What happens to users who come to Stack Overflow, blitz some questions (just like a forum) and then disappear?

This is the person I have in mind. Does he get to sit in the naughty chair for a while or can the highest voted answers simply get accepted after a while?

  • 2
    Why the down-votes? I don't understand what's wrong with the question. – grenade Jan 19 '10 at 21:47
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    Because we disagree. meta.stackoverflow.com/faq Accepting answers is not required. Voting is not required. Heck, answering questions is not required. These are all encouraged, but if users blitz questions and then jet, that doesn't make those questions (nor their answers) any less valuable. – John Rudy Jan 19 '10 at 22:34

An interesting point here is that on some other forums I've seen angry discussions following high-power people accepting answers on behalf of other users.

I've seen it get very ugly, and I'm very happy that Stack Overflow doesn't use this model. If an answer is accepted, great! If not, it is still a good answer, without all the politics distracting us.

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    It does happen - with bounty questions that have no good answers... – tim Jan 19 '10 at 22:08
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    @tim - but in that case the OP has made the decision to post a bounty. While they might not be aware of the full ramifications (auto acceptance in this case) it's their choice. In this case it's the system accepting an answer, not some group of moderators or high rep users. – ChrisF Jan 19 '10 at 22:39
  • @Chris - it is the same thing. By posting to that board with that policy you now an answer can be accepted. On SO by choosing bounty you also give up rights to choose an answer. The "System" choosing an answer is still a bad idea. This has been rehashed many times, so probably not worth going over again, but it is a really really bad policy and I can't believe it still stands. – tim Jan 20 '10 at 16:08
  • Was this the asp.net forums? – Chris S Jan 21 '10 at 0:39

Nothing happens to them. Participating on Stack Overflow is voluntary. That includes accepting answers to your questions. It is encouraged, but definitely not mandatory.

  • We could hunt them down, and force them to accept them though... for a price of course – juan Jan 19 '10 at 20:51
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    Are you saying that you need obviously disinterested users selecting the "correct" answer to every question? What's wrong with just having the highest voted answer? – Bill the Lizard Jan 19 '10 at 21:26
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    As for not getting irony, I guess I don't, since I've read your question again and I can't find a trace of it. – Bill the Lizard Jan 19 '10 at 21:33
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    Well judging from the 2 arsey answers I'd say people think I want to punish this guy, that wasn't my point. He doesn't exist on the site so why bother, but the people who crafted the good answers should get rewarded – Chris S Jan 19 '10 at 22:02
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    @Chris if you want to reward well crafted answers, upvote them. The bonus from accepted answers is nice, but not every user is going to take the time to do so and the system functions reasonably well even if they don't. – Chris Upchurch Jan 19 '10 at 22:16
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    @Chris: They do get rewarded by having the highest voted answer. Getting your answer accepted is just a bonus. It does serve a purpose, in that it signifies that the OP found it to be the answer that best fits their particular needs. If the OP doesn't want to accept an answer, we don't want to force it on them (except in the rare case of bounty questions). – Bill the Lizard Jan 19 '10 at 22:18
  • I upvoted the 2 that were useful, but the user in question has 13 unaccepted ones which seems a bit extreme – Chris S Jan 19 '10 at 23:10
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    @Chris: I guess I'm jaded after seeing users with literally hundreds of questions and very low accept rates, because 13 doesn't seem like a lot to me. It's okay to leave a comment suggesting that they accept the answer that helped them the most. In a lot of cases a 0% accept rate just means the user is new and hasn't quite got the hang of the site yet. – Bill the Lizard Jan 19 '10 at 23:16
  • @Chris Why do you want to see that big green checkmark? Will it make the answers better? The community has already spoken on them; they've voted and validated them. Why try to fix everything? You might anger people by accepting for them without really bringing any tangible benefit to the rest of the site. – alex Jan 20 '10 at 6:27

We could freeze them in carbonite...

alt text
(source: trickyourblog.com)

...but the obvious conundrum is that they still wouldn't be able to accept any answers.

  • 2
    Then we can ship them to the highest rep users on the site as prizes. – Adam Davis Jan 21 '10 at 1:42

What do we suggest we do to them? Suspend their account? They're not active. Lower their rep? They don't care. Just leave them as they are, they can't hurt anybody.

I'd rather have an inactive user than an angry one trying to mess stuff up before storming off the site.

  • I'm sure I suggested what to do – Chris S Jan 19 '10 at 21:14
  • @Chris: "Does he get to sit in the naughty chair for a while" -- this is being read by many of us, I think, as timed suspension, a concept which very much exists on the site. Hence all the people thinking that you are actually suggesting such. – John Rudy Jan 19 '10 at 22:37
  • I meant the second option "or can the highest voted answers simply get accepted after a while" – Chris S Jan 19 '10 at 23:11

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