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How does accepting an answer work?

I am sure this will cause some disagreement. Well I am first, just a student.

I saw many questions, with many very-similar answers. So the question may be "How do I throw an exception out in Java?" and then, 10 answers! And most answers are very similar.

I humbly suggest that there be a small flag symbol next to the question, something the asker can click to toggle. Like a small circle(greenlight?) , light-bulb symbol, or maybe smile face(walmart kind no fancies).

That way, maybe it will let a potential answer-person think - "OK, Bob is Happy with these answers. I will continue. " Or "Hmm, it looks like Kareem here is confused as he didn't put the symbol."

It is just a way to communicate without imposing on the answerer. If my noble friend Addy still wants to provide his own special version of answer, it is a free nation. And so it is still optional.

The underlying motivation is that multiple experts should not each be answering one question they know.

  • 4
    Awkward moment when this question does not have an accepted answer!
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 1:00

2 Answers 2


As Timothy answered, we already have a mechanism for this. See "How does accepting an answer work?".

But moreover, this “I am satisfied, you can go” idea is terrible.
Believe it or not, Stack exchange is not about questions or the questioner's opinions. SE is about quality answers.

Oftentimes, the question-asker is the last person able to judge a quality answer. And, even if he could, what works for him may not work for the (hopefully) gazillions of other users who stumble across the question hoping for good solutions.

“I am satisfied, you can go” is also the exact wrong attitude. You do not have a right to answers (or even to ask questions, if you prove to be a poor citizen). People answer questions on a volunteer basis and for their own selfish reasons. No one is paid or obligated. Simple courtesy and gratitude is the proper attitude.

  • 2
    Good points Brock, it really is a free and at-will system. Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 23:09

This is what accepting an answer is for:

When you have decided which answer is the most helpful to you, mark it as the accepted answer by clicking on the check box outline to the left of the answer.

This lets other people know that you have received a good answer to your question. Doing this is helpful because it shows other people that you’re getting value from the community. (And if you don’t do this, people will often politely ask you to go back and accept answers for more of your questions!)

(emphasis added)

Accepting an answer doesn't prevent others adding new answers, but it does signify that the poster was satisfied.

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