Possible Duplicate:
Asking for someone to accept your Answer

I see many answerers who beg the questioner to accept the answer and give upvotes to their question. Is this kind of practice ethically correct?

Are we giving answers to help other people or to gain virtual points? You can find many people doing this kind of practices, for example as a comment in this answer

What do you think of this?

There is one nice quote "Do your work & Don't expect result"

  • 1
    We are also asking that so good answers get upvoted to the top, and a person has taken a step to signal us that the issue has been solved.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 7:28
  • 3
    possible duplicate: Asking for someone to accept your Answer
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 7:30
  • As well as the "labour and not ask for any reward" of St Ignatius, there is also "the labourer is worthy of his hire" (Lk 10:7). Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 7:35
  • 9
    "Do your work & Don't expect result" -> if that were the case no one would work Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 7:36
  • 6
    "You can call me Lucifer ..." - hilarious :)
    – Jack
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 7:37
  • Nothing wrong in asking the OP to accept an answer, however the motive should be that it marks the question as resolved so in the specific example you gave that user took wrong approach. If answer is "helpful for others" as he keep saying then it should be upvoted - it should be accepted only if it resolved the OP problem. Even if answer is brilliant and gets 1000 upvotes it does not mean it actually solved the original problem. Anyway I disagree with your general idea - when I do my work, I do expect result. Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 8:11

3 Answers 3


Are we giving answers to help other people or to gain virtual points? You can find many people doing this kind of practices, for example as a comment in this answer

It really depends. Some people on SE for the sole of intention of getting their work done by others - reputation and voting be damned. (if you've been on Meta long enough you'll see the pattern). You have another set of users, who're on Stack Exchange to learn something - be it via reading others' answers, asking questions or posting answers to others' questions.

People can deny all they want, Reputation is the big motivator. A bunch of virtual numbers which mean nothing you say? No, it's a bunch of virtual numbers give you rough idea how how you'd stand among your peers, assuming all put in an equal effort.

There are another set of users, who're here to give back, maybe because they found something useful here but can't do so in traditional means - answering/asking questions. A typical example would be me - the tags that I frequent on often gets great answers faster than I can comprehend the question. So I try to help by means of reviews, edits. Occasionally I stumble on a question which I can answer, and that little bit of rep boost makes me happy and pushes me further.

I won't get into ethics, but comments like "please upvote/Accept my answer" tend to inappropriate - especially if it's being plastered across all posts -in which case you have the option to flag. Flag them away.

  • I often remind new users to accept/upvote. But I try to be polite :) I do believe rep is a big driving force that keep people coming back. I sure did. Then I realized my e-penis was getting too big and I started giving away my rep. So far I gave away ~2,000 points blindly Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 10:17

While you can theorize about the good will that makes us answer, we all enjoy to be rewarded for the effort. The kind of reward we have on this site is the reputation, which kind of shows how much the community respects you.

Another important thing (at least for me) is the fact that the OP ticked my answer as the "solution". For me it's not important because of the extra 15 rep, but because I understand that my answer really helped the OP to solve his problem. If the answer is not ticked (no matter how many upvotes it has), I still have a feeling I could do better.

Also, you don't see comments like "tick my answer or I'll delete it and curse you", right? :P

One more thing to consider is the question list. Imagine person A asking a question. He gets a lot of useful advice, but does not tick any of the answers. Now person B comes to the site with the exact same problem. He uses search, and gets a big list of questions. Now he sees person A's question, which does not have an answer accepted, and he might think "well, apparently no-one was able to help that guy so I'll keep looking". Of course sooner or later he will end up opening that post, but this really is annoying and time-consuming.

  • It's the last point which is what accepting an answer is all about. Yes, it helps the answerer gain rep (and the acceptor), but it indicates to future visitors an answer which works and so speeds up their solving of their own problem. It's that altruism which is important -- although with a bit of luck the future visitor will also upvote the answer. Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 7:41

No, we don't. Well, not all of us and not all the time. For example, I can answer about 70% of javascript questions without any extensive googling or even trying to test something in console before answering.

Javascript is a popular language, and, if I'd choose the way of being JS guru, I will pretty fast become way more close to established user than I currently am. But the thing is that I find most of these questions boring and, since there are other guys, lot of other guys, who want to be the fastest guns in town, it is OK, nobody cares about me keeping silence :)

On the other hand, to be honest, I'm not that altruistic and the main reason I'm answering the questions is not the will to help. Some answers just help me to find out (or to recall) some interesting information, some answers (mostly "publicistic" ones, on non-technical questions) help me to discipline myself and to upgrade my skills of project manager, which I am in fact.

As for reputation, I very much appreciate this gamification of communications process, and I do like being up-voted, but will do nothing just to be up-voted. Give me my 50-200 rep points at month, and I'm totally OK with it.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .