It seems possible that, for questions of marginal quality, users may be more inclined to downvote or vote to close questions from an asker with a low accept rate, rather than simply declining to answer the question. On the surface, this would seem to be unfair and ad hominem, since the decision isn't purely based on the merits and demerits of the question but also on metadata about the person asking it.

Has this happened? I am not positive, as I've seen a couple of edge-cases, but nothing that can absolutely confirm that this is happening.

More importantly, do we care? It's been said that downvotes are already used too sparingly, so perhaps when considering questions of marginal quality, the accept rate is actually the useful tool we need to distinguish between newcomers who deserve leniency and "Problematic Participants" who should know better by now.

UPDATE: Looking for lowest-voted questions seems to show some good candidates. Granted, each has other problems, but for the sake of argument I'd consider them merely questions of marginal quality, while still being passably on-topic. The downvotes seem to be related to the comments, which directly point out that the questioner's low accept rate indicates that they are not "engaged with the community":

  • 9
    @Vinko: Old jokes never die, they just become intolerable memes. Commented Sep 13, 2009 at 15:22
  • A-ha, so you admit to it being old. Die. you intolerable meme! Die!
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Commented Sep 14, 2009 at 9:16
  • To the links of your update: you know that all users of your examples do not vote at all. Maybe that's a bigger problem in these cases than the accept rate. Commented Sep 15, 2009 at 12:38
  • @John: Maybe, but who actually goes and checks whether the question askers vote at all when answering, unless they have a reason to visit the stats page in the first place, such as the displayed accepted answer? Commented Sep 15, 2009 at 13:01
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    @John: And besides, that would simply be another ad-hominem. If they don't upvote, by all means ignore them. But downvoting a question that would have been acceptable from another user doesn't seem correct. Commented Sep 15, 2009 at 13:03
  • @Adam: I'm with you. I just wanted to mention, that the down vote reasons here maybe have nothing to do with the reason of your question. Commented Sep 15, 2009 at 13:15

4 Answers 4


Yeah I don't really pay attention to accept percentage either. I have noticed that some really old answers I gave were finally accepted once this change was implemented so I'm glad it's there.


I'm not, myself. If I vote to close (which I can only do on SO), it's because I believe the question itself deserves to be closed. I rarely notice a user's accept rate, except occasionally after I've answered a question.

I go back to what I've said time and time again -- we should judge questions and answers on the quality of their content, and not the user contributing. If it's good content, upvote it. If it's bad, either downvote it or vote to close it. Done and done.


I honestly don't even look at a user's acceptance rate. I never even really bothered to look at who asked a question prior to answering that question. Now it is just even more information I will initially ignore.

  • 2
    Did you mean even more information you ignore? Commented Sep 13, 2009 at 16:19
  • Shut up
    – TheTXI
    Commented Sep 13, 2009 at 16:24
  • 1
    Typing with hooves must be confusing.
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Commented Sep 14, 2009 at 9:17

The sad truth is: I am here for the points. If the user has low accept rate I always go check his history to see if he is a little bit lazy or if he is simply not getting good answers.

Most of the times, I'll add a comment to his question stating that he needs to review older questions and accept the answers that solved them. Regardless of the efficiency of my comment, I still answer the question.

However, when I see a user that is abusing the site and not providing any feedback, then I'll leave the comment and will NOT answer his question.

  • Fire the down vote button at will. I don't care for my Meta reputation =D Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 17:15

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