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

Duplicate of many like: Forcing Acceptance

This may be a hot topic but I think that 0% aceptance should be dealth with more harshly.

One method, which was/is employed by Experts Exchange (which I thought dealt with this quite well) was to stop the person from asking more questions if they had like 8 unmarked questions. I think it would be a good idea to bring something in for 0% acceptance, so if the user has 10 questions with answers over a period of a month or more (long standing unacceptance) then they should be told to up their acceptance rate to maybe 25% (or something?).

Why I think this is needed

There is nothing worse than a 0% acceptance users question getting near trolling comments telling the OP to accept more answers. It also encourages some users to seek out every question that the OP has and spam their comment thread with a comment like:

"Fat chance of help, up your acceptance rate".

And then for that borderline trolling comment to be upvoted multiple times on all questions it is made.

It also harms the answer-ers because they feel as though the community would benefit from an answer but at the same don't like to waste their energy. I personally try to ignore the whole elitist "thank me" crap but I gotta admit it is nice when people recognise that you put considerable effort at times into an answer.

How I think people could benefit

I see quite a few 0% acceptance users who expect help from other users and at the end of the day I see that normally it boils down to lack of understanding of how SO works. If they were forced to close certain questions or just even accept one answer they might be persuaded to do it again, because I must be honest, they don't read the FAQ and they are normally blind to MOTDs.

This would also benefit people looking back onto the questions from Google or Bing or what not. I, for one, instinctively look for the accepted answer to every question and on first glance if I don't see an accepted answer will actually ignore all other answers on the question. For me there is nothing more annoying than not being able to find a solid answer to the question (hence I try and close all my question threads).

I understand why 76% or even 40% acceptance rates can occur however I do feel as though 0% acceptance rates should be forced in some way to not have 0% acceptance especially if they are more than a month old.

I am sure I will probably get trolled for this but it is what I think.

  • 10
    Perhaps the trolling is the problem, not the accept rate? Flag those trolling comments instead! Aug 14, 2012 at 8:12
  • 1
  • @MartijnPieters Well thats the thing sometimes I see some very high rep users doing the trolling as well, those that are supposed to be above that really
    – Sammaye
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:15
  • 1
    @user177129: Trolling is trolling, independent of reputation. I know of a 'high rep' user or two that are indeed guilty, and if they continue the mods will deal with them. Flag away! Aug 14, 2012 at 8:17
  • Could you explain what you mean by "trolling"? It's one of those words that everyone seems to use differently.
    – Pops
    Aug 30, 2012 at 13:40
  • @PopularDemand The Wiki does a good job here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29
    – Sammaye
    Aug 30, 2012 at 14:00
  • Okay, so we are on the same page. When you finished with "I will probably get trolled for this," I couldn't tell if you were joking or confusing "troll" for "downvote" or what.
    – Pops
    Aug 30, 2012 at 14:02
  • @PopularDemand Ah nah, I was partly joking but also thinking I would get trolled by some of those very same users who troll 0% acceptance questions but I didn't :)
    – Sammaye
    Aug 30, 2012 at 14:03

4 Answers 4


Easy solution to all the problems you're describing: Let's stop displaying a user's accept rate.

It's as simple as that, showing the accept rate is pointless and has proven quite counter productive.

accept rate

Now, how about you troll me, if you dare... ;P

  • Indeed it has been shown to actually cause trolling and friction but at the same time hiding it could lead to people not accepting and closing questions with solid answers because they know it doesn't show so whats the need in their mind.
    – Sammaye
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:25
  • 2
    @user177129 Then let's award them more for accepting. Incentives work better than trolling.
    – yannis
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:26
  • Indeed again, I suppose maybe forcing them isn't the best option but it is one that would get results
    – Sammaye
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:29
  • @user177129 And as for your I see quite a few 0% acceptance users who expect help from other users and at the end of the day I see that normally it boils down to lack of understanding of how SO works. claim, see screenshot in my answer ;) Try to "force" me to do anything, and I'm rage-quitting. I'm here to share my expertise and volunteer my time freely, if you try to force anything down my throat, there will be drama. Lots and lots of drama.
    – yannis
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:30
  • @user177129 What you would obtain is users accepting random answer just to raise the accept rate. There are help vampires, but they are help vampires independently from their accept rate.
    – apaderno
    Aug 14, 2012 at 12:15

I'm all for reminding users more often to accept answers, but to stop displaying it publicly. The public display of accept rate encourages those comments, hiding it would likely solve that issue.

