If an answer is grey after being downvoted so many times, why is it still allowed up top if it is selected answer.

To me that just speaks volumes of the ability of the OP to select a useful answer. Plus it just makes me scroll down more often.

Can we forgo the special position of a selected answer, if it is greyed?

Example: https://stackoverflow.com/a/8578460/491837

My suggested solution is if a selected answer is grey, the top voted answer is placed above selected answer.

Another solution is to introduce a new sort option called standard. Standard is by votes with the selected answer at top. Sort by votes, is sort by votes, selected status has no priority.

Third solution. User option, hide greyed answers.


2 Answers 2


If the problem is that such an answer shouldn't have been accepted in the first place, maybe another (complimentary?) idea would be to warn users if they try to accept an answer with a negative score.

This answer has a negative score, meaning the community believes it to be unhelpful. Are you sure you want to accept it?

In cases like your example where the score is really low, the answer would likely have a negative score before the 15 minutes needed to accept an answer comes up. In cases where the score is more like -1, it could be dubious as to whether it's a crap answer (could be a sour voter and might get +4 later or something), but it'd still be useful in most cases.

  • 1
    In this case, answer was selected before downvotes were applied. Dec 20, 2011 at 17:38
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    I think something of a community vote unselect would be nice. Similar to a community vote close. Dec 20, 2011 at 17:39
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    @Xaade, that has been discussed many times before, and rejected. Dec 20, 2011 at 17:48

It's simply because it has -9 votes. While the OP may have marked that this is what solved their problem, 11 people in the community (it has 2 upvotes) said this was the wrong solution and it is greyed out because the community says you should avoid doing it this way, and try a method that is available below that answer. Just because something is accepted doesn't necessarily mean it is right. I didn't read the question or know what it's talking about, but if I ever came across the question looking for this information, I would trust that the greyed answer should be ignored and I'd just go down to the answer with a score of 13 instead.

I've answered several questions (example) where the OP has gone with the undesirable or easy solution rather than the more logical solution. Some people are just stubborn. Oh well, nothing we can do about that.

  • There is something we can do. Move the selected question down in the order. I sorted by votes, not by selected answer. I want the answer with the most votes at the top. Dec 20, 2011 at 17:44
  • @Xaade: I don't think this issue is prevalent enough to need to change the sorting order. The answer is already greyed out.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 20, 2011 at 17:47
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    Then hide greyed answers option please. Did you look at the example. The selected answer is easily two pages long. Dec 20, 2011 at 17:48
  • It's only one page long for me. You can hide it yourself in Firefox. Download AdBlock Plus with the Element Hiding Helper and add a rule: stackoverflow.com##.downvoted-answer and any answers which are greyed out will be hidden. I'm sure other browsers have alternate ways of doing a similar thing.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 20, 2011 at 17:54
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    So, your answer is, since you can override the functionality of a website, there's no need to ever add new features to any website? Dec 20, 2011 at 17:57
  • No, my answer is that this rarely ever happens, so I don't see the dev team implementing anything. That's just a workaround.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 20, 2011 at 17:58
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    Grey is to de-emphasize. Hiding is another step in de-emphasizing. Seems a logical result. Why have a couple of page long answer fill up any space at all if the point is to say, ignore this unless you want to read it. We collapse comments, why can't we collapse answers. Dec 20, 2011 at 18:02

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