I've noticed that a lot of users on Meta, especially new users, have various biases towards and against certain answerers.

I wondered what would the protocol be if a user, who already has a few answers to his question, was to accept an inadequate or incomplete answer to his question solely due to bias against the other answerer(s), or due to partiality towards the answerer of the incomplete answer, whether that be due to them sharing similar profiles, religion, nationality, or otherwise.

Do moderators or high - reputation users have the right to veto the mediocre answer accepted, and instead accept an alternate, more accurate answer?

  • 11
    There's nothing anyone can do that would change which answer is accepted, and generally there's no need to. Votes are the indicator of quality, not the accept mark.
    – Kevin B
    Nov 16, 2023 at 17:24
  • 1
    Are you asking about answers on meta (like this one, discussing site policy) or a main site?
    – Laurel
    Nov 16, 2023 at 17:35
  • Main sites, but I suppose it's applicable here too.
    – Bongo Man
    Nov 16, 2023 at 17:47

3 Answers 3


Acceptance only means that the poster of the question liked that answer. It does not mean the answer is correct. So yes, it inherently allows for the question poser being biased.

If you think about it logically, the asker of the question probably doesn't know what the correct answer is; if they did they may well have not asked their question in the first place.

All you have to do is instead look at the highest scoring answer and be guided by that. I.e., go with the "wisdom of crowds".

Of course, if you see an accepted answer that you think is mediocre and there isn't a better one, then write a great answer yourself. You should get upvotes for your answer even if it's never accepted and you've helped everyone that comes across that issue with your answer to boot. And if there already is a better answer, upvote that answer. Voting is your power to help everyone. Vote down useless answers and vote up useful ones.


The way to "veto" another user's accept vote is by downvoting the bad answer (requires 125 rep), often in tandem with upvoting a competing good answer (15 rep). On meta, if the original discussion is messy enough, a moderator or another trusted user can post a new meta question summarizing the policy that the community decided on.

On main sites, there's also the option to unpin the checkmark which prevents the accept vote from having much impact.

If there's actual fraud happening (e.g., accounts so similar they're socks), the answer (and more) will be deleted.


There is a misunderstanding about the meaning of the upvote, downvote and accepted answer tick mark.

Some might argue on the "linguistic economics"1 or natural language that it's correct to use and say that an answer is correct/incorrect, right or wrong. On Stack Exchange, nobody has the authority to decide if an answer is correct or incorrect in the way that a teacher or competency evaluator has such jurisdiction designated by an education center / system or a certification body because there is no educative center or certification body that has assigned such authority.

The Q&A model doesn't have a formal standpoint about right/wrong or correct/incorrect that certain realms might have; it limits itself to state that participation is open but still a privilege. Community moderation is mainly done by the community and handled through its own reputation system. A few users add the first questions and answers during a private beta with low privilege thresholds, so these few users upvote, downvote, comment, flag etc. A pro-tempore Community Moderator might be designated to help handle exceptions. The privilege thresholds are raised during the public beta, and anyone can join. Once the site reaches a certain number of daily questions, among other criteria, the privilege thresholds are raised to the standard levels. The Community Management Team decides when to call for a site Community Moderator election to help handle moderation exceptions on a specific site.

Since the private beta, a "right" answer could be upvoted, and a "wrong" answer could be downvoted. But upvotes and downvotes are anonymous and not traceable in why and how this is done in education and competency certification. Upvotes and downvotes are traceable for moderation purposes, i.e., reverse serial downvoting and other voting fraud. Upvotes and downvotes are traceable to grant reputation points, badges and user's tag scores. The Q&A's reputation system is not intended to endorse users' education or competency in the sense that traditional education centers / systems and certification bodies handle them.

Some sites might have workings to deal with incorrect or misleading content, but that will likely be handled using flags instead of the accepted answer tick mark2. This might be specifically relevant to sites related to science and well-known knowledge bodies, like mathematics, medicine, and law, among others.

Users might claim that something is correct or incorrect, right or wrong, but that is not directly related to the meaning of upvotes, downvotes, reputation, user answer score, and earned bronze, silver, or gold tag badges.

So, the premise of the question is inappropriate. Instead, it might be more appropriate to say that there is a disagreement, dispute, or dissatisfaction, among other options, with the question creator, aka OP, about their decision on which answer was marked as accepted.

However, the question creator is entirely free to choose the accepted answer because this does not mean that the answer is correct.

Some sites might enjoy the participation of notable people in science, knowledge, professional or other realms considered authorities by their peers and the community. Still, the OP can choose which answer to be marked as accepted.

On per-site / child meta it's expected that the OP makes good use of the accepted answer feature. I.e., on a discussion, it might be expected that the OP choose an answer that matches the community consensus. This might vary depending on many factors.

As of November 16, 2023, AFAIK, there is no short-term plan to implement schooling-like or debate features.


1 : "linguistic economics" is my translation of linguística económica. It refers to writing concisely, choosing brevity and avoiding verbose writing whenever possible. This refers to the practice of using fewer words to convey a message effectively.

2: Don't use the flag "Not an answer" to flag wrong answers. See the references for details.

A few days ago, I posted How to ask about the origin of certain "rule" and its "ruling" attributes. This is relevant considering the Q&A model premise commonly referred to as "search first" and "show effort", etc. explained on each SE site on their Tour and a help article with the paths /tour, /help/how-to-ask respectively, also applies to Meta Stack Exchange questions: Tour, How do I ask a good question.


The below posts are . They are ordered based on the creation date.


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