The problem with forcing users to accept answers is that they'll likely just randomly accept stuff to get rid of that barrier. This would devalue the whole concept, there are enough cases of users accepting bad answers now, this would likely make it a lot worse.

  • Indeed, infact the more I think about it now the more I think that this wasn't a very intelligent discussion igniter but more of just a newbie thing. It seems as though to force it would break the community but not to force it does at times encourage trolling by other users, no way to win :\
    – Sammaye
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:55
  • I agree with this answer. If I see a new user who doesn't accept answers, I can think s/he doesn't know how Stack Exchange sites work, and I can suggest her/him what to do. That is probably the only case where the accept rate makes sense, but that doesn't need a reminder from a user who says "remember to accept MY answer."
    – apaderno
    Aug 14, 2012 at 12:19

There is just a case where a reminder about accepting an answer makes sense: When the user is new to Stack Exchange, and s/he doesn't know how to accept answers, or that answers can be accepted. In that case, an automatic reminder is enough, and it is already done: Users who start using a Stack Exchange site, and ask questions for which there isn't an accepted answer after X days the answer is posted, see a reminder (in the list of their questions) suggesting to offer a bounty if there isn't any good answer, or accept an answer. (I did see that notice time ago, and I don't remember its exact words, but I do remember its sense.) If there are users for which that reminder should be shown longer, it would not be too difficult for the software to check if a user has other accounts, and what her/his highest reputation is.

As per answering questions, I am not sure the fact the OP has not yet accepted any answer would make me decide not to answer. The user who can accept the answer I gave is only one, but the users who can up-vote my answer are potentially every user active on that site, or in a particular tag.
It is true that having my answer accepted gives me 15 points, but two up-votes give me 20 points, and three up-votes give me 30 points, which is still higher than the reputation the OP can give me for my answer (accepted answer plus up-vote).

  • Yea the original thought was for people who have long term none-acceptance of maybe greater than a month or two. Yea with an accepted answer I guess it is also for cataloguing reasons really, if you see a an answer with a green tick and see it is a solid answer it makes it easier than scrolling through the other 30 answers there can be for that question especially if your in a bit of a hurry. Though you could always just use the default sort however I have found that sometimes the highest rated answer does not always answer the question, but same problem for accepted as well tbh.
    – Sammaye
    Aug 14, 2012 at 13:42

The main issue I see with treating this as something that needs to be dealt with "harshly" is that the user might not have any answers to accept or the answers are all incorrect. Whether this is common or not, I don't know, and I expect most folks with 0% are simply unaware that they can accept answers in the first place.

So, if we go by your recommendation, the 0% user might at worst have to a number of answers that do not actually qualify as valid or acceptable answers to the user's question. At best, they'll have good answers and accept once they've been educated. In sort of normal case, I think it might be a mixture of the two -- some questions with unacceptable answers, some questions with no answers, and some questions with acceptable answers (if not great ones, but those can be edited into shape later if they're not yet great). I don't really like that the worst case would be punished though, so you'd have to be careful there.

I'm inclined to agree with Yannis that just not displaying the accept rate is the best course of action. It's not the right number to gauge someone's willingness to accept an answer by. Instead, I'd base that on how much care they've put into the question itself and let that decide whether someone wants to answer a question and whether it's interesting, not on the promise of potential reputation because this dude or dudette has whatever is considered a good accept rate.

  • Yea I do agree that this could be mixed up with badly answered questions quite easily, I mean I've had my fair share of crap answers, maybe a upvote to the answer would be required to class it useful? I dunno thats still too loose, I have seen a lot of upvoted answers that don't work.
    – Sammaye
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:41
  • I've seen my fair share of poor answers that just didn't appear worth upvoting, so it's hard to say how you determine quality without simply reading the answer. One would hope the best answer is what's upvoted (but not accepted) by the person asking, but realistically it's probably just the answer they like the most. So, it's hard to judge, and probably harder to figure it out without a real brain backing the decision. Maybe a bunch of brains in jars could be rented out?
    – user157982
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:45
  • Cybernet to the rescue :)
    – Sammaye
    Aug 14, 2012 at 9:00

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