9

tl;dr

  • Allow Roomba to auto-delete a closed question regardless of an accepted answer when the other criteria for auto-deletion are met
  • Roomba should count an answer acceptance as a single upvote to that answer and then check if it meets the criteria

Background

Answer acceptance is not held in high regards. Whenever the topic comes up, the highest-voted (and often accepted) answer will say something like

Example 1:

The very act of asking the question means the individual is likely to be the least knowledgeable person in the thread for that particular narrow topic. This same person accepts the answer, even though it's likely they are the least qualified to do so.

Example 2 (fun fact: higher scoring than accepted answer):

I have seen many instances of downvoted answers being accepted across at at least half a dozen sites. I cannot think of a single instance where having the accepted answer be at the top in these situations was a good thing.

Example 3:

The "accepted answer" feature was never intended to mark which answer is best or even if the answer is correct. It is, simply stated, the answer that the original author found most useful in solving their problem.

This comment is interesting too. If you are curious for more, see for example the countless s for allowing the community or mods to accept an answer on behalf of the OP.

Problem

Regardless of the quality of the question or its answer(s) and especially its on-topicness, the acceptance of an, of any answer will prevent the Roomba from taking action.

Especially on smaller stacks it can take longer before even clearly off-topic questions are closed. In that time someone may post an answer. If the OP accepts it (and they need no reputation to do so), the question needs to be deleted manually. If closing already takes that long, how good are your chances to accrue enough delete votes?

E.g. if I ask about which hair lotion is best for [insert hair type] on Stack Overflow and it gets an answer before it's closed, should my acceptance of that answer mean the question needs to linger on SO forever?


Proposal

I do understand and agree with the special role the acceptance of an answer plays. That's why I don't suggest to ignore it completely. Especially since new users often don't have the necessary reputation to upvote an answer.

That's why I suggest that

Roomba should treat closed questions the same, regardless of the presence of an accepted answer, but count the acceptance as a single upvote to that answer.

  • If a question has a score of -3 and its accepted answer -3, Roomba will count the answer score as -2 (not enough to save it).
  • If the question has a score of -3 and the accepted answer of 0, Roomba will count the answer score as 1 and not take action.

Cons

  • Developer will have to spend some time on it

Pros

  • Keep the site clean
  • Less work for community and moderators
  • No abuse by accepting answer to save off-topic questions
  • 6
    How many questions would this affect? Perhaps if you provided a SEDE query we could peruse them. – Robert Longson Feb 20 at 13:19
  • 1
    An alternative to your proposal might be to implement meta.stackexchange.com/q/268666/215590 whereby green acceptance would protect from the Roomba but amber acceptance would not. – PolyGeo Feb 20 at 20:41
  • @RobertLongson I'm totally clueless about SEDE.It's just that I sometimes come across examples on other stacks and it made me question the underlying mechanic. What you could try is a search with the terms "is:question closed:yes duplicate:no hasaccepted:yes" on the stack(s) you frequent. MSE doesn't seem to be a good place for finding examples due to its nature. But I came across an old question about voting to close and answering in comments and others turning the comments in to LQ answers before the questions get closed. – user479792 Feb 21 at 12:18
  • If people are clever, they can self-answer and so have an answer to accept even if it gets closed quickly (it's commonly not deleted that quickly). And if they prepared their self-answer, they may not even rely on having the necessary 15 reputation. – user479792 Feb 21 at 12:20
  • 1
    @PolyGeo That's an interesting approach and would also help to solve the problem. Thanks for the heads up! It's certainly more complex and has much greater scope than my suggestion, which tries to change just one little wheel in the machinery. – user479792 Feb 21 at 12:22
  • 1
    @RobertLongson FWIW Shog provided similar SEDE a while ago at MSO: Voting stats for “desperate accept” answers (it would miss some deleted posts though) – gnat Feb 22 at 13:11

You must log in to answer this question.