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I've always thought that having solved issues marked as accepted is important on several ways, like:

  1. When searching questions to get an answer, it helps choosing which questions to look at first (not all problems have a matching epic question with answers explaining everything and more).
  2. It helps finding questions which are not answered satisfactorily yet.
  3. It helps avoid ugly [solved] kind of text tags in question titles, which are often used in forums which don't have other kind of "accept" feature.

But then just today I found and read this answer, quote from @RobertHarvey (emphasis mine):

Accepting answers is an entirely optional activity. Users are not required to accept answers, and should not be compelled, badgered or otherwise nudged to accept answers.

This supports only point 3 in above list, which IMO is least important of them.

My personal opinion in the matter is, accepting when there is an acceptable answer is optional yes, but highly recommended. When there clearly are such answers (for example indicated by comments), any new user should be nudged to accept one (in a non-self-promoting neutral way). Accepted-status or lack of it is an important piece of information.


Actual question: why accepts would not really be as important piece of information for SO and its users, as I think they are?


Optional part: If someone feels like writing an essay, then some discussion or conclusions about how to develop the current accept system to match whatever its real purpose is would be interesting (to me). There are plenty of various suggestions about nudging to accept, community accepts, etc. Or if accepts are really not important, perhaps the concept should be changed, accepted-status hidden and "Accept" tickmark used only as extra upvote OP can give to one answer, much like bounty, with no deeper meaning.

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  • I think you are taking Robert's quote slightly out of context. Accepting answers when there is one that solves the problem is encouraged, but accepting answers for the sake of accepting, and badgering the OP to accept an answer is discouraged Mar 12, 2014 at 8:45
  • @LowerClassOverflowian Yep, that seems to be an exact duplicate. Thanks.
    – hyde
    Mar 12, 2014 at 8:51
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    Actually, you're right - this is one of my main gripes about accepting answers as well. Why does SE appear not to emphasize it? For one thing, the feature itself is nigh undiscoverable - unless you look at the about page and remember the green checkmark - and even then it's barely mentioned anywhere else. Mar 12, 2014 at 8:59

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