The most beautiful part of Stackoverflow is that it is designed taking the human psyche into consideration. It is so very 'human' in its interaction with its end users. It encourages people to 'play' and 'play nice'. Most of all, it makes it 'personal'

However, as great as the rewards are for the creator of a 'humanlike' system like this, they always risk another very important 'human' reaction that the system can send out - insult

A faux-pas (IMHO) for this system is the new 'accept-rate' which, seems to warn potential respondents of the said question of a likelyhood that the questioner has of accepting any answer at all.

For example, there could be questions that are 'before-their-time' or haven't got a satisfactory answer (no one even bothered to upvote one answer more than another).

So finally, my question is, would certain people be penalized for receiving answers that are not good enough, even for the other SO members?

Note: I do understand, like the faq says, that maybe this site isn't for everybody.


Why are you so quick to blame the people who are answering? Have you ever stopped to consider that you're not asking good questions?

No, not every question will get answered perfectly, but no one is asking you to have a 100% accept rate either.

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    He's going to think this is a bad answer also. ;-) – Kredns Aug 25 '09 at 4:31
  • good point! However, a bad question will get downvoted; will it not? and again, no one asks you to have 2 silver badges, but it increases your 'reputation' and your answers subliminally carry more weight. – Ryan Fernandes Aug 25 '09 at 4:34
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    A terrible question gets down voted. Good questions get up voted, decent questions remain neutral. – Ian Elliott Aug 25 '09 at 4:38
  • Excellent suggestion, so maybe non-answered and 'non-downvoted' questions could not count towards the accepted rate. See, I knew something constructive could come out of this :) – Ryan Fernandes Aug 25 '09 at 4:43
  • @Ian: No, questions that someone doesn't agree with (right, wrong, good or bad) gets downvoted anyway. – jtimberman Aug 25 '09 at 5:20
  • @jtimberman, that doesn't mean that someone will always disagree. I don't see your point. – Ian Elliott Aug 25 '09 at 5:24
  • It is a bad answer. – crosenblum Mar 2 '11 at 17:38

Actually, I think that the Accept Rate is changing StackOverflow and not for the better.

I was about to post this as a new question, but I'll start by adding it here:

Is the Acceptance Rate breaking StackOverflow?

More and more now I am seeing comments below a question such as this one:

Improve your accept rate to mark as answer of your questions

Yet, if you take a look at the history of the asker, they have in general been interacting with the people answering, and may have not yet found a solution to their problem.

I also realise that people would get better answers that they could legitimately accept if they wrote better answers, and removed some of the psychic debugging that is clearly happening.

Hand in hand with this, I'm also starting to hear more people say "I would post, but I don't want to be flamed as a noob" - which surely is the whole ethos of StackOverflow - to promote people helping each other.

I know I've been guilty in the past of suggesting the use of a search engine, but if I do, I'll post the search terms and likely useful links.

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    I've seen the other side of the coin - low acceptance rate where user replies to answer with "Great, that's exactly what I want/need"... and then never marks the question as answered. I've yet to see a question go unanswered for sake of an "improve your acceptance rating". – OMG Ponies Nov 4 '09 at 23:03
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    If you had posted that question separately it would be a dupe. It's been discussed before. But yeah, I would say that a lot of n00bs are blindly clicking on the checkmark without understanding the ramifications, which discourages further good answers from being posted. Sometimes an answer is accepted within a few minutes, before the heavyweights have even finished posting their answers! – Ether Nov 4 '09 at 23:17
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    I agree strongly, people have commented about my accept rate not being very high. And 100% of that is because I ask very technical questions for which the right answer is very hard to get, or find, and it's not the blame of anyone, but I get penalized because I don't accept answers. And that's not right... – crosenblum Mar 2 '11 at 17:39

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