fixing there problem or question. If they don't take the time to read responces, why do I care if they figure it out? –  Troggy Jul 23 '09 at 19:24
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Having an accepted answer will also remove it from being labelled as "Unanswered". I think letting the community have some to mark these as "answered" would be ideal (necessary - no, ideal - yes). –  Chealion Jul 23 '09 at 19:28
    
I think the cap should be more at like 1,000. You let people with 2,000 edit other people's answers. That is more powerful that voting for the accepted answer in my eyes. –  Tyler Carter Jul 23 '09 at 19:39
    
@Chacha102: Accepted Answer has a direct impact on the user's reputation and the outcome of the question. Editing an answer leaves a trail (diffs) and can be reverted by any said user. This is why I've set cap so high in my proposal. –  Andrew Moore Jul 23 '09 at 19:44
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@Andrew Moore But it is a set of people changing the answer, not just one. Therefore, if it is community based, it shouldn't be set 'as' high. –  Tyler Carter Jul 23 '09 at 20:04
    
Sorry for the necromancy, but what if there was a mechanism to accept the answer with the highest votes after a certain period of time (perhaps based on activity level)? One of the big problems now is that there are a number of questions still in the "open" questions, thanks to hit and run questioners. Even if no rep is awarded (or you could even have negative rep for the asker, for those that don't just ask and run), it would help keep the lists cleaner, I think. –  Shauna May 6 '11 at 19:38

Even though I (once) thought it was a good idea, Jeff has been pretty clear that this isn't going to happen. I'll copy his answer to my UserVoice ticket that I posted in a similar question:

Every part of Stack Overflow is run and moderated by the community except one: the selection of the accepted answer. As long as you have one person in charge of selected answers you will always have to deal with their particular biases, which decrease the value of Stack Overflow as an objective reference to programming questions.

It might be a good idea that in addition to the answer selected by the asker that there be a community selected answer. This would be completely orthogonal to the up/down votes for the questions, and would only allow one selected answer per person per question. An approach like this would greatly serve to make Stack Overflow a more equitable and fair system.

Here is how it could work:

Expose the "select answer" link to everyone (or perhaps just registered users) and allow them to select at most one answer per question. The answer with the highest number (5 or more) of selections becomes the community-selected answer. To reduce potential for abuse, there should be no reputation or badge associated with this answer selection.

(this is in response to criticism that Stack Overflow is merely the "blind leading the blind": http://blogging-harmful.blogspot.com/2008/08/stack-overflow-blind-leading-blind.html)

And the official response was:

I did. Votes and sorting are the de-facto community answer.

community mode essentially achieves this; see FAQ. Posts automatically get moved into community wiki mode when certain criteria are met. Also, votes are de-facto choosing the community accepted answer; it's the one with the most votes!

It's certainly an interesting suggestion, but unless something has changed in the nature of StackOverflow in the intervening months (as well it could have) I think that the official response would be much the same today.

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It always depends on the way it is implemented. The problem of previous suggestions is that they were largely open to abuse. –  Andrew Moore Jul 23 '09 at 20:01

I can almost understand the need for moving an answer (but really, if the person who made a question marks an answer as the answer, that answer ought to be a good one, even if there might be an answer that many of the community consider better further down.)

As for marking an answer when there is no answer, the only person it would benefit would be the person who submitted the answer, if you ask me. See this answer: 990364. It's obviously the community-voted answer, and since it's at the top, it's functionally as good as if it had been marked the answer. If it was marked as the answer however, I might get a silvery badge, which would be nice and all, but it doesn't improve the question.

Just my two cents.

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Though I have an Enlightened badge awaiting if a guy ever hits that bloody accept checkbox, I still can't get behind this one. The voting system works, as has been proven.

Many times, users accept answers which help them the most, but the community doesn't necessarily like the best. Henceforth, we have the Populist badge. Why should you strip that reward mechanism away from the questioner? Though somebody explained something clearly to me (and I may upvote it), it may not be in terms that the OP can understand. Ergo, the "Accepted Answer" should be a responsibility that lies with the OP and possibly Moderators, if need be.

share|improve this answer
    
I edited my post to make the move accepted answer optional. But a community vote to mark an answer as accepted if none has been accepted would still be a good idea. –  Andrew Moore Jul 23 '09 at 19:33
    
It is a good idea. And it's already implemented. It's by the way of the ^ –  Eric Jul 23 '09 at 19:34
    
@Eric: it still marks the question as unanswered. –  Andrew Moore Jul 23 '09 at 19:37
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@Andrew: No it doesn't. Unanswered Questions have no accepted answer and no answer with an upvote. –  Eric Jul 23 '09 at 19:41

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