I was browsing page 788 or so of unanswered questions, sorted by votes and I saw the question "Spam. Lots and lots of spam":

But why is it considered unanswered? Note that:

  • It has one answer with a score of 12 (+13/-1). Not accepted, but certainly positively scored.
  • The answer is currently not deleted.
  • All of the voting on the answer happened a long time ago, in 2015.
  • It was never merged. (Similar bug reports involving merges were reported here and here and here.)

You can also reproduce this with the unanswered tab under questions (aka with "No accepted answer" in a filter). The post is easily found at the bottom of this page.

And in addition to that, the post can (also easily) be found when searching with the isanswered:no operator here, at the bottom of the page. The operator should return "questions with no positively-scored answers" (so it's expected that questions with accepted 0 score answers show up—but not this specific question).

  • 1
    I never accepted the answer. – Tim Jul 20 '17 at 0:12
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    @Tim Never said you did. My point is the answer is upvoted and yet the question appears in the list of "questions with no upvoted or accepted answers" – Laurel Jul 20 '17 at 0:14
  • Hu, weird. Perhaps because I downvoted the answer? – Tim Jul 20 '17 at 0:20
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    @Tim asker' downvote is hardly a reason because this would leak voting anonymity (which is kind of a sacred cow over here). Most likely they incorrectly handle answers from deleted accounts – gnat Jul 20 '17 at 6:43
  • I've noticed this seems to happen on a lot (all?) sites for example the following question doesn't have an answer with a single downvote: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/141673/… – PeterJ Jul 20 '17 at 7:21
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    Well, answer was deleted by its author in Oct 17 2015 at 0:08. Ten minutes after that, the question itself was deleted by the automatic process to remove abandoned questions since it had negative score and no answers. Week later SE employee undeleted them both. Probably something is bugged behind the scenes, causing the question to be marked as unanswered. (e.g. it doesn't catch undelete events) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Jul 20 '17 at 8:24
  • @Shadow Just thought to take a look better look at the EE question I posted above to see if there was anything odd about it and it was used as the merge target for another question. – PeterJ Jul 20 '17 at 10:17
  • Caching. It's always caching. – Mark Feb 12 '19 at 1:11

I can see two potential ways this question may be marked as "unanswered".

The asker downvoted it

We can not assume an answer does not resolve the question, if left un-accepted; however, we can assume that the answer does not resolve the question, if the asker then downvoted it. We can see that the answer has received one downvote, and the asker admits that it from them.

Hu, weird. Perhaps because I downvoted the answer? – Tim 3 hours ago

The account that posted the answer has been removed

We can see that the user account from which the answer was posted has been deactivated. It is entirely possible that answers from deleted accounts do not appear in the search for "questions with no upvoted answers", from which we derive the "Unanswered Questions" .

If it comes down to being downvoted by the original user, I would accept that this question qualifies as "unanswered". The downvote, itself, confirms that the answer is not useful to the asker. This would suggest that an alternate answer may be necessary.

If it comes down to the answering user deleting their account, this may likely be a bug that needs further investigation.

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    Except if the op dving caused a question to be unanswered, I'd think there would be lots of others – Catija Jul 20 '17 at 4:08
  • @Catija, when we consider specific questions where the OP had downvoted all answers with a positive score, this list could be much smaller; but I agree. I suspect the deleted account may have something to do with this. – Gnemlock Jul 20 '17 at 4:21
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    No, those are not valid reasons, and if that's the case, it's a major bug. (All in all, it's just a wild guess.) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Jul 20 '17 at 8:16
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    Tried my own guess as a comment on the question. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Jul 20 '17 at 8:26
  • @ShadowWizard, fair enough. As a comment, I completely missed it; you should consider posting as an answer. – Gnemlock Jul 20 '17 at 8:31
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    Since it's just a wild guess better not, only if I'll be able to reproduce it, e.g. by finding other answer with similar history which also appears as unanswered. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Jul 20 '17 at 8:33

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