Recently, I've answered this question:

which exactly answers the question. The answer got accepted and the OP started to ask follow-up, not related to the initial problem, questions which I initially tried to answer.

Then, I tried to politely asked to ask a separate question instead of using comments:

okay, let's avoid using comments for solving separate follow-up issues, please. Consider creating a new question if you experience difficulties. Thank you for understanding.

Then, after not getting a comment from me, the OP just unaccepted the answer.

I guess I need help of the community: What should I do now and what should I have done better to avoid ending up in a situation like this?

Update: The question author just posted a new question.

  • 1
    When is it okay / not okay to unaccept an answer? I'd tend to agree with the first comment on the question.
    – bummi
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:00
  • 2
    I'm afraid you cannot do very much about it. Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:03
  • 3
    Not much you can do. Just stay away from that person :)
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:04
  • Happens to me a few times with beginners where youanswer the question with a working example and they accept it. After a few minutes, they realize the code is not working and they expect you to answer their newly edited question that is nothing like the original. At that point I normally just abandon ship and forget about it and watch new people say my answer has nothing to do with the problem.
    – user226651
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:04
  • Thank you! Just to be clear: I am not trying to blame the person - it is definitely the OP's right to unaccept the answer any time he/she wants. I am just thinking if I should not have supported the discussion in the first place cause, clearly, after I stopped answering questions in comments, the answer got unaccepted.
    – alecxe
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:07
  • 2
    @user226651 In that case, rollback. Leave a comment that explains what happened as well (that way you don't attract mass down votes) :)
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:07
  • 1
    For some people they can not roll it back since they do not have enough points to do that. A lot of time, people ignore comments and downvote anyway. I have enough points to rollback, but sometimes it is just easier to delete my answer and not deal with the edit war that is bound to happen and remember the user for future reference. I rather help people than waste time fighting for imaginary points. @alecxe It is common for people to unaccept answers and pick someone else in cases like yours because they answered a question in the comments that had nothing to do with the original question.
    – user226651
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:25
  • 2
    See also: Exit strategies for “chameleon questions” Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 4:01

1 Answer 1


Agree, this seems like abusing the system by using the acceptance as kind of weapon/threat: "I will accept this answer only if you will answer my other question too."

However, there is nothing we can do. We can't force people to accept certain answers, we can't directly punish them for doing such things, there's nothing flag-worthy in all of this.

That said, Stack Overflow (and any Stack Exchange site for this matter) is not a personal support forum. When answering, one should focus on the question, and on how the answer will benefit all other people reading it, not just the OP. With this in mind, you can just ignore it all and move on.

You get your reputation reward through upvotes - acceptance is only 1.5 upvote, not a very big deal. What to do next (e.g. answer the OP's other question or not) is really up to you - it's your time, and your knowledge.

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