On many of the Stack Exchange sites, a significant proportion of questions are asked by unregistered users who are then unable to accept an answer to their question as correct. This is a massive disincentive to answering questions from unregistered users, given that the probability of reputation gain from that answer is significantly lower.

I have one such answer that has been left un-accepted despite receiving 35 upvotes (and 0 downvotes) because the OP is unregistered and thus has no means of accepting it.

Could there be a way to automatically accept answers to unregistered users' questions once they reach, say, +5 votes? This rule would remove the disincentive of answering many of the posted questions, and get users well-earned reputation points.

  • 3
    you've gained 350 points from that answer, 15 points is a drop in the ocean. Jan 18 '17 at 17:33
  • @RobertLongson Not just for the rep, I just think it should be marked as accepted somehow—be it automatically or by voting—so that it can be given the same "this is correct treatment" answers to registered users' questions might get.
    – owlswipe
    Jan 18 '17 at 17:34
  • Unregistered user can accept answers, so it's not relevant if a user is registered or not. Jan 18 '17 at 18:14
  • @owlswipe That an answer has 35 upvotes is a dramatically stronger signal of it's quality than it having an upvote. An unaccepted answer with 35 upvotes is much more likely to be a quality correct answer than, say an accepted answer with 1 upvote.
    – Servy
    Jan 18 '17 at 18:58

Accepting an answer is not mandatory. There is no obligation to accept an answer, and the accepted answer simply means "this helped OP the most". It isn't necessarily the correct answer, a correct answer, or even a good answer. Moving the decision of acceptance to anyone other than OP changes (IMO) the whole nature of Q&As on Stack Exchange.

Why does it really matter if there isn't an accepted answer to a question? Votes are plenty enough (and often better than the little green check-mark) to give an idea of answer quality.

There are plenty of active users who don't accept answers and they aren't forced to. I see no reason to treat unregistered or abandoned accounts any different.

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